Can you give me an opinion/ advice on this description and situation of DD aged 6 pls? - long sorry

(42 Posts)
DoctorAnge Fri 22-Feb-13 17:49:21

DD was always a bright and responsive child. She seemed to grasp all milestones of speech and movement v quickly and was just very "aware" from an early age.
At pre-school she again seemed to do v well and her reading and writing was coming along. We decided to go for an "assessment day" at the local Independent school with a reputation for being highly academic. She loved it and got a place so we kind of went ahead although I always had misgivings about if it would be right for her.
Year 1 went well but she had a lot of absence as she developed a medical condition that needed 1 week hospitalisation and ongoing treatment. This I feel broke her stride a little although she made progress in a class of extremely able girls.
Year 2 in Nov sadly she required another hospitalisation and treatment which I feel really threw her confidence wise and emotionally and she has struggled academically since. The other girls are steaming ahead and DD just isn't "into" reading, writing and Maths like I assumed she would be.
To give an overview she writes neatly and joined up as they have been taught but has trouble spacing. She reads v nicely when she is set as H/wk, ORT level 7, but doesn't seem to grab the many chapter books I have bought her and read for the love of it like I and DH used to. The kind of things they ask them to do in class is write a story about something. Some of the others write an A4 page nicely spaced and good spelling v descriptive. DD is very basic and less than half an A4 page. She can't seem to make the leap of imagination and put it into her work.
She draws beautifully, has an incredible fantasy life with her toys and is a whizz on the computer but when I steer her to the more "educational" games she won't try and leans towards the games for younger 3-5 group. I must admit at times I have got v frustrated at her for not picking up things quickly asp in maths ( they are working on division and Times tables) and I feel terribly guilty for that sad
She is very articulate at home and has a great vocabulary, but at school I think she doesn't show her true personality although she has socialised brilliantly and is very happy with good friends there. Playdates are always successful. She can be very unsettled by loud sounds and is twitchy which I have noticed a lot recently.
She is empathy personified and makes mature conversation where she asks others about their feelings -almost like a little councillor! and listens beautifully.
My concerns are I don't want her to feel like she is constantly catching up with these dare I say very academically pushy extroverted girls in her peer group when she is a gentle, uncompetative soul really. My instinct tells me to move schools to a more relaxed environment but would that be doing her any good in the long run?
Thanks for reading

DoctorAnge Fri 22-Feb-13 17:50:13

Sorry I meant to say Reception went well - she is in Year 1 now.

DoctorAnge Fri 22-Feb-13 18:05:53

Anyone ?

LegoIsMyFriend Fri 22-Feb-13 18:08:47

So all the other 6 year olds are "academically pushy"? Do you realise how rude that sounds? Are they not simply "academic"?

DoctorAnge Fri 22-Feb-13 18:11:54

Jesus the one thing you pick on is that in my whole post, it wasn't meant pejoratively! They push them selves academically ok? Not helpful to me.

LegoIsMyFriend Fri 22-Feb-13 18:23:46

Apologies. It just really jarred when I read your post. I hope others reply more helpfully.

funkypigeon Fri 22-Feb-13 18:25:59

I think she sounds wonderfully bright. She doesn't need to be academic at this age. She's 6. Think about it- 6 years old. There is so much ahead of her when she'll be pushed and encouraged, IMHO it's too early to be worrying whether she loves reading or not or her maths isn't up to scratch. I'd move her- I think she needs a far more relaxed atmosphere by the sounds of her nature.

I loved reading when I was a child, but the 'love' of it only really came when I was about 8 or 9. Give her time. FWIW, my 6 year old DD is just beginning to write joined up. It'll come, and at the moment I'd much rather her carry on talking about her feelings, empathise (like your DD) and hold brilliant conversation.

HousewifeFromHeaven Fri 22-Feb-13 18:26:50

What do the teachers say?

How do you know that all the other girls are as you say?

I think you regret your decision and are l

HousewifeFromHeaven Fri 22-Feb-13 18:28:05

Looking for a way out. That's ok of course, just don't forget she's only 6 and you shouldn't keep comparing her. She'll pick up on it.

DoctorAnge Fri 22-Feb-13 18:30:49

Thanks so much funky. Do you think the environment sounds like it will knock her confidence? The difficulty is she has made friends and is v happy there. It's like better the devil.. but I don't want her to feel, like she is behind and she offen says she is not as clever as so and so... That's not good is it.

SJisontheway Fri 22-Feb-13 18:33:03

It sounds like she's doing fantastically despite her set backs. Are you really sure all the others are so far ahead? If she truly is lagging behind everyone else perhaps you should look around. May not be greatfor her confidence being so far behind.

newgirl Fri 22-Feb-13 18:33:14

She's prob tired but doing really well. Does she do lots after school? If so maybe cut back for a while? If she's having very busy day then she may well not want to read again - might want to do something else eg watch tv. I'd keep her where is as it would be disruptive to move her but make sure she rests and relaxes after school.

Coconutty Fri 22-Feb-13 18:34:03

If she has had lots of time off, would you consider her redoing the year? Otherwise being off a lot will have had an impact, but she will catch up and you (not DD) will just have to accept that some of the others are able to do more than her at the moment.

It sounds a little to me as if you wish she were doing better, but if the teachers haven't voiced concern, I wouldn't worry. It's not nice if your child isn't one of the high flyers but she is still very young.

Children are often different at home and school BTW.

DoctorAnge Fri 22-Feb-13 18:35:12

Sorry I don't personally know the other girls work level as such,, just from the work displays I have seen what the Mums tell me about their advancement and when I have helped out at the school. I know DD doesn't write like that.

