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AIBU to want my DD to do her absolute best?

(64 Posts)
Lincspeeps Sun 31-Mar-19 17:14:14

DD is currently in Yr10 and about to take her mock GCSEs after Easter.

All her lessons are revision lessons and she is doing well (predicted a 7 in all subjects) but whenever I ask her about revising at home it results in World War 3.

Neither I nor DH did well at school and DD is naturally intelligent and I want her to push herself. She's not lazy but happy to watch shit on TV instead of revising - I haven't seen her lift a school book in a year but parents' evening are a joy.

We have just fought like cat and dog as I suggested she needed a revision timetable over the Easter hols - she exploded. DH stepped in and smoothed waters and DD went back to watching TV.

To make matters worse, her school sent a touchy-feely email to all parents on Friday saying the exams are nothing to worry about and not to put too much pressure on our children. My concern is we are only a year away from the real thing......when DO they start to matter? And how the hell to you motivate a teenager to revise at that stage when they're not used to it?

Sorry, I'm venting. Am I being a horrible, pushy mother or is it not unreasonable to hope/expect her to do some revision instead of watching bloody Riverdale???

EduCated Sun 31-Mar-19 17:18:16

A slight side-step, does she actually know how to revise? Like techniques to use rather than just reading her workbooks?

Before I properly learnt how to revise, ‘revision’ was this huge looming monster that I knew I should do but had no idea how to tackle or where to begin - so I didn’t. Once I learnt techniques (and revising is a skill in itself!) it was easier to approach.

I realise that may not be helpful in the context that she’s flat out refusing, but worth considering whether it may be playing a part.

BottleOfJameson Sun 31-Mar-19 17:20:57

If she's exploding is it because she doesn't know how to begin and is stressed? Could you agree on a small amount (Eg 1-2 hours a day over Easter) ? Making good revision notes will help her next year and as you say she needs to practise revising.

Thisnamechanger Sun 31-Mar-19 17:21:55

A slight side-step, does she actually know how to revise

This is a really really good point. I remember us just being told 'go and revise for GCSE' and just sitting there holding a book I just read it or what?

Crappmumm Sun 31-Mar-19 17:24:19

Perhaps you could try to spend some time with her working out which revision techniques work best for her, and possibly make some revision cards using her favoured methods?

Houseonahill Sun 31-Mar-19 17:25:22

YANBU to want her to do her best but personally I think the effort should come from the child, if she wants to do well she will but I don't think she should be forced to do it.

SmallFastPenguin Sun 31-Mar-19 17:26:30

I think you are putting too much pressure on and she is resisting because she feels she cant meet up to your standards. I know you only want the best for her but if she is in this state you may simply upset her by pushing.

ElizabethMountbatten Sun 31-Mar-19 17:27:20

Some people literally do not need to revise. I worked evenings all through my GCSE teen years. My free time was spent with my boyfriend or watching Friends. I took 12 GCSEs and passed them all. 2 c, 4 b, 5 a and 1 a*. I never revised once. Some people retain information well and don't need to. See how she does in her mocks with her method before you try to put any timetable in

Notmyideamovingon Sun 31-Mar-19 17:28:10

So she's getting 7 with bugger all effort? I would sit her down and point out how a bunch of 8 and 9s would change her options going forward. My eldest is only year 7 though. I can tell she's coasting (she's a bright kid) and I've been trying to motivate her. I've started pointing out the way money makes life easier. I've made it clear she can live her life how she wants but she needs to keep her options open and I want her to have the choice to pursue a well paid career. If she chooses not to that's fine too but she's too young to make that decision now.

Crappmumm Sun 31-Mar-19 17:29:15

YANBU to want her to do her best but personally I think the effort should come from the child, if she wants to do well she will but I don't think she should be forced to do it.

In an ideal world she would be self motivated but in reality this is not always the case. I was left to my own devices and totally fucked my entire life up by just not bothering.

