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To insist that dc1 is doing some revisions

(23 Posts)
AristotleTheGreat Mon 06-Jun-16 12:48:39

Dc1 is in Y7 and they have an end of year test.
His attitude is the same than for the rest of the year, do as little as he can, eg just what the teacher is telling him to do and that's it.
The thing is, they have been told that there is an end of year test. They have been told it will be used to put people in sets but apparently, none of the teachers have told them to do any revisions bar the 'head of History' (but then it's not his teacher so it doesn't count anyway hmm).

So he is kicking and screaming each time I ask him if he has done anything and that really he needs to get on with it. Nothing got done during the holidays despite repeated reminders.

So do I leave him to it, probably not get as good results as he can but hope he will learn from his mistakes or should I insist he is doing some revisions and be on his back for the next two weeks?

HangingRockPicnic Mon 06-Jun-16 13:08:20

I've got an unmotivated Year 7 too. I'm not sure what the answer is. I was always left to get on with it and parents would never have shown an interest in my homework or helped draw up a revision timetable/checked i had the right equipment, looking back i think friends whose parents were more involved benefitted from that. Dd has her exams this week and we were given info about revision for all subjects a couple of weeks ago, plus it's been gone over in lessons. Is it possible your dc's teachers will give out revision info this week and do revision in class?

What i did is help dd draw up a revision timetable of a subject a day and then help her revise/test her on stuff. Approx an hour a day so she had the rest of the day free (half term.)

clarrrp Mon 06-Jun-16 13:09:22

I've found that turning the wifi off and hiding the x box controllers has had a wonderful effect on my kids motivation to study.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Mon 06-Jun-16 13:16:57

Year 7 is quite young to be doing an hour of revision per day for a single test...

Will he be having tests for every subject?

Do the teachers want them to revise? Could it be the tests are intended to be of understanding rather than knowledge? For example a reading comprehension test for English, an analysis of primary sources for history, writing up an experiment under test conditions in science? It could be the children have not been told to revise because it won't be particularly helpful.

It sounds very depressing to be doing an hour of revision a day in year 7...

The ability to write up an exam timetable and manage time is a useful skill I agree - however if he is unmotivated he won't take much in. Its a good thing to offer advice on at a "teachable moment" when he actually has been told to revise though! Perhaps in year 9 more than year 7!

I also strongly disagree that parents should be overly involved in directing children's school work as they go through the exam years (later, hopefully). My parents had nothing at all to do with my school work and I achieved far more as a self motivated A level student than I would have been if my parents had been interfering. I would have resented it and rebelled and acted like the child they were treating me as if they had tried to arrange my revision for me - by GCSE and A level young people should most certainly be taking responsibility for their own school work.

AristotleTheGreat Mon 06-Jun-16 13:20:26

We've had lots of issues with the Internet/tablets/electronic devices in general this year as he has been coming back home on his own and spent 2 hours alone. He became a real pain TBH.
So we've implemented very strict controls which means he can't go and play too much even he wants and tries to.

That helped general behaviour but not on a homework pov.

I've asked him to draw a general 'timetable' for the revision. This was met with eye rolling etc...
The thing is, I don't know exactely what he has done in every subject. Notebooks are at school usually so I can't go and have a look. There is no way I can draw a timetable for him wo taking the risk of missing something (and then it will be MY fault if he does badly in that particular area)

AristotleTheGreat Mon 06-Jun-16 13:23:08

Schaw I agree with you about the power of letting him getting on with it.

This is what I have done so far. Result is very little revision ever for any test at all. Some times he still did well and at other times he didn't.
He is still refusing to acknowledge revising would have helped though.

Balletgirlmum Mon 06-Jun-16 13:30:36

Both my two (yr 7 & yr 9) in two very different schools have been given revision lists, timetables & no homework for the past 2 weeks as they have been expected to revise for tests this week.

The week before half term I got them to follOw their normal homework timetable but revising instead so between 2-3 X 20-30 mins each night.

Over half term they did 2-3 subjects per day about half an hour each subject. With ds a lot was remedial/exsm techniwue work.

However this week which is actual exam week I won't make them do any work after school as I feel they need the break.

artlessflirt Mon 06-Jun-16 13:31:25

I would say leave him to it. If he does badly, it might prompt him to be more motivated next time. I still remember getting an absolutely awful result in a maths test once because I didn't revise and it spurred me on to try harder next time.

Obviously if it doesn't have that affect then helping to draw up revision timetables, etc in the future may be helpful.

To be honest, I think Y7 isn't the year to be worrying about this. As he gets to GCSE years it's going to be much more important. Plenty of time for him to get some motivation and, if he does end up in lower sets, to improve.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Mon 06-Jun-16 13:31:37

If his notebooks are in school he won't be able to revise anyway wink

If you are really worried could you ask for a 5 minute phone meeting/ phone call with his form tutor or head of year just to get the official line on whether revision is expected for these end of year tests.

I used to be a secondary school teacher but it was many years ago. Back then we'd pretty well know by the end of year 7 which sets which children would go into (we did mixed ability in year 7 in our core subject and sets from year 8). There was a test given to the children at the end of the year (not one they would be expected to revise for at all) but really it was only relevant for tweaking set groups/ children who were on the boarder line and we were undecided about/ where there were just too many kids who could go into the top sets and some had to go into the middle sets to avoid having 32+ kids per set!

Things may have changed but I doubt that there is that much riding on the year 7 end of year tests - performance throughout the year should carry more weight.

Balletgirlmum Mon 06-Jun-16 13:32:19

My two both have aspergers do need a bit more help than usual in organisation though dd who is the year 9 works much more independently these days.