SJisontheway Fri 22-Feb-13 18:37:03

If the only problem is she's not top of the class then its not really a problem. You say she's happy. That's the main thing.

Coconutty Fri 22-Feb-13 18:37:44

Never listen to other mums who talk about their children's advancement - first rule of The School Gate.

funkypigeon Fri 22-Feb-13 18:42:33

It might knock her confidence, but the chances are it won't, because we, as parents, notice so much more than out children. It may be that she realises she may be a little behind her peers, but I actually think there's a learning opportunity right there, in that allowing her to realise that everyone progresses and develops differently. So what if she's not as academic as them? She has friends, she's happy, the main thing is that she's happy with herself.

WRT moving her, children do settle very easily on the whole, and it sounds like she would.

lopsided Fri 22-Feb-13 18:46:21

Doctor, sometimes people exaggerate their child's abilities smile

Not everyone can be at the top of the class and she sounds like she's doing well, especially as the teachers aren't worried.

The class work sounds quite advanced for yr 1. I don't think ort 7 is a good enough reader to read many chapter books, perhaps try rainbow faries with support.

DoctorAnge Fri 22-Feb-13 18:49:57

Thanks everyone. Lop she can just about manage rainbow fairies with support as you say. But she gets tired and fed up so I usually finish for her. Today I bought her a horrid Henry chapter book with larger print and lots of pics and a book with a fluffy kitten on it!

totallyrandom Fri 22-Feb-13 18:52:22

OP your DD sounds like a wonderful bright child with lots of imagination and talent. So her creativity/imagination will filter into her writing when she is ready.
Do you play "making up stories" with her? I was trilingual as a child and loved reading, but remember it being difficult to write properly until I was about 8. I had too much imagination and did not know how to capture it in writing as I struggled with structure. By secondary school, I had got it and was really good at essay writing. My mum helped me as we used to make up stories together and then write them (together). You could make up stories together and then she could draw them if your DD loves drawing (with a bit of writing if she wants). She might even want to do a mini "illustrated" story.
Re reading, just keep reading to her. Does she like listening to stories? I think reading is all about passion and that will come too when she is ready.

Re educational games, does she like girlie board games (e.g. princess snakes and ladders) at all/playing shop with money etc? Why does it matter if she steers towards younger age group games when they are educational?

She sounds happy and settled at her school. Are you sure she wants to move (rather than you worrying that you made the wrong choice by putting her there)? What do her teachers say re her progress? I think you should keep boosting her confidence by focussing on all the stuff that she is really good at so she knows she is talented and clever.

If it is an independent school and she is happy, I wouldn't move her yet but talk to her teachers in confidence re her progress and what to do to make her feel confident about her abilities.
Also, how does she feel about her health? Is it possible, that the anxiety about her health has knocked her confidence a little if she is a sensitive soul?

Llareggub Fri 22-Feb-13 18:58:13

Just as a way of comparison, my son is also 6. He is articulate and questions everything. For example, we were watching the news together one day and he said, without any prior discussion, "that the news programme tell us what they want to us know, not what is actually happening in the world." He shows me constantly that he is capable of ndependent though; he designed and made a safety gate with a child lock when our holiday gaff didn't have one. It was awesome.

He doesn't read or write much. I think he is on ORT 2 or something and reads one sentance pages. He can't spell for toffee.

Do I worry? Maybe a little, especially when I see the lovely neat pages produced by the girls in his class. But my son is wonderfully quirky and I am sure he will write eventually. They are still so very young and there is such a range of ability at their age. I am pretty sure it all evens out in the end.

If she is happy where she is, leave her there.

pinkpaperpiggy Fri 22-Feb-13 18:58:38

I also have a 6 year old dd. She in in the equivalent of YR 1 (not in uk) and they are no where near times tables and division yet!

In fact they are on the number 8 - talking about 8, writing it correctly, making groups of 8, doing 1+7, 2+6 etc.

So if your dd is managing what they are doing in her class she is doing very well indeed in my opinion.

Your description of her being 'unsettled' and 'twitchy' sounds like my dd was after many hospital stays etc. I think people underestimate how much that can affect a young child.

We tool dd to see a Play Therapist and it helped her so much.

Kithulu Fri 22-Feb-13 18:59:32

I am shocked to b honest that they are reading chapter books in year 1. Mine only started to read chapter books in year 3. DS1 is predicted A* s at gcse now. so don't worry.

MammaMedusa Fri 22-Feb-13 19:02:09

I wouldn't push chapter books at all. Six is so young and you do not want to put her off. If you are worried about exposure to stories, then audiobooks are great. Otherwise just have lots of lovely books around, including all her old picture books, and read to her loads.

When she is reading a bit more comfortably (for my kids, this was more like ORT 10 / 11), then I found reading the first couple of chapters of a book and then leaving it lying round worked quite well! I'd go to finish reading the book to them and get "but I've read it, mum".

DoctorAnge Fri 22-Feb-13 19:09:18

totally wow thank you for such a thoughtful post. Some wonderful suggestions. It is clicking how anxious I have been and how off putting that must be for her. I will truly try to relax and do things for the fun of them get her thinking that way.

Llare your son sounds amazing. I think when you say there is a range in his class that is something DD really does not have in this school - they all seem v clever. Lovely girls but all quite similar in ability - high!.

pink Yes DD sees a play therapist. I actually met with her HOY to discuss DD and to explain exactly what she goes through in hospital - painful IV treatment for hours at a time sad. She was shocked and made notes re. her confidence and said they would do some circle time about self esteem. She was great actually, her class teacher less empathetic.

Thanks again for your kind and reassuring comments

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