Feeling I failed my child

(42 Posts)
Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 14:59:39

I am a quite pushy parent. Been doing english reading and maths with my oldest one since she was year 1 on daily basis. For english, we have almost done all books for her stage in the local library. For maths, since I never have known what she leant in school, I have been teaching her long addition,long subtraction, all up to 4 digits with regrouping, all time tables, two digits times by one digit, or division. She can do all the above comfortably. But she came back home with 2b in maths ks1 sats. It seems that we have gone a completely wrong direction! I feel very sorry for my poor child and just hate myself! I don't know what I should do next.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 10-Jul-13 15:02:57

I have no idea what 2b means but perhaps you shouldn't be do pushy. There is an emphasis on understanding, working out and using different methods. I feel quite sorry for a year 1 child having to submit to all those boring maths problems when in school they are probably cutting up pieces of cake for fractions, estimating, and solving fun problems.

GooseyLoosey Wed 10-Jul-13 15:03:09

You don't say how old she is, but I am assuming Yr 3?

Be gentle on yourself and on her. ThereEase off and let her learn at her own pace. Help her with the things she needs help with. Pursue the things with her that she enjoys.

What were you hoping the achieve by going outside and beyond the curriculum?

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 10-Jul-13 15:07:29

Have you done a workshop on how the primary teach maths? We did one and it was completely different to the way I was taught at school - perhaps doing things your way rather than the schools way meant that she could not show the working out in the way they wanted.

To be honest without knowing how old she is I don't have a clue whether 2b is acceptable or not.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 10-Jul-13 15:08:51

I think this is a biscuit post. I've just googled SATS levels. (My dc don't do them). 2b is just fine and means rhe child is working well within the expected level fir KS1 sats. Poor kid at you not thinking it's good enough.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 10-Jul-13 15:09:49

The OP says its KS 1 SATS so Year 2.

BeehavingBaby Wed 10-Jul-13 15:12:00

Has she had opportunities to demonstrate those things? Dd1 has been given level 3 work at school and for homework for a few months ( which is too hard for her bit that's another thread!) and it is much more conceptual in terms of difficulty - manipulating the real world and identifiying the problem they need to tackle themselves, but still easy sums rather than the bigger numbers you describe in the op. imagine your dd will be in good stead for year 3 though, certainly not failed!

TreesAndFlowers Wed 10-Jul-13 15:16:56

Guessing she may be strong on the methods, but perhaps not so strong on working out what method she uses when? IIRC Level 3 is more about problem solving techniques and being able to apply what they know to real world problems.

Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 15:34:59

You are quite right, TreesAndFlowers. Until their sats I started to give her some practical questions but very simple in numbers,such as A has 12p, B has 8p, how much more does A have than B? She got stuck! Did she learn it at school in year2 at all?

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 15:36:28

The maths questions are wordy questions mainly where the child has to pick out the calculations within the question. Not lots of long division etc.

If this is for real I feel really sorry for your child having to do all that extra work at such a young age and for the fact you feel sorry for her 'only' achieving a 2b as 2b is the expected level for Y2 so she is fine. The children who achieve well later are those who have a rounded experience ie doing sports etc, not those who are pushed and pushed academically at home. There are plenty of stats to confirm this.

We had one sheet of questions home before the SATs which was about 6 maths questions in 'SATS' style, that was it and about the sum of what DS did before SATs at home. He got weekly homework and did that most of the time but that is it. He is having fun being a 7 YO and playing sports, music and generally having fun.

I am not sure why you are doing extra stuff with your DD that is not within the curriculum.

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 15:37:15

Have you spoken to the teacher about it?

Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 16:26:25

I talked to the teacher two times altogether, being told she is doing fine. She got homework once a week always maps diagrams stuff, never seen maths at all. I always have been trying to find out what they actually teach in year 2,never able to get it from the teacher or school. Until recently I managed to find some info from the web.

I feel I am like the proud rabbit in the race, being so arrogant on teaching my own child, then suddenly found out I am the loser.

Badvoc Wed 10-Jul-13 16:29:55

I genuinely don't know what to say.
Your dd is meeting expected targets for he age?
She is happy?
So your problem is?

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 10-Jul-13 16:30:47

The teacher is telling the truth - she is doing fine.

It reminds me of a line from the Matilda musical sung by the teacher.

