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Year 11s and revision wars

(111 Posts)
ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:19:39

Aaargh!! I am so fed up of the pitched battles daily to get DS1 to revise for his GCSEs. He has his second set of mocks after half term and just has no natural desire to revise. Sometimes he lollops about upstairs pretending to work; sometimes he outright refuses. If I offer to help, either I end up being his personalised teacher/slave, or he tells me he doesn't want my help. He is now shut in his room and we are all (DH. me and DS1) in a huff. I am an English teacher, DH a maths teacher ; I am sure most kids would love that level of expertise available on tap... or maybe not. Any advice/sympathy gladly received...I know this is hardly a unique situation across the land!!

TeenAndTween Sat 11-Feb-17 16:26:22


I'm sure this is obvious to you, but are you asking him to 'revise' or breaking it up into bitesize chunks that seem easier e.g. 'revise circle theorems' or 'revise key features of a newspaper article'.

Wolfiefan Sat 11-Feb-17 16:29:55

I'm sure most kids wouldn't actually like that level of expertise actually! You are parents not teachers at home.
Ask him to agree a revision timetable. No tech, TV or going out until it's done each day.
If he buggers up his mocks then perhaps lesson will be learnt. You can't micro manage.

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:31:45

If only he was that receptive to advice...but yes, that is the general idea. he announces he is off to revise 'history' or 'Macbeth' and I try to persuade him to do something specific...
It doesn't help that his school had revision people in the other week who no doubt gave very undifferentiated advice. Some of it was great, I am sure but the only bit eh heard was '20 minutes'.
I ma very good at giving advice to parents at parents' evenings but when it's your own child...

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:33:42

Yes Wolfie I was being a bit ironic.. but when it suits him he relies on me massively.

he doesn't go out anyway and has no TV. No Xbox in his room. Those things are not the problems...

scaryteacher Sat 11-Feb-17 16:35:17

I told mine when he was doing IGCSEs that if he screwed them up, he was effectively sabotaging his future for A levels and a degree, and there wouldn't be another try at them. I asked him how he proposed to support himself with no relevant qualifications, and that he was stuffed as we were in Belgium and he would be in the UK.

It worked, all A*s, As and 1 B!

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:35:36

ps this is the school's second set of mocks. I think the amount schools talk about exams and lay on 1000s of revision sessions is actually a part of the problem. Teenagers just shut off from all the noise noise noise.

He has absolutely no intrinsic motivation .

He does have a revision timetable though.

BertrandRussell Sat 11-Feb-17 16:35:48

Does he have to get particular grades for what he wants to do next?

BigSandyBalls2015 Sat 11-Feb-17 16:37:48

I'm also completely sick of the battles about this and have decided to back off completely ..... they know my thoughts on it all, they know what they need to do and it's now up to them.

Easier said than done but the house is calmer this weekend which has got to be a good thing. I've got two DDs in year 11

Wolfiefan Sat 11-Feb-17 16:38:16

Perhaps get him to pencil in to his timetable what exactly he will be doing. Eg A past paper question. GCSE Bitesize or making revision flash cards.

BigSandyBalls2015 Sat 11-Feb-17 16:39:16

How did he do in his first mocks?

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:39:53

Bertrand - that is a part of the problem. he doesn't have much idea at all. He will do A levels but he'll manage the entry requirements OK. But he doesn't really want to do better than that and hates it if he finds anything difficult, so he ignores it. His particular school is not guaranteeing offering his A levels, which is another issue. He also didn't do well in his last history mock so just decided he wasn't going to do it at A level any more!
He's good at languages but has got a bit bored of its repetitious nature at the mo.
It may well be stress - but his response to stress is not a good one : and his circle of friends such as it is is not very able or motivated so he feels like he is doing masses of work.

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:41:15

Two Sandy !? You have my sympathies!

I could back off but DH would have an issue with that.

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:45:33

Sandy - he did OKish. I don't find his school massively aspirational. Pushy and panicky yes. But happy if they meet pre set expectations on the whole. And DS has kind of learnt that attitude himself. Secretly, he'd like to do better but he prefers the age old excuse of 'well I did badly because I did no work'. I can see his logic : he is afraid that if he works really hard he still won't do all that well. I hear this all the time at work.

CiderwithBuda Sat 11-Feb-17 16:47:05

It's flipping hard. I see your unmotivated DS and raise you my unmotivated DS who has been off school since November with daily migraines!

He was managing to do some work in the afternoons and did reasonably well considering in the mocks that he did (did them at home) but has now completely lost interest. And we really don't know if pushing him is adding to the problem.

My current plan is to move to Australia where they don't do GCSEs! Not sure I'll manage it by May though!

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:50:16

Oh dear Cider - I think we all need whale music and scented candles...

DS is now back downstairs and alternating between shouting and grunting.

humblesims Sat 11-Feb-17 16:50:50

I'm here with my DS too. Its a pitched battle and he is a very slippery fish. The only thing in my/his favour is that he does know what he wants to do at uni so he does see that he needs to get the grades so he will settle to it ...eventually. Usually after I have lost my rag though. If he spent as much time revising as he does watching youtube vids or practising guitar licks he'd be getting straight A's (or 8.5's whatever the hell it is now!)
My advice is to back off a little. If you think he will get enough to get into sixth form then maybe let him get on with it. Its risky but I think (from my own experience) that these battles aren't effective.

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:54:25

I do agree but there are tow parents and the other is not a backing off type. At all.
I suppose also I can see the longer view that if he underperforms at GCSE he constricts his uni options considerable. And I can't see him suddenly becoming Mr Work ethic in year 12.

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:54:52

two... two parents... no towing involved!

humblesims Sat 11-Feb-17 17:07:59

If the other parent wont back off then is there room for the three of you 'talking about it like adults' and come to a 'deal'? If DS commits to his revision timetable for a week you both back off but if he doesnt you come down hard.
And I can't see him suddenly becoming Mr Work ethic in year 12. Actually I did notice a change in mine from yr 10 to yr 11 (thank God cos he'd be fucked otherwise) so stranger things do happen. uni inevitable? Not all kids are right for uni and there are other options. I'm sure this is all stuff you've thought of. No real suggestions. I am considering turning the wifi off at tea time from now till exam time.

CiderwithBuda Sat 11-Feb-17 17:08:13

You can tow a teen to books but you can't make them work.........

CiderwithBuda Sat 11-Feb-17 17:09:09

Music and scented candles is nice. Wine is better.

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 17:12:39

Wine o'clock definitely beckons.
If he doesn't do uni there is nothing else for him. I know I sound negative but this is all part of a bigger issue - he is not really a motivated person full stop. Plays in a football team but that's it. No hobbies ; no social life; no real skills . Academic work is actually his best shot at anything in life...

CiderwithBuda Sat 11-Feb-17 17:16:38

DS is the same but I think it's a hard age to really know what you want to do and if you don't know it's hard to be motivated.

DS knows what a levels he wants to do pretty much. That's as far as we've got but I'm 52 and still don't know what I want to be when I grow up so I'm not much help!

ILikeBeansWithKetchup Sat 11-Feb-17 17:17:08

Just to say, he does have his good qualities.... and at least I never need to worry about him getting into trouble while he's out!!

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