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To complain to the school.

(112 Posts)
runforthesun Thu 29-Dec-16 00:03:43

Dd has had a letter from school to say that they will be having an hour long session in mindfulness every week when they return to school. Dd is fairly bright but does struggle a bit with maths. AIBU to complain to school that at this point in her education I would rather she was getting up to speed on academic subjects ? I don't think IABU but am prepared to be told I am. If it makes a difference they are 8 and 9 year olds.

SuperRainbows Thu 29-Dec-16 00:10:02

I've always thought schools should do more of this sort of thing. However my dd 9 does it weekly and she finds it so frustrating. I think it's putting her off this type of thing for life! Maybe some are ready, but not mine.

LittleBoat Thu 29-Dec-16 00:11:11

I think this is a great idea and will help them concentrate and apply themselves better in the long run if done properly. An hour sounds like a long time though. I would be interested to know what exactly they were going to do.

DailyFail1 Thu 29-Dec-16 00:11:24

Mindfulness should help with maths. Suggest you let her try it for a month before complaining. It def helped me but I have dyslexia so distraction is a given.

wonderingagain21 Thu 29-Dec-16 00:11:38

I think YABU. i would be delighted to get this letter. Our children's MH should be a much higher priority given all the pressures on kids & teens. Happy kids will be so much more successful in a classroom than stressed out ones.

LittleBoat Thu 29-Dec-16 00:11:42

10 minutes a day would be better I think.

WorraLiberty Thu 29-Dec-16 00:13:48

If your DD struggles with maths, that's a completely separate issue and one I take if you've already discussed with the school?

Have you asked them how they/you can help your DD improve?

WRT the mindfulness thing, I don't think it's a free-for-all invitation for parents to pick and choose what they would rather their kids be doing during that hour.

I mean how would they staff all the different requests anyway?

SpiritedLondon Thu 29-Dec-16 00:14:11

A lot would depend on how well the school was performing and what the purpose of the mindfulness was. Have they explained what the benefits are likely to be? School isn't just about studying academic subjects so I would be inclined to trust the school and see how these sessions go. I can't imagine that they would be wasting their time ( given the pressure to perform) if they didn't think there would be a benefit to the students and school. Of course you a free to complain later on if you feel it's time wasted.

Brokenbiscuit Thu 29-Dec-16 00:15:57

YABU. I think it's a great idea.

MrsKCastle Thu 29-Dec-16 00:16:37

Well, I don't know a lot about mindfulness but I understand the idea is to teach techniques which promote mental health and wellbeing? It depends how well it is done, but my DD1 is also 8, in Y4 and I would be entirely happy for her to spend an hour a week on this. Mental health is still not talked about enough, we teach kids healthy eating and so on, why not this? If I had to choose between my DDs growing up with good self-esteem, resilient and able to cope with adversity vs extra academic learning, I know which I would choose.

DailyFail1 Thu 29-Dec-16 00:26:53

Mindfulness is partly about focussing on the present to drive away anxiety. It wasn't called that back when I practiced it but was part and parcel of 'yoga'. It really really helped me to improve my academic performance in maths and to overcome my test anxiety in that subject (have dyslexia so while brilliant at mental arthmatic I was awful at essay type questions but especially in maths). I don't know how to stress that enough. By focussing on the present (sometimes one word at a time) I was able to suddenly concentrate enough to attempt a question.

WorraLiberty Thu 29-Dec-16 00:31:06

I don't know much about mindfulness either

But I do know there has been a big rise in children/teens self harming.

So it's possible this has been put in place as an early prevention measure?

Either way, it's a separate issue to your child struggling with school work. You need to make an appointment with the school about that, if you haven't already.

edwinbear Thu 29-Dec-16 00:32:02

YABU. Do you feel the same way about sport ie you would prefer her to be catching up on her maths than exercising? I think it shows a school who care about their pupils getting into good mental health habits from an early age.

KnittedBlanketHoles Thu 29-Dec-16 00:32:31

I've always avoided mindfulness, being present in the moment fully doesn't sound like something that would be helpful to me when I spend my waking hours trying to distract myself from my existence- is it really useful?

RichardBucket Thu 29-Dec-16 00:44:32

YANBU

There's no guarantee it will be helpful and even if there was, an hour is too long at that age.

december10th Thu 29-Dec-16 00:49:00

YANBU.What a load of new age bollox!

AndNowItsSeven Thu 29-Dec-16 00:51:55

I would be withdrawing my dc from any school that had mindfulness sessions, though not because of academic concerns.

Pumpkintopf Thu 29-Dec-16 00:54:39

I'd want to know more about what they'd be doing in that hour-is it all in one block? -and who is delivering it ie has the teacher or whoever had appropriate training. Since something else in the curriculum has obviously had to give way to carve out this time it would also be appropriate to ask where the extra time has come from iyswim i.e. have they taken the time off maths, or more likely PSHE or something?

SuperRainbows Thu 29-Dec-16 00:57:12

Andnowitsseven. Might be worth checking your dcs school isn't already doing it. I wasn't informed my dds school was starting this. Wouldn't have known if dd hadn't mentioned it.

Pumpkintopf Thu 29-Dec-16 00:57:59

Also-there are concerns about inadequately trained people delivering this stuff-

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/25/mental-health-meditation

Tartyflette Thu 29-Dec-16 01:03:48

A whole hour, in one chunk, seems an awfully long time to try to get young children to practise mindfulness -- isn't it the kind of meditation you can start with just 10-15 minutes and then increase it?

donquixotedelamancha Thu 29-Dec-16 01:07:26

YANBU

It's not a separate issues from struggling with maths- there are only so many teaching hours in the school day. Management focusing on eye catching initiatives aren't focused on strengthening core teaching.

It won't be done well. Schools don't have the expertise and systems to teach this sort of stuff well. Schools often do stupid interventions that don't work because of the pressure to achieve.

Its facile to suggest this will improve students well being without evidence to back it up. There is evidence that 'positivity' and 'mindfulness' as discrete activities can instead be harmful. That's not to say that the stuff like meditations that inspired these fads can't work, it can. Its just that there are no cheap, easy shortcuts to raising resilient kids.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 29-Dec-16 02:02:25

You are right Rainbows, I will check.

Scabetty Thu 29-Dec-16 02:58:51

In my school we do 10 min meditation daily. Head says it keeps kids calm and behaviour is more manageable. Personally ... as soon as tape finishes they are noisy again but 10 mins quiet in a day is nice 😀

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 29-Dec-16 04:01:12

10 minutes would be fine. Just guided quiet time. Anxiety is a very big issue for children and teaching them skills to combat it, like this and grounding exercises, are really valuable.

An hour for small children is ridiculous.

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