To feel super sad about DD not enjoying school(8 Posts)
My DD is 6, just starting in Yr 2. She really enjoys learning, is a very able reader (just finishing the Harry Potter books herself), loves Maths and Art, makes Science diagrams and space drawings just for fun, but also clowning about and being a playful 6-y-o. She's not an off-the-scale genius, but is (according to her Yr1 teacher) quite far ahead of the rest of the class in all topics. As this new term starts, she so sad about being bored in class all day, like last year, and not always getting on with friends in class because she's always given different work to them.
What can I do? We can't afford to go private, if that would even make any difference. The trouble is she's in a class of 30 and many of the children require a lot more support and attention than she does, which I totally understand. So what are my options to help her out? x
Maybe give her year 2 teacher a chance. Some of the new curriculum standards for exceeding age related may well challenge her. The problem is she is either going to be bored or given different work...not a lot more school can fo however a different teacher may handle it better?
Hmm I was quite far ahead of my peers at that age and I was allowed to read story books once I'd finished the work given. I wasn't bored as I loved reading, would have read all day given the chance. Could she be allowed to read after she's done the classwork? Or draw? Or have some sort of project she works on?
By the way, the difference evened out much more once I was 7 or 8 - I was still "ahead" in a lot of ways but everyone could read and write by then and so it wasn't so marked.
I dint have kids yet, but I was like your DD in school. Here is what I wish I would have done different ...
I could have focused on the things I wasn't so good at. Social skills, fitness and sport, art, my less favourite subjects. You can get better at any of these through practice, same as the academic subjects. I realise she has to sit through class, but if she can see those as the down times, and breaks/PE/art as the time to put in the work, she might be more engaged with school in general.
I also wish I would have realised that being top of the class didn't mean much. If she is that far ahead, she has the freedom to really dig deep into the subjects that interest her. Praise effort/engagement over results. So many people to great at school and sink at university because they have never had to put any effort in before.
On that last point, are there any clubs you can sign her up for? I'm thinking something like coding/robot building, or creative writing which apply academic skills but aren't graded. This could help her see the point of preserving beyond what it takes to be top of the class.
Thanks so much everyone, those are all really helpful. We'll give this new year a chance, but I think it's still tricky even in Yr2 to give much more attention to her than she was given in Yr1.
minipie Will ask about reading/projects, that's a good idea. And have said to her that things will even out, but I want her to keep thinking school can be a positive place now.
satsooma Yes, we do that too –praise effort, say everyone in the class works and learns differently and develops differently, and we make very little fuss over her scores/grades/whatever, just check she's happy and trying new things. I was praised for results rather than effort and it made me the laziest person I've ever met. There's no subject she doesn't enjoy, but will definitely look into more clubs.
Thanks, all xx
Satsooma makes some very good points. One of my daughters was like yours OP , the Year 2 teacher let her be a bit like a teaching assistant, and she used to listen to the other children in her class read and answer their questions. She loved writing really long stories too (Radio 2 have a childrens competition every year). She was always anxious not to be thought of as different and careful not to "show off" and is still very empathetic and can talk to anyone. She also did special projects with another boy in the class who was a bit like her - I think they designed a web site or something. You may need to talk to the school again, they might be more helpful if you could become a governor (there's usually a shortage) or go and help out in the class from time to time? Schools do tend to be focused on getting the poor performers up to the expected level for their age but they also have a responsibility to stretch the bright ones. Maybe your daughter could learn a musical instrument or do sport outside school, both of which would challenge her but have social benefits too?
the Year 2 teacher let her be a bit like a teaching assistant, and she used to listen to the other children in her class read and answer their questions.
Argh - this reminds me I used to correct my classmates' spellings . I thought I was being helpful at the time, but it didn't win friends...
Try Aquila magazine. Got that tip on MN and my dd loves it. At every parents' evening I say how I was bright at school and never pushed. "Please push my dd". Just having a look at the KhanAcademy website to see if that's for dd. Another mn suggestion.
But please don't forget the social stuff and exercise for fun. And relaxing while doing nothing in particular, tv on or music on.
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