When to go and see the teacher about work being 'too easy' without looking like an awful Tiger Mother?!

(109 Posts)
harrietlichman Sun 13-Jan-13 09:26:21

My ds2 is in year one and though by no means a 'G&T' candidate, he is pretty advanced at spelling and reading - he can easily spell the words that dd1 brings home (Year 4) for her spelling work, for example.
This week he bought home the class newsletter which asks parents to help children with their spellings for a weekly test, along with a list of new words. They were all two letter words (on, at, etc) and absolutely no challenge to him whatsover.
I am reluctant to go in to school in a way, because I don't want to come across as a pushy parent who thinks her son is some sort of genius (!) but at the same time I am slightly concerned about what appears to be a lack of differentiation in the class.
So my question is WWYD? My dh thinks I should leave it as that is obviously what everyone in the class is doing at the moment, but my gut feeling is that he is just wasting time on this and should be being challenged a bit more.

bruffin Tue 15-Jan-13 07:39:52

Agree with pointy
My ds used to be ok at spelling tests because they usually had a pattern ie thisweek we are doing ,"ough" He still couldnt spell when it came to writing

pointythings Tue 15-Jan-13 18:10:59

That depends, TotallyBS on whether the boy's parents were bothering to check their DS's writing and make him check and correct. I've always been draconian about that part of it. I'm not sure it's a well thought out parenting strategy for everyone...

mrz Tue 15-Jan-13 18:15:25

Why on earth ....Glow grow glue glide glass grab grin and other gr gl words.

ipadquietly Tue 15-Jan-13 18:47:15

Why on earth is everyone getting so het up about spellings? Most spelling in KS1 is learnt through phonics lessons.

Spelling lists are generally given out to appease mummies, and make no difference to the children's ability to spell in day-to-day work. Constant repetition in phonics lessons does make a difference.

This work you say is 'too easy' refers to a 5-10 minute test. As your ds is keen to write at home, it implies that he is being challenged to write independently, and, even better, is enjoying it. I'd celebrate that, rather than question a pointless spelling list.

It's a print out Mrz Andrew Brodie publications.
We get one every week.

Can I ask why it shock you? Generally curious

mrz Tue 15-Jan-13 20:34:08

because of the choice of words, yes they all begin with gl or gr (that's very easy for any child who has basic phonic skills) but the more difficult digraphs are muddled

<ow> <ue> <i-e>

Children are no longer taught "blends" such as gl and gr as a whole (it was once common practice) but very limiting in application.

Tgger Tue 15-Jan-13 20:50:45

Hooray, we have no spellings in Y1 smile. And DS can spell pretty well. Hooray!

Wobblypig Wed 16-Jan-13 19:42:09

Ipadquietly, if most spellings are given out to appease mummies, then they are not doing a very good job by the looks of this thread

plainjayne123 Thu 17-Jan-13 00:10:40

No spelling tests ever in our (outstanding) primary. Old fashioned and useless apparently.

TotallyBS Thu 17-Jan-13 09:09:20

Every now and then there is an article or report about school leavers and their inability to submit a cv or job application that wasn't riddled with spelling mistakes.

Look into the crystal ball ladies and see what the future holds for your DCs grin

purrpurr Thu 17-Jan-13 09:34:59

MS Word Spell check?

TotallyBS Thu 17-Jan-13 10:56:42

Interesting response. I'm guessing that when a thread is going about teenagers being unable to give the correct change you will be injecting "calculator"?

Elsewhere there are threads about getting into selective schools, getting into med school, landing that great job etc. It's a "refreshing" break to be in a thread where the people have such a laid back attitude towards their children's education smile

learnandsay Thu 17-Jan-13 12:42:29

These days the till tells you how much change to give. If the teenagers still can't get it right it's going to need far more than a calculator to sort it out, lobotomy is closer in that case.

