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I've given up with my dd and A levels

(51 Posts)
Louloulemoni Tue 14-Nov-17 17:48:47

Dd moved to a state 6th form last year. She took history biology and RS As levels in June. Got DUE. school have allowed her to stay and repeat year 12 with different subjects. Shes now doing RS a level in may and sports science a level and health care BTEC next year.

She's been assessed by the school Senco and given extra time. All her teachers say she works hard. But she's already getting ds and es for her sports essays. She has a test in a week on sports psychology - this is something that she's expressed an interest in doing at university. I asked her what it was on and she barely knew the names or the theories involved.

I've had sleepless nights over this, I am CONVINCED she is just not working hard enough. She doesn't do that much in the evenings, she gets her essays done and thats it. She failed a paper on anatomy but AFAIK hasn't done anything since to learn it. She's saying she just can't do academics, that she tries but gets shit results anyway. And I know this sounds mean but I've had enough. I nursed her through changing her a levels, found her a college where she could have done btecs but she refused to go. She rubbishes the health care btec as being 'for stupid people' and yet says a levels are too hard.

I have an appointment booked with an Ed psych but quite frankly I will be pissed off if I spend 600 quid and she's just not working hard enough!!

Our communication has really broken down over this and she now refuses to talk to me. However, if I say ok fine just get on with it, she says I don't help her confused

Dh is as much use as a chocolate teapot. I'm so sick of it all

babyturtles Tue 14-Nov-17 17:51:37

Some people aren't suited for college and further education at 16-18.

Let her sort herself out, if she fails, she fails - then she can get a job and crack on in the world.

If she wants to do it, and she wants your support then by all means carry on and see an ed psych confused. Ask her opinion before carrying on as if she's a 6 yo.

calamityjam Tue 14-Nov-17 17:55:09

Presuming she is nearly 18, have you considered stepping back and leaving her to it? What's the worst that can happen here? She fails and has to get a job. Not the end of the world, she maybe could benefit from working for a year then doing an access to HE course if she still wants to go to uni

Louloulemoni Tue 14-Nov-17 18:03:35

Ask her opinion before carrying on as if she's a 6 yo

I am carrying on likes she's a 6 year old because that's what she acts like. If she didn't want my help and just got on with it without me I'd be delighted!!

Louloulemoni Tue 14-Nov-17 18:04:01

I am stepping back!

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Tue 14-Nov-17 18:04:58

How did she do in GCSEs?

Louloulemoni Tue 14-Nov-17 18:07:31

3 As, 4 Bs, 2 Cs

BlackandWhitepostcards Tue 14-Nov-17 18:14:17

I don't know if my parents are in the minority here but they genuinely wouldn't have even known which A Levels I was sitting, never mind my essay grades etc. By 17/18 I was living a very independent life and my folks just let me get on with it. At that age I would've found it very stifling if my mum had been as involved in my studies and I would've found it really strange if any of my friends parents were involved like this too. What will you do if she does go to uni? Will you oversee everything then as well? She might be in another city to you, another country even.
I personally would just leave her to it. She's almost an adult.

Louloulemoni Tue 14-Nov-17 18:16:47

Oh fgs. I don't Want to oversee any if it! I'd be thrilled if she went to uni and I didn't know anything about anything! She demands my time, demands that I help. It's a complete PITA

Wormulonian Tue 14-Nov-17 18:28:29

Her GCSE's suggest she should have been capable of A levels. A lot of students do badly in the AS levels and it gives them a jolt to improve but it seems not for your DD. Does she enjoy sixth form or is she disengaged? This happened my DD she didn't like it and kind of gave up. Life didn't live up to her expectations. It took her 2 years of bumming around and trying to get a job and volunteering and doing some shop work (which she found horrendous as they searched your bags, only gave you a break every 6 hours and hassled you about till targets) and a lot of worry on my part for her to decide that uni was the best option. She is working hard at uni now (they took her with lower grades than their A level offer but she could have done an access course or a repeat as an external candidate if all else failed). It's a hard time for many.

Why did the SENCO think she needed extra exam time? Perhaps she doesn't understand how to structure essays - A level essays are a big step up from GCSE and many students struggle as questions are shorter and more guided at GCSE.

EastMidsGPs Tue 14-Nov-17 18:29:46

Are you really convinced this is a not working hard enough problem?

I wonder if Levels and into a uni course is the route that is best for your daughter. A Levels do not suit everyone.

Personally I'd have talk to your daughter, her personal tutor and her subject tutors. If she is struggling or miserable at college, the longer it goes on the more disheartened she'll get and consequently feel a failure.

There are other options, not everyone has to be ready for uni at 18.


Explore all options, maybe a year out with a part time job?

For what it is worth a relative of ours was asked to leave 6th form at the end of AS. She found an apprenticeship, and as a result of completing this, will be starting a uni foundation year in Sept.
Her parents were disappointed at the time, but we've all seen her grow into a mature and confident young woman - who we know will do fine at uni.

splatattack Tue 14-Nov-17 18:32:10

Can I ask if your daughter went to an independent school for her GCSE's?