She could just be feeling overwhelmed.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Sun 31-Mar-19 17:30:15

My DM was like you, she left school at 14 and was always on my case to revise. I was a bit cocky but also knew how easy I found GCSEs and that I could coast and get top grades. My homework was always done, my coursework achieved very high marks but she used to nag and it became such a bone of contention I just refused, when sometimes I might have done a bit of she hadn't made such a fuss. I got top grades, same at A level and didn't really have to start revising properly until uni. Don't back her into a corner, she's a teenager and stubborn. Mocks don't really matter, let the dice fall where they will, she'll either get high marks having not revised or it'll be a wake up call to her that she needs to

Blueemeraldagain Sun 31-Mar-19 17:31:27

I agree that she probably doesn’t even know where to start. There is a website called Seneca learning which is a free online revision platform. I use it in my secondary school where I teach boys with social, emotional and mental health difficulties and they love it. It covers most of the GCSE subjects and most exam boards and breaks each topic down into chunks and then tests you on what you have read or watched. You get points and there are leaderboards whivh my students find quite motivating. There are also a few Instagram and Youtube accounts run by teenagers about GCSEs/revising/Seneca that she might find helpful. They baffle me but some of my students use the “revise along with me” videos.

Speaking of YouTube there are some great study/revision accounts.
Mr Bruff for English
Science and Maths by Primrose

teyem Sun 31-Mar-19 17:33:49

It's not just about results though. It's about cultivating some discipline around revising. Most intelligent people can just wing the GCSE stage but, if they do, then A-levels can bite them in their arse.

HeathRobinson Sun 31-Mar-19 17:37:00

I'd let her do the mocks her way and then go by the results.

Merryoldgoat Sun 31-Mar-19 17:37:55

It's not just about results though. It's about cultivating some discipline around revising. Most intelligent people can just wing the GCSE stage but, if they do, then A-levels can bite them in their arse.

This is hideously true.

I got essentially all As and Bs at GCSE with ZERO work and about 80% attendance (A’s in English and Maths).

A-Levels smacked me about good and proper and I had to resit.

Namenic Sun 31-Mar-19 17:38:33

i would sit with her and try and work out revision techniques. Test her on vocab if foreign language. Get exercises with answers for maths. Say that you will do ‘work’ ie something you don’t like doing (eg cleaning toilet or ironing) while she is doing revision - to offer moral support (it’s much more encouraging when you don’t feel you are the only one working while everyone else is watching tv).

If you observe her working encourage her and maybe take her for a treat for working hard. I would be focusing less on grades than on her putting the effort in.

mynameiscalypso Sun 31-Mar-19 17:38:39

I always thought the whole point of mocks was that nobody took them particularly seriously and then they got a kick up the bum when the results weren't as good as they wanted?

Comefromaway Sun 31-Mar-19 17:42:09

My ds is in year 10 & dd in year 12.

Dd got fantastic results and she did no work at all during the Easter of Year 10. I think starting too early can be counter productive.

Ds will be doing a little work in preparation for his year 10 exam. He’s not good at traditional revision so we use Seneca & Tassomai which his teachers also recommend. His school sets very little homework so he does 15-30 mins a day.

SandyY2K Sun 31-Mar-19 17:43:21

YANBU to want her to do well, but it seems like she is achieving good grades as it is.

If I were you, I'd leave her to it. Let the exams come...if she doesn't do well I'm sure she'll be gutted, but she'll have enough time to turn things around.

My DD has a revision timetable, but she did it on her own... I didn't tell her to. She is well organised, but she didn't always used to revise. she was able to achieve top Mark's without revising.

That was until about year 9, when she realised her memory alone wasn't enough to get the top marks without revising.

Long story short...she knuckled down and worked hard for her GCSES and aced them.

sar302 Sun 31-Mar-19 17:52:48

I'm fairly bright (educated to masters level now) and breezed through my GCSEs. My mum is probably not quite as academic, but was always a very hard worker, and the fact that I didn't work as hard as she did, drove her to absolute distraction. She thought I was lazy, but for me it was just easy. We had huge rows, and barely spoke to each other for about two years. None of which made me revise any harder. I just resented her massively.

