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DD2 and homework - any thoughts?

(106 Posts)
lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 13:53:41

Following on from PolterGoose's vids, I thought I'd upload the videos of DD2 doing her homework. They're quite long, so I don't blame you if you don't watch it all, or any!

Sentence 1 takes just under 20 minutes to produce 'We were going to the shop today because we needed to buy food.'

It has her more erratic outbursty reactions.

Sentence 2 was 12 minutes to produce 'Who are they? They look funny.'

It has her more 'happy flappy' behaviour.

I'd love any observations/comments/views, if you are bored and have the time.

PolterGoose Argentina Sun 26-Jan-14 13:57:03

The first one is marked private, second one loads ok, will look in a bit.

lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 13:59:28

I've changed the privacy on the first one now, PolterGoose smile

The first one is where she's really stroppy with me...grrr

homework Sun 26-Jan-14 15:01:15

Been there , still have periods of this , but from what I can gather watching my friends kids and niece doing homework , they all have periods of this not just our kids with additional needs .
There all of the opinon that when school finished , that should be it . If only !

ToffeeWhirl Sun 26-Jan-14 15:14:56

In the first video, your DD seems tired already, which isn't a good start. I would have given up on it much earlier, to be honest, as it was clear that she wasn't in the right frame of mind and it was only going to lead to tension and upset for both of you.

She seems much calmer in the second one, but loses confidence when you correct her on her writing. Perhaps you should give her reminders at the start of her homework time, then bite your tongue if she gets it wrong when she's working.

ouryve Sun 26-Jan-14 15:48:15

I'll have a look once the boys are in bed. Can't hear myself think, at the moment.

lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 16:07:42

Thanks for that, ToffeeWhirl.

It was DD2's suggestion to do the homework then. She reacts to stress by those tired signs, so I think it was her stress showing more than tiredness, IYSWIM.

It's hard with the correction, I agree. Her teacher has said to help her at home, but if left to her own devices there would be no/few capitals, no finger spaces, writing that becomes so small you can't read it or so big you can't fit it on the page, no connectives, and a 2 or 3 word sentence. Then she gets corrective comments in her book.

Perhaps I should just tell her once, but if I do she says I'm not helping her enough.

PolterGoose Argentina Sun 26-Jan-14 16:10:42

I've watched. I have seen her in real life and she does have a somewhat dreamy ethereal 'look' so I didn't assume she was tired smile

She reminded me (again) of ds. We has similar struggles with sentences (thankfully he doesn't do them anymore) Especially her imposing rules that probably are her own, eg must be a true sentence. I managed to get ds's teacher to tell ds explicitly that sentences could be silly or nonsensical, they were just to show he could use the word. This made life a lot easier. All the rubbing out to make it right and perfect are familiar too.

I probably wouldn't have stopped her using 'stuff', and I used to agree a sentence then go off to 'check dinner' or some other excuse to leave the room while he wrote it down. But I get the feeling your dd wouldn't do that wink

I've used different techniques at different times. I've used incentives, so if ds had 5 sentences he'd have a bowl with 5 sweets or small biscuits in and be able to have one after every sentence. We've also used a timer, so we've guessed how long we think it will take and them timed it to see who was closest.

It was very interesting watching it after the discussions about my ds and his homework, you too sound very calm but I wonder how exasperated you really were grin

lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 16:13:39

Just now, she's come to me and said:

'Mum, how do you spell 'course'?'

We're encouraged to help the children by helping them to use their strategies learned at school. So I said:

'What sounds does course have?'
'Oh for goodness sake, I don't know!'
'Use your Fred fingers, DD2.'
'C' 'o' 'r'
'Fred can't do spelling, he can only do sounds, so...'
'I already know Fred, you don't have to introduce us!!'

And so it goes on.

I could, of course, just say 'c' 'o' 'u' 'r' 's' 'e', but it won't help her learn. She's in Year 2 and seems to be going backwards, not forwards.

lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 16:22:57

Thank you PolterGoose smile

Yes, I probably should have let her use 'stuff'.

Perhaps incentives would be a good thing to try. She is incredibly food orientated. I could get some small sweet/chocolates....or iced gems would work, actually - she'd love to choose which colour iced gem to have.

lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 16:24:16

I thought it was quite striking how different she was in sentence one and sentence two. They were broken up only by a trip to the toilet. I sometimes wonder if her 'crazy girl' moves are all a bit of displacement/avoidance or simply a stress reliever.

Handywoman Sun 26-Jan-14 16:27:20

Such a bright, bright, girl!!! Given the levels of anxiety I am amazed at how readily she accepts comments, revisions and corrections (my dd2 cannot tolerate me speaking at all while she is writing, nor can she cope with having to rub out). Her main anxiety seems by far to be the 'starting', doesn't it.

I would deffo have not attempted the first sentence after the initial outburst. I often leave the homework out all day and quickly choose a calm moment rather than start then persist, persist, persist. I also let her write a rubbish sentence because I would rather she write her own thoughts so the teacher knows what she can do! And it makes the whole task seem achievable then. For my dd2 'any' output is great (I know that sounds shabby). I wonder if your dd2 would benefit from using the Incredible 5-point scale to grade her emotions/anxiety and do a chart for voice volume, maybe that would get her to come back down again. It works well for my dd2, we just say 'I'm at a Number 3 or 4' so I need to do X instead. You can photocopy bits from www.incrediblefivepointscale.com

I would also suggest using visual rather than verbal prompting, in this case, write the word 'were' and leave it in front of her, then let her get on with it. She did very well, I think, my dd2 is currently doing lots of words about connectives and she is 2 years older than your dd2! Love that dd2 of yours thanks

Handywoman Sun 26-Jan-14 16:32:10

my dd2 also has the same dreamy/ethereal look!

lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 16:32:50

Thanks Handy smile

She had the word 'were' in the chart she was filling in. Each word was written by the teacher, then there were two lines for her sentence.

