when to ask teacher for harder work

(25 Posts)
jennnnnnnnnn Thu 20-Aug-15 23:05:12

Hi. 5 year old has just started at primary school. Has been able to read and write for 2 years and count to 1 million etc etc....

So I know all the children are at different levels and some have not learnt much prior to starting school and that is fine.

They are learning the alphabet and how to write the letter `a` and so on. And has been given a book home with 3 words per page so is done with it in about 8 seconds.

I don't want to sound like a pest to the teacher after 1 week saying my child is great give harder work etc, thats not my intention. But, I also dont want to waste the teachers time by her giving us homework that could have done 2 or 3 years ago.

Basically what I am asking is should I just stay out the road and just let her read the books in seconds and learn about the number 2 or whatever? Or should I tell the teacher this quickly that all this is stuff was known 2 years ago so she gets more challenging work to do?

I know they will hate me if I ask to see them and start this kind of chat........ also I am not very good at that kind of thing but want the best for our child.

Any advice?

Thanks

Jen

catkind Thu 20-Aug-15 23:36:18

Maybe give her a couple more weeks to settle in and show them what she can do? Is there a reading diary you can note what she's actually reading in?

Heyho111 Thu 20-Aug-15 23:59:21

The teacher needs time to assess their abilities. I'd get books from the library for him to read. In a few weeks time perhaps he could take it in on show and tell to show what he can read.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 21-Aug-15 00:36:18

Give it a few weeks at least for the teacher to assess. Even if the teacher can actually see he can read etc, they do need time to make sure they actually understand what they're doing. And even then unless he's complaining of being bored it wouldn't bother me in reception as its mainly play. Dd didn't really progress much academically in reception from what school did, (some differentiation but mainly she just got more time to play) but she learnt loads and had fun.

MidniteScribbler Fri 21-Aug-15 00:49:16

There is often a big difference between what parents believe their child can do, and what the actual understanding of the child is. For example, there is a lot more to numeracy than counting to one million. I've seen plenty of children who can recite numbers to a high level, but have no real understanding of the concepts of numeracy. What is their one to one correspondence like? Can they subsitise? If you tell them a number eg 15, do they know the next number is 16 or do they have to go back to one and start counting again?

The first few weeks of the first year of school is a time when teachers need to evaluate students and then will work out a course of action going forward for that child. The teacher doesn't know your child, and they will never take the parents word for it. They will be doing lots of different activities to evaluate the students and determine their real understanding of various concepts. A child simply 'knowing' something does not mean they can apply that to various other tasks.

There are many things you can do at home right now. Keep reading of course, and make sure you ask the child for their understanding of what they are reading. Can they retell it to you in different words? Can they extend the story - what happened next, what about from a different point of view? Do lots of daily maths - cooking recipes, buying from the grocery store, etc.

jennnnnnnnnn Fri 21-Aug-15 06:58:52

Thanks. Yeah we get books from library all the time. I'm not that bothered what books they read at school it's just the overall kind of thing. Yeah they know all about numbers and how they work etc not just reciting.

I know this is a good problem to have but I just never thought about it until they brought out that book that we were to read with them for homework and realised the difference from what they read themselves.

Well I definitely am going to leave it a month or so anyway and see what happens.

Ps for any teachers, would you rather parents told you the work is far too easy? Just in case the child sits quietly all day so you might not be aware. Or do you hate them interfering

WildStallions Fri 21-Aug-15 07:06:41

I don't think you need to leave it a whole month. 3 weeks should be plenty smile

If in 3 weeks teacher hasn't realised child can read etc it's totally reasonable to talk to them. Just phrase it carefully.

Also you don't know what she's doing in class. It's possible appropriate work is done in class but homework is one size fits all. So phrase it all very carefully.

But hopefully by then they'll know and you'll be feeling better about it.

WildStallions Fri 21-Aug-15 07:08:29

Oh and most schools do have a parents evening very early in the school year so you may be able to wait till then.

chelle792 Fri 21-Aug-15 07:11:35

The first six weeks of school will be mostly play with assessment either individually in small groups.

Teacher will see what level your kid is at. Unless the teacher is rubbish it won't happen that your child will be allowed to sit quietly all day.