She should be doing mocks etc and those grades will tell you both how she's getting on. Try again to support her to make a revision timetable, and understand the need for breaks. Ultimately you can't make a 16 year old revise. You have to trust her, guide her in the right direction, and if it doesn't go as well as she would like, she can resit, or take a slightly different path into her desired A Levels.

EvaHarknessRose Sun 31-Mar-19 18:01:38

She's not going to flunk. I would back off praise her ability and hope she finds her motivation. She won't find it while she is resisting you. Why not see your role as keeping home stress free. Be a bit more positive.

SandyY2K Sun 31-Mar-19 18:04:42

Is her school high achieving? I understand the sentiment of not worrying and putting pressure on them. That would only make it worse and stress them out, but my DDs school did tell parents to encourage and support their DC during exams.

They would say to remove distractions like phones, take your DC snacks when revising and offer to help test them on things.

I'd ask if there's anything she wants that might be helpful in revising. My DD wanted coloured card paper to make revision flash cards. Another resource is things like York notes/study guides usually for English Literature. Amazon sells them....but I'd not mention it today. Leave her to calm down.

Heronwatcher Sun 31-Mar-19 18:05:12

For the mocks the very best thing you could do is leave her alone, let her make her own choices and learn to motivate herself. Offer support, if you’re concerned she doesn’t know what she should be doing raise it with the school but otherwise leave it to her. She has to learn that they are her exams, the results will affect her future and it sounds as though you getting involved will make her do less, not more!!

SeventhWave Sun 31-Mar-19 18:07:00

Agree with keeping home stress free - they will have been under enough pressure at school and it is the end of a long term. The last thing she wants to do throughout the school holidays is carry on with school work. She needs some rest, both physical and mental, so she can recharge her batteries for the new term. Pushing her to revise will be counter-productive at this stage.

MitziK Sun 31-Mar-19 18:07:20

By next year, you'll be wondering how she has time to breathe, much less do even more work at home - Saturday intervention, early morning intervention, after school until gone 5pm intervention, holiday intervention, quite possibly Study Leave cancelled in favour of 8am-6pm revision in class right up to and including each exam - she could end up handing in her Maths GCSE Paper and have ten minutes free before being required in English for yet another practice paper (and then going into another GCSE exam in the afternoon with an expectation to attend after school revision straight afterwards).

Leave her be. The pressure will turn up soon enough.

MitziK Sun 31-Mar-19 18:12:00

Just adding that the whole reason for mocks is

1. They don't freak out when in a hall for the first time
2. They find out what gaps they have in their knowledge or in understanding/answering questions
3. They get to screw up and have poor results before it actually matters.

The third is quite possibly the most important, as it can give them a reality check that no amount of nagging can do. (Or, rarely, reassurance that they can do it/it's nowhere near as bad as they expected).

I call them rehearsals. You're meant to make mistakes in rehearsals. It's the way you avoid them in the final performance.

Buddytheelf85 Sun 31-Mar-19 18:12:56

I totally understand how you feel but I think the points of mocks is that they’re a bit of a kick up the arse. As hard as it is I’d leave her alone and see how she does. If she gets a bunch of 7s with little effort, that’s the time to have a conversation about how well she could do if she actually applied herself.

RedSkyLastNight Sun 31-Mar-19 18:15:32

Coming at it from another pov here. If she's on target for 7s with very little effort, then why not see how her approach works for the y10 exams?
I have a year 10 DS with whom I've now stopped having similar arguments as ultimately I can't force him to work and he has to want to do it for himself. Difference is he's on track for 3s and 4s so he really does need to put in some effort (he has high targets so he is lazy not unable). I've accepted he needs to find his own way. He doesn't want to sit and make a revision timetable with me as then I can check up that he is following it (his words). He doesn't want me to help him revise as he doesnt want me commenting on what he's doing.(his words). So we've had the pep talk about why he is revising, I've made suggestions, I've pointed him at online resources. It might be working as he has spontaneously actually gone off and done some work a couple of times .... but time will tell

Ariela Sun 31-Mar-19 18:20:30

My daughter was given this book for A levels (they do an A level version) which she highly rated and I see they do a GCSE one too :
which apparently is very good.