TotallyBS Thu 17-Jan-13 13:40:25

Well, the till at Homebase told the assistant that my change was £5.36. I offered him 14p so that he could give me £5.50 change (I wanted a 50p coin)

A look of confusion decended. I half expected him to go like something out of Star Trek ie this does not compute. Error. Error. And then explode.

pointythings Thu 17-Jan-13 18:08:33

TotallyBS oh I have soooo been there! grin

My DCs spell very well in their normal writing, by the way. But I'm evil in other ways - when they ask me 'how do you spell {fill in whatever word they're about to use}'?, I always tell them to write it down on a piece of scrap paper, see if it looks right and then spell it out to me. 9/10 times they get it right, the 10th time I end up spelling it out for them and telling them the derivation/component parts of the word. They nearly always end up remembering and using the word correctly next time. That's probably a bit tigerish of me, though.

learnandsay Thu 17-Jan-13 18:27:42

Why is it tigerish to spell a word for a child and explain to her the word's origins and its components? The OED doesn't look like a tiger it looks like a dictionary.

pointythings Thu 17-Jan-13 20:09:06

I was being flippant, learnandsay and referring to the 'tiger mum' phenomenon. I'm not one, but I do appreciate language and want to pass that on to my DDs. Which in the view of some may make me a pushy parent.

<Puts stripy covering paper on copy of OED>

learnandsay Thu 17-Jan-13 22:44:11

The only person who isn't a pushy parent has no right to be a parent.

simpson Thu 17-Jan-13 23:34:45

Pointy - when my DC ask how to spell a word I ask them how they think it is spelt first (I guess the same as what you do as a lot of the time time they do know it)...

I cannot work out DD's books ATM she came home with a gold book last week and read it ok (but thought it was the correct level for her tbh) then this week she has a stage 5 book <<sigh>>

madwomanintheattic Fri 18-Jan-13 00:40:43

Pointy, you need to add in country of origin. <sage>
You're just skimping on info, otherwise.

mrz Fri 18-Jan-13 06:29:48

[hangs head in shame] as learnandsay claims I have no right to be a parent sad

Lavenderhoney Fri 18-Jan-13 06:57:11

I've often popped in to chat to the teacher about stuff like this. She is more than helpful and will give me ideas of what to work on at home and how she will push a bit more in class, ie writing has to be neater for some etc.

I don't see my self as a tiger mom, just interested in my ds and keeping him interested in learning. I don't discuss it with other mums though, i don't think they'd be that interested and there is nothing they can do anyway. A few moms go in for extra tutoring after school but it's more to do with the mom making the child than the child actually wanting to or needing it.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 18-Jan-13 09:35:39

To be honest the spelling test isn't going to take much class time so if he doesn't have to revise the spellings (or perhaps just one quick run through) then that's great. Take the time saved at home to test him on trickier words in your own time. It sounds like he does his sister's spellings which is great extension work for him. If he is bored of other work then chat to the teacher but spelling is one area where consolidation is good and extra work at home is easy.

We've had the same with ds1. He's very bright and grasps maths and literacy amazingly fast. Even though he's the youngest in his class (18 months younger than the eldest) he's always been one of the top few at reading and maths. It's frustrating as he has SN and the school complain of behavioural problems but every specialist we've seen has said most of his in class behaviour issues are due to being bored out of his mind with the work.

He cried his first week back this year as he had no homework and the work was too simple.

Asking for extra reading books or extra work got me nowhere so now I just concentrate on keeping him stimulated at home, lots of books at his level and chatting about science and maths that he's interested in. He's still bored in class but he's in a mixed room with 2 older classes and I think he eavesdrops on their class work a lot grin

madwomanintheattic Fri 18-Jan-13 14:23:15

None of my three have ever bothered to 'learn' their spelling lists. Ever. They have never even bothered to get them out of their school bags. Not once. They are now 12,11 and 9. It is entirely possible to not bother and for no undue consequences to result - if the kid is ahead enough, they just don't need to bother.

They each won their year group spelling bees, and dd1 always won out in the school bee to go to regionals.

I'm not sure why the angst about spelling lists being challenging, tbh. Dd2 once brought home a list with spelling mistakes on. grin she hadn't noticed (because she didn't ever bother looking at them) but I fished it out of the bottom of her bag to put in the trash and noticed. grin

Ds1 was notorious for correcting the spelling on the board in yr 1. Fortunately his teachers found it amusing, rather than a pita.

The key word for you is 'differentiation'.

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