Sorry for appalling grammar - typing in a haze of sleepiness

chelle792 Fri 21-Aug-15 07:14:29

Worth noting, when I worked in year r I had a really gifted reader. She could read anything but the parents couldn't understand why I was giving her easier books. She didn't need to learn to decode but to answer in depth questions on what she was reading so I couldn't justify giving her a really high level book

catkind Fri 21-Aug-15 08:27:55

A good teacher won't mind being asked. I'd throw out some facts and some questions. "DD is finding the reading books very easy. At home she's reading xyz. How's she getting on with reading in school? "
Chelle, did you not explain to the parents?
I do think some flexibility is needed with good readers. Maybe normally you wouldn't put them on level x until they can do y comprehension things, but a child who can already decode fluently could just as well work on the same skill at level x+5 as the longer texts won't be a barrier for that child, and will just help to keep them interested.

jennnnnnnnnn Fri 21-Aug-15 08:29:00

I'm not sure if its equivalent or not, but we read the free oxford owl e-books every night and they have questions at the end so I can check the understanding of it. I find that to be quite good.

CherylBerylMeryl Fri 21-Aug-15 18:10:18

Hold your horses!

He's been at school since last Thursday at the earliest. I'll be perfectly honest: at this point in P1, with the average class, there is no time for teaching different lessons to the most able.

At this stage in P1, work is important, but it is mostly about learning how to sit on the floor, listen, put their hand up, and then to go away and have a go at doing it for themselves. Many of them will need significant support to do that.

He should be asked more tricky questions, given the chance to attempt a sentence etc etc but you're on a hiding to nothing asking for him to be taught individually.

jennnnnnnnnn Fri 21-Aug-15 19:16:56

Hi. Yes that's why I called the thread "when to ask teacher for harder work". I didn't say I was going in this very day. I was looking for opinions in when would be appropriate without me seeming like a pest or pushy parent etc.

Yes ill sound like a boaster of my child is amazing etc........ but when you say "attempt a sentence" thats long long ago. She can read better than my husband!

I'm not expecting them to be taught individually. I don't expect anything really. Probably won't even bother saying anything. As you say what is the point, they won't have time.

CherylBerylMeryl Fri 21-Aug-15 19:23:00

I'm not expecting them to be taught individually.

If she really is 2-3 years ahead, she's going to have to be taught individually, isn't she? You just need to calm the melodrama down and wait until they have settled into their school routine.

jennnnnnnnnn Fri 21-Aug-15 19:35:06

There is no melodrama. Just reality, they dont have time.

catkind Fri 21-Aug-15 20:37:19

It would hardly take melodrama or individual teaching to give the little one a reading book from the junior library would it? Fingers x'd it'll happen without any sort of drama at all once they get her measure.

CherylBerylMeryl Fri 21-Aug-15 20:48:44

We're saying the same thing, catkind - OP needs to wait a little longer before complaining.

ChristineDePisan Fri 21-Aug-15 20:50:12

There are loads of things that a good teacher can do with a child who is more advanced - and of course she might not be the only one. Eg DS's class last year had a couple of other really strong readers, so they were in a peer reading group together - no "individual teaching" needed there. I know of a girl in reception who went to the Yr 1 class for literacy and maths but was with the rest of the reception class for the majority of the time - again, not taught individually.

catkind Fri 21-Aug-15 20:51:11

Ah sorry Cheryl, thought you were saying it was too much to expect anything in P1 generally. My mistake.

CherylBerylMeryl Fri 21-Aug-15 20:54:40

Definitely not. Just that OP needs to give it longer than a week in order for the staff to see where all of the kids are, who could work well together and work out how to get them progressing.

jennnnnnnnnn Fri 21-Aug-15 21:41:13

I'm not complaining or moaning or anything similar! Or saying I want anything done within a week!

It was just a bit disheartening trying to be enthusiastic with her to do her first bit of homework when it was read and write the letter a. She's obviously excited about school etc and was bemused at this being the task. That's all I was meaning was "when" or "if" it was appropriate to ask the teacher for harder stuff.

Anyway thanks for the advice

CherylBerylMeryl Fri 21-Aug-15 21:54:17

Well, what were you expecting? grin A textbook? They're P1! They shouldn't be getting homework!

Some children who are ahead have big expectations of school and feel totally short changed when they think they are 'just playing'.

jennnnnnnnnn Fri 21-Aug-15 22:41:54

Ok I'll pass that on to her thanks

BlackeyedSusan Sat 22-Aug-15 01:26:35

depends on the teacher and how your child presents in school. Some teachers will enthusiastically find stuff for your child to extend them. some will make them work through every sodding book in the reading scheme.

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