Louloulemoni Tue 14-Nov-17 18:34:42

No she didn't splat attack

splatattack Tue 14-Nov-17 18:44:34

Then those are really great GCSE's and she should be able to cope with A-Level. If her SEN was extreme she would have been flagged before at GCSE so I'm not sure that is holding her back. The jump from GCSE to A-Level is huge and requires a lot of independent work from the student. GCSE's can be spoon fed and A-Level's can't. Obviously I don't know your daughter but I suspect that even if she looks like she is working she clearly isn't working in the right way. She needs to step up and decide if she wants to push for these qualifications or go down a different route...nothing wrong with that and I think that you are being incredibly understanding, supportive and fair..

Kez100 Tue 14-Nov-17 18:45:45

I fear there is little you can do. If she is asking for help then she needs to make a study plan and you can help with that. And what is her essay feedback - forget the grade what is it that she's being told is missing.then she can concentrate on content (if it's that) or approach student services (for essay structure help). I guess I'd go to parents evening too in these circumstances. Hear what they have to say and try and nail any help needed. The rest will then be down to her.

Oh, and the three "stupid" people in our house that did BTECs instead of A levels are all working and are a chartered accountant, freelance photographer, and computer specialist.

Louloulemoni Tue 14-Nov-17 18:48:25

Oh, and the three "stupid" people in our house that did BTECs instead of A levels are all working and are a chartered accountant, freelance photographer, and computer specialist grinthat's great

AnyFucker Tue 14-Nov-17 18:50:10

I have a son in year 12

I don't interfere in his 'A' level work

I suspect he is going to fail at them all. Once he did his GCSE's we decided we were done. The feeling of freedom is brilliant

If he stuffs them up he only has himself to blame. No amount of chivvying, spoonfeeding and nagging from us will make a blind bit of difference

Free yourself !

AnyFucker Tue 14-Nov-17 18:51:34

Erk, I think I mean year 13

That's how much of my precious headspace his education is taking up grin

WestRyderPauperLunatic Tue 14-Nov-17 18:57:26

SEN can be diagnosed at any stage, I was diagnosed with dyspraxia at university. Ultimately though, whether or not she has SEN, to achieve academically she will need to be self-motivated. It's hard but you've got to disengage, OP. And £600 is cheap for an ed psych assessment!

lljkk Tue 14-Nov-17 19:02:27

You need to support her to find a way forward.
That may involve listening respectfully to her plans that you don't think are viable, and restraining yourself from saying why they are unrealistic or making her feel bad when her efforts don't work out (for reasons you find maddeningly obvious).

I know she's maddening (teens are maddening), but you need to step back so you can catch her when she falls .. and then be able to help her steady herself & find a new way forward.

I hope the metaphors aren't maddening, too. wink

TractorTedTed Tue 14-Nov-17 19:03:00

I would say that a student with those sorts of grades, who works really hard at A-level should be able to get Cs and Ds at A-level.

But it does depend on whether she is now taking the subjects she got As in at A-Level.

BlackandWhitepostcards Tue 14-Nov-17 19:14:04

No need to 'oh fgs' me op, I was trying to offer constructive advice based on my own experience.
My parents were exactly like AnyFucker ^^ Just take a step back and let her get on with it.

WestRyderPauperLunatic Tue 14-Nov-17 19:21:50

My parents were very laidback, like BlackandWhite's, but I think parents should at least know what subjects their DC are studying! And have some idea of how they're doing.

SueSueDonahue Tue 14-Nov-17 19:24:17

I’d be livid too.

When there are children who really value education and don’t have easy access to it, to witness someone throwing it away when they have such easy access is intensely upsetting.

I met a teenager my daughter’s age in Ethiopia last year. She was sitting on a stool in a dirty courtyard with a battered out of date text book studying for A levels while simultaneously trying to make sure her younger sibling didn’t accidentally kill themselves. I talked for ages with her and she wanted to practise her English, and I held the baby (praying it didn’t wee on me as I had no access to washing facilities!). Her determination was palatable and all it is is an accident of birth that means her education is a struggle while teens in the UK piss about at school and college and make a mockery of the opportunities they have.

I am going to print out our photo together and put it up somewhere. Perhaps it’ll sink in a little to my over privileged children how truly lucky they are... But most of all to remind me as their parent that education is a gift and a privilege and I can’t let them underachieve.

Waiting for them to realise is too late. If they’ve got to be 16, 17, 18 and not working, it’s a tragedy really.

@Louloulemoni I hope you can get through to her. I know it must be like banging your head against a wall, but this is such a waste for her if she drops out. I don’t agree with taking a step back.

I think this is an inherent problem further down the education line in the UK, as it doesn’t seem a problem in danish or Norwegian schools and colleges (for example) that kids just don’t work or don’t want to achieve their potential.

LemonysSnicket Tue 14-Nov-17 19:25:49

If she's struggling this much at A level there is literally no point in her going to Uni ...

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