I'll look at the incrediblefivepointscale in a minute or two.

I used to let her do whatever came to her mind, but at parents evening the teacher said I should help her to produce work that meets the objectives. Which would be fine, but she's got 6 targets for each sentence (half of which she shouldn't need as targets now, but she doesn't use finger spaces consistently, etc., so they are additional targets). Then, when she does meet those targets, she gets comments such as 'please make sure your writing sits on the line.'

I'm just grateful there's any writing on the page, let alone whether it sits on a line sad

Handywoman Sun 26-Jan-14 16:36:57

IMO homework is for 'showing what you know'. I don't think your dd2's teacher is fair to expect you to get her to meet all 6 flipping targets, tbh especially given the levels of anxiety: 1 target should be enough. Clearly the more she writes the better she'll get at everything (my dd2 used to write microscopically without finger spaces, eventually it sorted itself out, practice is all that's required).

lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 16:38:00

And I was utterly exasperated, Polter blush sad

I love her so much and I can see she's so bright, but she's falling so far behind because she can't move beyond her restrictive rules about everything.

I think rubbing things out is the worst thing. I was sure they had moved to just crossing it out, but DD2 says she crosses too much out so she has to rub it out now. grin thegirlwhobroketheysystem

Handywoman Sun 26-Jan-14 16:44:58

five point scale downloads here

PolterGoose Argentina Sun 26-Jan-14 16:51:25

I think the restrictive rules are the hardest thing IME. Ds is extremely creative but gets stuck because of the 'rules'. And 6 targets is too many.

Like Handy's dd, my ds wouldn't have been so accepting of my comments, which is why I now hold back as much as I can.

I did think her pen grip looked fine, I was viewing on my phone but it looked like mine, which isn't perfect but it's ok.

Does she write for pleasure? At around that age ds started making books, an endless series of the things! They did wonders for his writing. They were mostly A4 sheets, about 3 or 4, folded in half and stapled, he'd do a cover and a blurb. I think they did more for his writing than anything school ever did.

I'd try giving her some fidgets at the table and maybe get a Move'n'Sit for home.

Handywoman Sun 26-Jan-14 16:55:12

Agree with Polter re Move'n'Sit and fidget toys. She looks very much to me like she craves sensory input.

My dd2 will never write for pleasure. Would your dd2 write about animals and their inner workings, Lougle? Is she still interested in that?

lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 17:01:40

Her targets are:

1. To leave a finger space between words.
2. To write a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence only.
3. To write in sentences using a capital letter and full stop most of the time.
4. To begin to use exclamation and question marks
5. To write letters in cursive style.
6. To join ideas with 'and', 'but', 'so', 'because'.

Corrections:
Make sure your writing is on the line.
Speech marks added to previous homework.

lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 17:03:20

I think (from what DD2 said) she's getting a move 'n' sit for school.

That's the thing - there's no joined up thinking. They've given her a pen grip at school, but it stays at school. I could buy one for home, but they haven't told me yet a) what it's called or b) whether it's working.

DD2's mentioned the cushion, the teacher hasn't said a word.

Handywoman Sun 26-Jan-14 17:10:11

I think having 6 targets are fine as long term objectives but if 6 targets are appropriate, asking for them in one piece of homework is excessive. Our school gives a guideline of 20mins for homework. Even if your dd2 did not have her anxiety/sensory/rigidity issues, achieving 6 literacy targets in one piece of work would require concentration and self-motivation beyond the capacity of your average Y2 pupil.

I hear you re: the no joined up thinking. Are these interventions going into an IEP, Lougle?

OneInEight Sun 26-Jan-14 17:14:56

Admire your patience - I am never so patient with the boys.

I too would have let her use "stuff" but for a different reason. It was actually the only word she produced voluntarily all the rest were yours. So I think she needed to be praised for that rather than told it was not a proper word.

I also wondered if you were giving her too many choices. So for instance when she couldn't decide between the two connectives you complicated the decision still further by giving her a third.

I am surprised they have given so many targets - think the boys only ever had three to works towards.

lougle Sun 26-Jan-14 17:25:40

To be fair, I think the 6 targets are long term ish. However, if she doesn't achieve them in her homework, then she gets corrections dotted all over the page and comments about the what she hasn't done. Perhaps my fault for trying to give her a successful piece of work.

Totally my fault for giving her an extra choice. At the time, I saw it as giving her more to choose from, rather than complicating the choice but you're right.

I flipping hate it all. The whole thing.

No IEP that I know of. No SA/SA+ that I know of. No acknowledgement of any SN/SEN by teacher. SENCO nodding when I mention SN to her, and has suggested ASD, off the record, but officially...who knows??

Handywoman Sun 26-Jan-14 17:40:12

IEP and everything else should be needs based, though, shouldn't it. If SENCO is suggesting ASD, she must be seeing potential 'needs'.

I have personally never given 'comments on homework' any thought because I know my dd2 is a square peg in a round hole when it comes to attempting written work at home - there are extra challenges. If it's been properly attempted, then that's fine smile

I know that our SENCO would definitely not expect ANY persistence with homework with those levels of anxiety. It's a subject we have discussed before. Not saying you are wrong to try, but you haven't been given much guidance by your CT/SENCO have you... perhaps they will understand the difficulties better if they see the video? Will you show them?

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