What would you have done differently in primary?

(33 Posts)
NynaevesSister Mon 18-May-15 14:22:32

Now that your kids are in secondary, looking back to the primary years is there anything you would have done differently? Is there anything that you didn't grasp the importance of ath the time? And now they are teenagers it is too late?

I am thinking the later years of primary, around Year 5 and 6.

TeenAndTween Mon 18-May-15 17:39:39

Poor maths only affects Maths and some Science at Secondary.
Inability to write expanded answers affects pretty much every subject.

Therefore if there is any issue with literacy it is more critical to sort that than an issue with maths.

Additionally, but related:

If writing ability is massively mismatched with verbal skills keep pushing until the reason is found. Don't wait until y11 to discover your child has dyspraxia.

NynaevesSister Mon 18-May-15 19:06:17

We had a diagnosis of dyspraxia last year when son was in year 4. That's a really good point about the literacy! I was looking at a tutor for maths not because he is behind (although he is) but because he loves maths a lot. I thought he could do with the confidence boost.

Do you know of any specialist dyspraxia (also dyslexia) groups/tutorials/Saturday or holiday schools?

TheFirstOfHerName Mon 18-May-15 19:15:26

Things that were useful:
Learning self-organisation.
Being able to tackle homework independently.
Taking responsibility for own learning.
A reasonable typing speed.
The ability to research things on the internet and judge how reliable the information is.
Basic knowledge of Word, Publisher and PowerPoint.

Things that were less useful:
Reading records.
The difference between one sublevel and another in KS2 SATs.

TeenAndTween Mon 18-May-15 19:59:04

re Dyspraxia groups. No idea, sorry. We only got the diagnosis 5 months ago and DD is now already mid-GCSEs.

I also in theory agree with First's list above, though due to dyspraxia the organisation, independent homework, own learning and research have never really been sorted in our house.

ladydepp Mon 18-May-15 22:08:03

I would have made mine do the touch typing course that was offered in Y4. I still might get them to do one but the earlier the better imo.

I was never particularly wrapped up in it but reading levels DO NOT matter unless they are extremely below average. Just read to them, hear them read, let them see you read etc...

Homework in primary is mostly pointless so don't fret about it or let your child fret about it.

Learning to play with lots of other children is v important so have lots of different kids over to play if you can stand it and your DC is happy to do so.

TheFirstOfHerName Mon 18-May-15 23:03:14

due to dyspraxia the organisation, independent homework, own learning and research have never really been sorted in our house.

Yes, these skills are still a work in progress for DS1 (dyspraxic traits) and DS2 (ASD & ADHD) but every bit of practice helps! grin

TheFirstOfHerName Mon 18-May-15 23:05:19

I also discovered after the end of Y7 exams that both of my older two boys had no idea how to approach revision. Although they had done some preparation for SATs, that is not the same as having to revise topic-based subjects or learn MFL vocabulary.

Davros Mon 18-May-15 23:08:03

DD went to sessions on Saturdays at Dyslexia Action. Seemed very good.

steppemum Mon 18-May-15 23:26:57

Thefirst

ds is year 7, we have just discovered this!

TeenAndTween Tue 19-May-15 08:00:56

TheFirst I agree every bit of practice helps.

DD is much improved on where she was and can now cope with all the day to day organisation, and will now use lists to help her remember stuff. But the extra stuff she has had in the last few months due to y11 and GCSEs has been too much. If she were now in y9 she would be coping fine!

I'm hoping that dropping to fewer subjects next year, and the extra support available at 6th form college, will mean she can cope with much less help from me.

Yes also, definitely, revision is a skill that needs to be taught and practiced, so by the time you get to y11 you know what works best for you. All these mind maps and highlighting is useless for DD. Simple straightforward index cards work best for her brain.

nooka Tue 19-May-15 08:20:56

If I had known that ds's organisational skills and academic motivation would come in their own good time I would have been a lot less stressed when he was younger. This year (at just turned 16) he is looking to get an over 80% average in English, and really enjoying critical appraisal something I would have thought completely impossible back in the screaming at the suggestion of any reading practice days.

I do wish that I had explored tutoring for his writing skills given what a transformation six sessions of synthetics phonics tutoring made to his reading (he is dyslexic).

Don't think I would have done anything very different for dd except maybe encourage her to make friends from a wider circle so that she might have been less hurt when her best friends stuck the knife into her at the end of primary school.

gleegeek Tue 19-May-15 10:16:17

I wish I'd realised that being the youngest girl in the school and being put in a 'young' half of the year class would mean expectations would be low from Year R and this would then follow dd up the school. How many parents evenings did I have to sit through being told dd was doing 'fine' when I could see she wasn't working hard at all??? Year 2 SATs would then dictate expectations for year 6 SATS, and year 6 SATS would be used at secondary to predict GCSE levels?!? Even dd realised when she left primary that she had never worked very hard. I was very relaxed about it all thinking school knew best, but I wish I'd thumped the table a little harder!
Fortunately (touch wood) secondary seem to be gradually pushing her a bit more, so fingers crossed it won't be too late...

canny1234 Tue 19-May-15 10:27:09

To realise that teachers are fallible and are often wrong about your child.Take parents evening with a large pinch of salt.Follow your own intuition as you are the one who knows your child best.If you think there is an issue investigate yourself ie: in the case of Dyslexia get an independent diagnosis.My children's school completely missed ds1's dyslexia when he was tested in school.
Some children absolutely hate infants but love school later on ( ds2 one of them).This would have saved me hours of worry!
Finally when there are teaching issues and you are worried that your children are not being pushed,be your childs best advocate .If this doesn't work, realise that in the scheme of things bright children will learn,in spite of poor teaching and will find their own level.Dyslexic children really won't,and will need one to one help .Also please praise and appreciate good inspiring teachers as these will make a huge impact on their pupils lives.