Specialness is de regeur
Above average is average - go figure

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 16:36:29

Why are you wanting to teach your child so much so young? Are you unhappy with the school? IMO at this age they should be working at their natural level with help if they are falling behind. If you are feeling like this then it will rub off on your DD and she will feel like she is below average, which she is not.

twentyten Wed 10-Jul-13 16:36:54

Don't feel bad.Your dd is doing fine.As others say,have some fun-its about inspiring a love of learning and curiosity at 7-what intersts her?dinosaurs?Stars?Art? Encourage her passions and build her confidence to try stuff.
(There are also MILLIONS of workbooks etc available and cirriculums(?)on the net for you to understand how maths is taught.)
Good luck

Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 16:39:59

My problem is I am blaming myself on the extra work I have asked her to do, if I knew it didn't help her at all, i wouldn't have done it!I do feel we have lost lots of quality time together as mum and daughter,rather than tutor and tutee,although it only takes us 20 minutes everyday. I am sorry but I just can't get rid of the idea that my child is in the bottom 1/3 in her class.

Badvoc Wed 10-Jul-13 16:45:17

But she isn't is she?
And even if she were, why is that an issue for you?
Is she happy?

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 16:52:16

I would be surprised if she is the bottom 1/3 in the class, probably somewhere in the middle which at 7 YO is surely ok.

My DS2 (5) is probably middle to bottom at school but I still don't do anything extra with him, DS1 (7) is top and I don't do anything extra with him either. I am equally proud of what they have achieved and bizarrely sometimes more so with DS2 as it doesn't come as easy to him as DS1. I don't feel like I have failed DS2 as he may be achieving slightly more if I pushed him but I would rather he enjoy it and find his natural level then if need be later on closer to senior school push him a bit more.

Oblomov Wed 10-Jul-13 16:53:37

You know you are pushing too hard. And you know this. And now this has, unfortunately, come back to bite you , on the bum!!

You need to ease off. And deep down, you know this.
BUT, this is not all wasted.
The wordy questions, test the higher skilled children. Applying what you know, techniques, to long wordy questions, is very tricky. And even for bright children, it is quite a leap. She obviously hasn't quite got there yet. But she will. And your work this year, can not, has not, done any harm.

2b is NOT bottom 1/3rd.

Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 16:55:01

I have never mentioned anything about her assessment to her, actually she is very happy talking about helping her classmates with timetable in school. But I have been thinking and rethinking for several days, what can I do to help her? Maybe follow the national curriculum or do more practical problems? I feel as her mother because my strategy was wrong, and she is the one to suffer. One minute, I decided to give up,just let it be and the next minute I think if I am able to help her to improve, why not, better than not doing anything.

LynetteScavo Wed 10-Jul-13 16:55:46

Maybe she isn't particularly able, and all the work you've been doing with her means she has managed to achieve a 2b.

Oblomov Wed 10-Jul-13 16:56:05

I am the same as Mrs Melons.
I do not do any extra.
Ds is very bright. Ds2 not quite so. I certainly am not bothered by this.

titchy Wed 10-Jul-13 17:11:01

Stop thinking about what you can do to help her. Learn from this and just enjoy your child. She is not a project to be done as best you can. Be her mum and let her teachers do the teaching.

Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 17:13:20

Oblomov, I should print your last message out and stick it by my bed. It is biting my bum!

Oblomov Wed 10-Jul-13 17:15:12


ReallyTired Wed 10-Jul-13 17:22:01

I imagine that the OP child might have been stuck in the bottom set in year 1 and prehaps that why she thinks her daughter is in the bottom third. Sometimes children in the bottom group do not get the chance to do challenging work. Methods used for teaching maths are very different to what we used at school

2b is bang on average and would put her in the middle group in the average primary. Prehaps your daughter will be moved up a maths group next year.

Your child's birthdate makes a huge difference to their academic level. Summerborns often do worse in key stage 1 SATs and catch up later.

caffeinated Wed 10-Jul-13 17:51:34

2b isn't average, it's expected. And in some school it would be in the bottom 1/3. In our school 2b's make up the bottom 1/4.

mrz Wed 10-Jul-13 17:57:00

your child is not suffering hmm

ReallyTired Wed 10-Jul-13 18:02:21

At my son's school many of the YEAR 6s!!! are on 2b (Prehaps that is why the school is in special measures!!)

Actually level 2 is expected and 2c is just about acceptable for year 2.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Jul-13 18:05:14

Hello OP, lots of people do this and at least it shows you care for your child.
Please let her be a child and play, for goodness sake. Ok, you made a mistake, every parent does. Don't beat yourself up and move on.
You can encourage without being pushy, and if you really want to help there is no problem with that at all.
You have done quite a lot of KS2 maths there and the reason she got a 2b which is average and nothing to be sneezed at is probably because you didn't cover the ks1 maths at all.
So you know now that she is capable without you overdoing the support. Ok, if it were me I would get a couple of ks1 puzzle type work books and word searches etc for rainy days during the holidays, if she chooses to do them then great. If she doesn't also great and don't worry, she's not scarred for life.

Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 18:22:42

you are quite right, morethanpotatoprints. I think the most tricky part of being a parent, at least for me, is that I want them or I dream them to be the ones i wish them to be. I keep trying keep trying, whenever it didn't work in that way, I feel lost and frustrated. Actually I know no matter how a parent tries, they will grow up to be the ones they mean to be.

Badvoc Wed 10-Jul-13 18:27:28

Please don't try to live vicariously through your child.
She is not behind.
She is happy.
Let her enjoy her schooling.

twentyten Wed 10-Jul-13 19:20:39

Don't be hard on yourself!At least you can see it and be honest with yourself.
What about your dreams for yourself?The best thing you can do for your kids is try to live a "good enough" life.....

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 19:22:34

You sound like a lovely mum and maybe next year you can ask the teacher what they are doing and maybe work at home with her based on that if you really want to do extra. If not maybe do something completely different together such as a language or tennis etc. There's a lot of other things that are just as important at this age.

Look on the bright side - at least she will have covered some of next year's work grin

Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 19:31:13

Thanks a lot, MrsMelons. I will follow the curriculum for sure next year.

mrz Wed 10-Jul-13 19:42:52

I'm afraid it isn't that simple. The purpose of assessment is to identify what a child knows now, any gaps in knowledge and skills and what they need to be taught next... it's why knowing numbers and letters (levels) is pretty useless

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 19:57:35

I think it is hard if you are not sure the school is filling those gaps but if she is a 2b then presumably they are (unless you were really expecting much higher)

Even if you had prepped her for the SATs and she had achieved a L3 I am guessing the teacher assessment would not match this anyway do she would still only be given the true level she is working at (I think)

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Jul-13 19:59:36


I can remember a long time ago being in the HT's office in tears. Ds1 was a slow reader and I had pushed him too much and he hated reading. I felt like I had failed him. She said she wished all parents supported their dc and not to worry. He soon caught up when I backed off. Not that your dd needs to catch up, she sounds fine.
As far as the curriculum is concerned just to put into perspective, my dd doesn't follow the nc and I really couldn't tell you what level she is, as to us they aren't important. I do know where her strengths lie and where she is weaker though and also what she likes to learn and her style of learning. To me it is a happy balance and if she enjoys doing extra stuff at a higher level that is fine imo, as long as you aren't pushing her to do this after a full day at school grin

cory Thu 11-Jul-13 08:46:12

You are using very strong language here: you feel a loser, you have failed your child, the time you have spent on this has been wasted.

I don't think your problem is so much that you have been pushy and eager to teach but that you set out with confused ideas as to what all this learning is for. You have hung it all on one small test, a test that only measures certain things and that won't make any difference to your dd in later life. And because the things you taught were not the exact ones she was asked in the test you think your work has been wasted.

If you want a child who goes on to do well in life, eager to learn more and use her capabilities to the best, you have to encourage the idea that learning is worth while for its own sake. And that kind of learning, where you both explore the world of numbers or literature or science because it is worthwhile and fun, can easily be combined with parent-daughter quality time. Playing cards, calculating quantities of flour for your baking, working out how much money you need to buy two ice-creams: this is all valuable maths.

If your dd gets put in a lower set, she can work her way up: sets are flexible. But if she gets the idea that learning is only about reading to a specific test she will always be lagging behind the children who have learnt to learn from intellectual curiosity.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 11-Jul-13 09:40:31

I was just going to post exactly what cory posted! I teach my children lots of things, but it's because it's fun, and we get to spend time together talking and debating. It's great. smile But I don't care about the national curriculum or what they do in school though - school can take care of that, and they do it remarkably well. But there is life outside school!

clam Thu 11-Jul-13 22:07:06

Well you've probably already decided to do this, but I would ditch the workbooks. Standard written methods of addition/subtraction/mult/div (Tens and Units, as we used to do them at school and now do later on in KS2) don't feature in the KS1 SATs. Or at least, not in that format, so your dd wouldn't have got the opportunity to use the skill unless she understood when and why.
If you're intent on doing maths at home with her, concentrate on practical fun things - do some cooking and let her measure out the ingredients, perhaps asking her questions such as "we need 200 grams, and we've added 50 so far, so how many more grams do we need to add" and so on. And telling the time (never enough allocation in the maths syllabus to master this properly for some kids and they need to practise the skill on an ongoing basis at home), "it's 10 o'clock, we're going out at half past, how many minutes have we got to get ready?"
Play board games and see if she can see the patterns on Snakes and Ladders (how many do I need to roll on the die to get to the next ladder) etc...

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