MyMurphy Mon 06-Jun-16 13:32:33

I would email the school and ask them to make sure that he has his workbooks to revise from, he can't revise at home without them. Then you can supervise/test him.

dingit Mon 06-Jun-16 13:34:36

Ha ha ha. My ds in year 10 has a GCSE next week, he has done barely the square route of fuck all. I'm hoping the mediocre grade he gets will make him buck up his ideas next year.
If you can get your dc to a bit in year 7 it's not going to hurt.

Believeitornot Mon 06-Jun-16 13:36:35

I wouldn't tell him how to revise eg with revision timetables but I would sit him down and explain the consequences of not revising. Have a proper talk with him, let him air his views about why he won't do it.

I would then tell him you're not going to keep checking but expect him to revise. Basically give him the responsibility. It is a shift for him - secondary school you're much more independent.

And if he doesn't do as well then express your disappointment etc.

So I'm saying stand back now. Keep up the devices restrictions etc and enforce homework time but if he chooses not to revise or work then he has to deal with it

MyKingdomForBrie Mon 06-Jun-16 13:37:32

I would tend to leave him to it - if it's for sets then it's probably best for him to be in the set he naturally falls into without being pushed super hard for a test which then won't reflect his natural ability/inclination. I don't suppose he'll learn much from forced revision of an entire year either.

AristotleTheGreat Mon 06-Jun-16 13:49:10

God he is nowhere pushed hard! So far he has organised himself wo any input from me and as I said, there has been some mixed results.
But even when he is doing quite well, I know that he could do much better with a tiny bit of work.

Workbooks have been an issue all year round. A lot of the stuff is suposed to be on the school website so no need to the notebooks but then others don't and still others have some stuff but not everything....

I know, though, that the thing with sets is that, if he isn't in the top sets in maths/science, he won't be able to do the double/triple science etc.. So won't be able to do his Alevels maths/science and this is THE one thing he wants to do....
So even though, on paper, it's not that important, actually the sets he will be next year ARE.
I have explained that to him (He didn't know and certainly hadn't realised that) but he seems to so über confident that he doesn't need to make the extra effort sad

AristotleTheGreat Mon 06-Jun-16 13:50:46

Sorry probably not very clear. The set he is at the end of Y8 (which will be in some ways linked to what he is achieving this year) will determined what he is doing in Y9,10 and 11.

mummymeister Mon 06-Jun-16 13:57:46

There is no advantage in nagging or getting cross. this will have absolutely no effect whatsoever.

However, get him on the computer next to you and show him what is expected to say do a degree in Maths or science, show him how this cascades down to a level choices and before then GCSE's.

unfortunately, he is still of the age (and probably the mindset) of what we call in our family "daddy do" or "mummy do". in other words up until now, if he has wanted something the parents sort it out and make it happen. the transition from the mummy do years are tough because at some point they realise that if this is what THEY want then THEY have to put the effort into get it. mummy and daddy cant fix it for them.

Just had a similar issue with one of my DC. despite me saying what is needed at gcse and a level to do the degree dc wants, I wasn't believed. however one of my other dc sat at the computer and showed the steps going backwards and leading to this years end of year exams. the finger was pulled out. perhaps this is what your ds needs.

HangingRockPicnic Mon 06-Jun-16 14:09:36

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne I assume you were referring to my dd? She did approx an hour per subject in total for the main subjects. Not an hour per subject per day. Not excessive imo and she wouldn't have covered what they were asked to do if she'd done a lot less. I guess we are all different but dd was appreciative of my help and I'd have loved more support of my studies.

steppemum Mon 06-Jun-16 14:12:33

he sounds just like ds last year.

He is at a super selective grammar, so they work quite hard anyway. he was told they had end of year tests, but the idea of REVISING or preparing in anyway was so alien, he just wouldn't do it.
Came to a bit of a head over his French exam as he patently knew nothing form the whole year hmm

I left him to it. Once he had had the exams, he got it more why he should have done some work.

This year (year 8) they have been told they have exams and their homework is to revise. He has done some over the half term, and is planning on lots of one night cramming sessions over the next 2 weeks. I have had to back off quite a lot, and say that he will only learn by doing /not doing it.
Interestingly, maths is his best subject and he spectacularly failed a mid year test, after not doing any revision. he was OK on his re-take. But which subject has he done most work on this half term? Maths, because he knows he can't make the same mistake twice.

I do think it actually helps them to get a bad mark sometimes.

hellsbells99 Mon 06-Jun-16 14:19:38

Why are his books in school? I presume you mean the books he writes in?
Could he try using BBC Bitesize?
I think he does need some help and guidance from you in terms of doing a basic timetable and suggestions of how to revise. This is probably the first time he has ever needed to revise and if you can help him this time, it will hopefully set up a pattern for him to follow next year.

EarthboundMisfit Mon 06-Jun-16 14:33:22

I would actually have really benefited from some parental input into my studies at that age. There was nothing, except lots of yelling every parents' evening when they were told I didn't do my homework. I coasted through school with top marks, but came completely unstuck when I reached university with no study skills or ability to discipline myself whatsoever. I'd have done much better with some guidance in earlier years.

AristotleTheGreat Mon 06-Jun-16 14:50:18

Earth this is what I am very worried about re dc1. He has no idea how to study and no idea what it means to make an effort TBH.
And yes, I'm pretty sure this will be an issue as he is getting older and he does, indeed, need to do some work.

Dc2 has results that are slightly below dc1 but he had to work hard at it, had to overcome quite a lot of issues to get there. I'm nowhere near as worried for him that dc1.

EarthboundMisfit Mon 06-Jun-16 16:09:44

Well you have plenty of time! One of my DC is the same! It's so hard to find a balance.

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