AleFailTrail Sun 31-Mar-19 18:22:44

14 GCSEs. 1 double award A*A*, one A*, 11 As and one B for a topic done two years earlier. No revision at all done and about half the exams done on less than 2 hours sleep that is to druggies And police raids round my area. Some people don’t need revision.

In fact when I did revise I did far worse (A levels)

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Sun 31-Mar-19 18:41:36

I think they need to be self motivated and that putting pressure on her will only make her rebel. Leave it completely to her.

pointythings Sun 31-Mar-19 18:59:43

She doesn't need a holiday revision timetable for Easter in Yr 10. Your DD is bright - you are asking for her to burn out early. Her actual exams are more than a year away and she is still working through the syllabus.

When she's in Yr11 the school will push revision, most lessons after Christmas will be revision, her homework will be 90% revision. Don't push like made now, it will be completely counterproductive.

I currently have one in Yr13 and one in Yr11 so I've been there, done that.

Amongstthetallgrass Sun 31-Mar-19 19:01:55

It’s her mocks. She will learn from this how much effort she needs to put in. Leave her to it

AskMeHow Sun 31-Mar-19 20:01:22

Don't pressure her about Y10 exams, she's got a whole year to go yet and has only done a little bit of the syllabus. Let her do it her own way for now. Perhaps buy her some 'how to revise' guides if you want, it's a skill that needs to be learned like any other. But don't nag her about it. I did no revision for gcses at all until Xmas of Y11, which is about the right time imo.

Comefromaway Sun 31-Mar-19 22:27:31

Since when have Year 10 exams been called mocks? Mocks happen in November-January of Year 11 surely.

Well they did for dd last year & ds next year (different schools). Year 10 is just normal end of year internal exams.

editingfairy Sun 31-Mar-19 22:34:07

She hasn’t picked up a textbook yet? Dd in year 10 has been revising every night - not just for Easter year 10 exams, but to get a march on revising for next year.

Also, posters who are saying they didn’t revise at all for exams, I think the current GCSEs are harder than they used to be.

Notcontent Sun 31-Mar-19 22:40:41

Editing fairy - that’s exactly what I was thinking. I think the current GCSEs are a lot harder and, to be honest, most people do need to revise...

Comefromaway Sun 31-Mar-19 23:22:18

They are harder. Which is why at this stage it’s best to focus on learning the content without putting too much pressure on.

EduCated Sun 31-Mar-19 23:26:28

I absolutely coasted my GCSEs with no revision - I don’t think I could have got away with it with the new GCSEs, there’s just so much content and higher level stuff.

Also did me no favours for A levels.

k1233 Sun 31-Mar-19 23:39:07

If her lessons are all revision lessons, why does she need to do more revision at home? I was your daughter. Academically things are easy for me. Final year of school my mother chucked a hissy as I was doing something with BF instead of revising maths. Like your daughter, we'd had weeks of revision in class. I ended up getting 62.5/65 on final exam, got the award for maths and numerous other classes.

If she's on top of her work, then what's the problem?

Ihatehashtags Mon 01-Apr-19 04:54:50

Yes you are being pushy!! My own mother used to constantly compare how much I was studying to how much her friends kids were studying. Drove me mental and we had huge fights about it. I ended up with whatever the top levels are you can get these days. If however your child is struggling I think setting a bit of a timetable for study with some Fun times as well would be a good idea.

TwoShades1 Mon 01-Apr-19 05:49:41

If she is doing well in classes and getting good marks there does she need to revise? I will admit to doing exceptionally little actual revision before exams and doing extremely well.

Namenic Mon 01-Apr-19 06:22:37

People are allowed to coast.

But if it was my kid and I were to consider supporting them going to university I would expect them to put effort into their work. Wouldn’t mind so much about the grades. I’d ask them what they wanted to do afterwards and counsel them on how getting better grades would allow them to get on a better course/uni which would impact their job and quality of life later.