Aigle Tue 19-May-15 11:47:44

A nicely worded question...I suppose the one thing would have been work on literacy more. Writing projects, diaries, speeches. The school set enough homework and encouraged this kind of activity, but at the end of the day as a parent I failed to make it happen. DS was "resistant" to say the least, and eventually the prospect of spending 50 minutes of encouraging, cajoling, insisting, threatening, bribing, persuading, pleading to get 5-10 minutes of output wore me down. In theory I could have gone Tigermum and gone ballistic until everything scheduled was done, but I felt emotional well being for both of us was more important. So of course I'm plagued by doubt about whether I did enough (as I certainly didn't do too much!) but I suppose only time will tell. I think to some extent it depends on the child's learning personality, although some parents do seem to dispense with such fluffy notions and get the job done.

Minifingers9 Tue 19-May-15 12:09:38

"Things that were useful:
Learning self-organisation.
Being able to tackle homework independently.
Taking responsibility for own learning.
A reasonable typing speed.
The ability to research things on the internet and judge how reliable the information is.
Basic knowledge of Word, Publisher and PowerPoint."

My dd left primary school with level 5's in her SATS but unable to do any of the above apart from typing and some IT skills.

Secondary has been a disaster and she looks set to leave school with no GCSE's. Her main problem has been her inability to work independently and to organise herself. My ds is coming up to the end of primary and he's the same. He'll probably leave with a level 6 in maths, and 5's in literacy, but his writing is weak whatever the SATS level says. I'm really concerned about him starting secondary this year and will be helping him to get on track with organisational skills.

NynaevesSister Tue 19-May-15 13:01:26

Wow thanks everyone. That's great advice. I have been a gating over maths and reading, I hadn't really thought about the rest of it.

So very very glad I asked.

SecretSquirrels Tue 19-May-15 13:02:30

If I had known that ds's organisational skills and academic motivation would come in their own good time I would have been a lot less stressed when he was younger.
DS was "resistant" to say the least, and eventually the prospect of spending 50 minutes of encouraging, cajoling, insisting, threatening, bribing, persuading, pleading to get 5-10 minutes of output wore me down

YES to these.
Both of mine were very resistant to doing homework at primary. It was the cause of most parent child conflict and in hindsight - pointless.
Both left secondary school with all A*/A in GCSE and I don't believe that homework made a jot of difference.

What did help? I forced DS2 to learn his tables by rote the old fashioned way because they were not taught it in school. (DS1 was apparently born knowing his tables).
What would have helped? Good old fashioned typing.

gleegeek Tue 19-May-15 17:27:02

I agree typing skills would have been fantastic. Also all round IT confidence which some dc seem to have from home, but as I'm a technophobe, look to school to assist. Dd also never showed much interest and we didn't push it...

BackforGood Tue 19-May-15 18:33:18

Not differently for mine - this happened for them anyway, but reading so many threads on here, I think it makes a lot of sense to encourage them to have friendships from all sorts of different places and not rely on one or two 'best buddies' as they will be unlikely to be able to remain with them as they transfer into secondary. Encourage them to mix with others from cubs or swimming or football or even after school clubs from school or wherever they meet people. encourage them to go along and try new things and meet new people as much as possible before they start becoming more self concious as they get into puberty.

drummersmum Tue 19-May-15 21:20:48

Giving thanks for every minute spent with them, for having them home early, for the lack of homework, for the possibility of doing things together as a family on weekends.

tropicalfish Tue 19-May-15 21:39:34

I would say delay onset of smart phone disease / ipads and arrival of headphones. Give them an appreciation of enjoying the outdoors and having some fresh air and enjoying nature, perhaps growing plants from seeds.. teaching them to nurture things.

lljkk Wed 20-May-15 21:35:34

I should have pulled DS out by end of yr4 after he was miserable for 8 months already, and not hoped things could be sorted out. I waited until end yr5 to move him to another school.

NynaevesSister Thu 21-May-15 08:06:50

Oh dear! How is he doing now?

lljkk Thu 21-May-15 08:14:57

He's 15yo now. There is a legacy from the bullying, he still lacks social confidence and can't brush things off easily. His slightly younger sister is wildly confident and resilient. When they were young children he was the bold cheery one & she was the super shy clingy can't-do-it one.

I was bullied a lot worse than DS when I was similar age which is why I was slow to understand how bad it still was for him. Argh

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now