Building the work ethic is the most important thing because at some point people will find they have to work - and i’d Rather it was not too late (when they’re in oodles of debt). If they weren’t able to do this over the next few years I’d encourage them to do apprenticeship after a level (if they can get on one).

But take an interest in her work and see her blind spots. 7s has room for improvement.

Oblomov19 Mon 01-Apr-19 06:46:00

I'm on the year 10 thread, which I've found very helpful. Advise with GCSE mocks, and revision.

HoY told me that Ds1 is coasting, as are many of the boys in his year!! 'It's a problem!!

CherryPavlova Mon 01-Apr-19 06:51:15

I’m with you OP. It sounds like school accepts mediocre performance from potentially high achievers. I think in year 10 there has to be balance but yes of course she should be supported to aim for level 9s in all subjects. I’m sure she used to practice for spelling tests and this is no different.
Turn tv off, set revision times, help find interesting ways to revise, reward revision activities- “after you’ve revised for two hours on Saturday, we’ll go into town for lunch” etc.
I’d have the discussion about higher grades giving better options and being a better foundation for A levels. I’d also point out that a sheet of level 9s impresses employers for years to come.
Don’t accept second best for her.

malificent7 Mon 01-Apr-19 07:44:17

Am i the only person who had to work for my gcses? I disagree that you don't need to revise for them..year 10 is a bit early though.

Ihatehashtags Mon 01-Apr-19 08:33:47

@cherrypavlova bollocks about level 9s impressing employers for years to come. Grades mean nothing except to show you can work hard if you want to. And grades show nothing about a persons people skills. Just take a looks at doctors in the hospitals and you’ll understand what I mean!

EleanorOalike Mon 01-Apr-19 08:39:29

I didn’t revise and only got one B and one C, all the rest were A* and A’s and at A-Level I got 100% on several papers, A overall on everything except General Studies which was a B. Some people don’t need to revise.

EleanorOalike Mon 01-Apr-19 08:41:49

Oh yes, and I did work for my results. I worked very hard in class, engaged with all questions, contributed to discussions and didn’t mess about like many other kids and I put hours each night into my homework for the two years prior to the exams.

Bittern11 Mon 01-Apr-19 08:48:19

How old are all the posters who are saying they coasted through their GCSEs and didn't revise for them?

The current GCSEs are a whole new kettle of fish. They are harder than previous GCSEs and they're all terminal exams. No course work goes towards the final grade.

So the advice of anyone who sat GCSEs more than a couple of years ago is totally irrelevant here.

DD is at a grammar and the Year 10s are all revising this year - so they have less to do next year. They've had talks from current Year 11s who left all their revising to Year 11 and are having a hell of a time trying to catch up on everything. If your dd is doing any of the sciences, for e.g., the amount of work they cover is unbelievable.

Students will be learning possibly up until the Easter before the exams, depending how fast teachers are teaching, which does not leave much time to revise two years' worth of work for 9 subjects...

Ariela Mon 01-Apr-19 09:36:52

I'm almost 60 and did the old O levels, getting very good grades, didn't start revising till after the mocks (which didn't go so well). However our mocks were in January just before the exams, not a year before... I'm sure she'll work out what she needs to do for the real thing in time for next summer, even if that means poor results this year.

HolyForkingShirt Mon 01-Apr-19 09:41:12

I revised for each GCSE for about 3 hours the night before, and got A*s and As

However this was 10 years ago when they were a piece of piss

k1233 Mon 01-Apr-19 09:45:12

Bittern I don't think that's the case at all. Some people find academic work easy. I did a law degree and unrelated professional quals without opening a book. I'm smart and assimilate information easily. Doesn't mean I don't work hard in my chosen profession. I certainly do, but my effort is spent on improvements and complicated scenarios, not trying to understand what the initial problem is.

HolyForkingShirt Mon 01-Apr-19 09:59:32

My parents used to say - "don't use your intelligence to coast" - but TBH, why not?! I love to have more free time for hobbies. Why would I want to work my socks off - for what? I didn't want to go to Oxbridge, I don't want a promotion at work or to do more than 7.5 hours. When I find something in life I really want to aim for, then I'll put the work in! In final year uni I worked 9-5 6 days a week to get a 1st, but apart from that there hasn't really been anything worth that much work. Hard work is really over-fetishised in our culture.

Happyspud Mon 01-Apr-19 10:04:49

I can only tell you what I was like. Intelligent, lazy and very independent. I went ballistic if my parents told me to study. I had my own benchmark for what was an acceptable result and made sure to hit it myself. Going higher than I needed to be took too much effort and I wasn’t willing to do it. I did well, not excellent, in school to get exactly what I wanted in university. I did excellent in university. And have gotten everything I want in life and work with minimal effort. It’s just how I work.

Also see the Von Manstein matrix, made me laugh because I recognise those 4 types of people I’m pretty much everyone I know.

Comefromaway Mon 01-Apr-19 11:00:01

My dd did her GCSe's only last year. She did work hard, but she did nothng in the Easter of Year 10, she had 3 weeks off (and did a residential ballet Easter school).

Jackshouse Mon 01-Apr-19 11:02:42

Have you offered to help her revise? Listened to her talk about subjects, dicuss them over dinner, make cards with her, test her on her knowledge and bought her appropriate revision guides.

BlackPrism Mon 01-Apr-19 16:07:25

Sounds like me during GCSE year. I worked hard enough at school time (and had the aptitude obvs I know not everyone can go without revision) to get all A*-B, not an ounce of revision. Have spoken to my mum about it many years later and she says that after my mock results she realised I'd do just fine and she stopped with the nagging and pressure - much nicer year for us both.

If she does badly in mock exams? Come down like a tonne of bricks. If she does well, leave her be.

ijustdontunderstandher Mon 01-Apr-19 16:11:56

It might not work for your DD, but the year 10 mocks don’t actually mean much, so maybe see how she does in her mocks with the way she’s going and if her grades aren’t very good it might give her the kick up the bum she needs.

On another note, does she have any idea what she wants to be yet?. Maybe if she knows what qualifications are needed for the job she wants she might get a bit of drive to achieve them.

PostNotInHaste Mon 01-Apr-19 16:18:31

I think pushing too hard at this point runs the risk of them burning out this time next year. I’d see what the results are and review in light of this.

AndOfCourseHenryTheHorse Mon 01-Apr-19 16:26:02

I think pushing her to revise is obviously backfiring. I do agree that some people just don’t need to revise and some people (like me) probably should revise but it takes time to figure out how to do that.

I’d leave her be for now. If her teachers are happy with her, then she is obviously doing something right. Mine were forever on my case 😬.

My DH is one of ‘those people’ who doesn’t seem to need to revise very much btw. He coasted 4 grade As at A level and got a first in a science subject at a really decent university. I know he didn’t work hard at university, as that’s where we met. He just knows exactly what to revise, how many marks he needs to get the grade he wants and how to do that with efficiency. I don’t know where he learnt that skill envy!

CherryPavlova Mon 01-Apr-19 18:46:20

@ ihatehashtags I’m not sure why swearing or personal opinion on the qualities of ‘doctors’ in hospital is either necessary or valid. My experience as an employee and employer is that good grades impress for a long time.
Good grades don’t mean you can’t also have good people skills - which is what you appear to be suggesting.

Happyspud Mon 01-Apr-19 21:19:53

The thing is not all people can or will do well. Parents can help push weaker students (with the right temperament) somewhat over a line but you just don’t know what you’re dealing with till it’s too late. Push the wrong kid too hard and you get the opposite effect.

frugalkitty Mon 01-Apr-19 21:35:08

I agree, it's hard as a parent to trust that your child is taking things seriously. But in year 10 I wouldn't worry too much. My DS sits his first GCSE six weeks today....shrug, loads of time, he says! He's on course for 8s/9s but it worries me that without actually doing some proper revision he's cruising for a bruising. Ultimately, you can lead a horse to water and all that.....

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