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To think that you've either got it or you haven't when it comes to school

(112 Posts)
blubberball Wed 19-Feb-20 15:24:57

I wasn't any good at school (obviously). I daydreamed my way through, never fitting in. Neither clever nor naughty enough to be noticed.

My older brother was very clever and good at school. Schools would thank my parents for sending him there, and would predict him doing great things when he grew up. He passed exams, went on to higher education and university, at a time when grants were still available, otherwise my parents would not have been able to afford to send him, and he now has a high status, high paid job and is happy.

My mum was clever and good at school.

My ds is 12 and seems very similar to me. Really not engaged or interested in school. Trying to get him to try harder and do his homework, and put any effort in at all. He couldn't care less.

So do you think with school, you've either got it or you haven't? If you're going to be good at school, then you will be naturally. If you're not good at school, no amount of trying is going to get you any better? I guess we can't all be good at school. I don't know.

PooWillyBumBum Wed 19-Feb-20 15:31:58

No, I think it’s a mix of natural aptitude, parental influence, peer influence and quality of learning provider otherwise there wouldn’t be statistical differences in how well kids do (for instance wildly better grades from some schools/demographics than others) and there would be no calls to level the playing field.

Barbie222 Wed 19-Feb-20 15:34:58

I wonder if you have a learned set of assumptions and ideas in your head about the role of school and whether you are somehow passing these on to your son.

Mintjulia Wed 19-Feb-20 15:39:25

Decent teachers can make the difference between boredom and fascination, although the National curriculum doesn’t help much.

blubberball Wed 19-Feb-20 15:39:42


JulietTango Wed 19-Feb-20 15:40:14

I worked in a school for 15 years and always said there are three types of children.
There are those who will do well no matter where they are
They're are those who will mess around no matter what
And they're are those who will react to the circumstances they are in and the expectations placed upon them.

JulietTango Wed 19-Feb-20 15:40:51

There not they're obviously 🥴

FET2020 Wed 19-Feb-20 15:41:08

It’s about effort, hard work and turning up.

I was shit at school because I didn’t bother turning up, I didn’t do my homework and I didn’t study. I’m lucky I came out with any GCSEs.

My parents are fantastic but they were ‘arty’ and didn’t try in school so it became a self fulfilling prophecy if you see what I mean? Because my parents were this way then so was I so they didn’t seem bothered by my terrible school reports.

Keep encouraging your child to study, to do his homework, to pay attention, to turn up. If he achieves then tell him it’s because he worked hard.

Reward hard work.

SonEtLumiere Wed 19-Feb-20 15:41:42

No, I think it is a mixture of things.
Aptitude certainly helps, but hard workers make further progress

Trahira Wed 19-Feb-20 15:42:34

I think you're basically right OP. Some kids love school and try hard and others find it boring, and it's not always related to their upbringing (although it sometimes is).

Strongmummy Wed 19-Feb-20 15:42:55

I think people are naturally academic or not , but there are more factors (interest, self motivation, parental influence, teachers, school environment).

recycledbottle Wed 19-Feb-20 15:43:05

No. It is a combination of ability, school, luck with subjects/teachers, learning at home, home environment, your peers etc. I was good at school and my sister was not. My parents never really encouraged either of us but my peers were all doing well so I followed suit. My sister spent her time with people who had no interest. She went back to college much later and we are now the same level (both professionals). My parents always said I was bright but she was not but this was not correct. My parents did encourage the boys and they are all professionals. In my role I work with a lot of privately educated people who are, in my view, of questionable intellect. I don't think they have it naturally but were encouraged/pushed and are doing very well. If you tell your son he doesn't have it, he will just be left behind.

Parker231 Wed 19-Feb-20 15:44:22

No - working hard at school isn’t optional. If it’s difficult, you have to work harder.

Reginabambina Wed 19-Feb-20 15:45:02

Schooling is very very dumbed down these days. A good school/teacher would easily get the vast majority of students to succeed give the resources. It’s very rare for a child to have insurmountable difficulties, it’s more often a case of schools lacking resources and teachers lacking skill.

PaquitaVariation Wed 19-Feb-20 15:45:28

No, one of the biggest influences of success at school (at a statistical and population level) is actually your mother’s level of education. My ds until this year hasn’t been getting stellar results, despite actually being very bright. It’s now GCSE year and he’s more motivated and is on course to do well. There’s loads of factors at play and it’s not as simple as you have it or you don’t.

blubberball Wed 19-Feb-20 15:47:23

Thanks FET2020. I think that I had similar attitudes to you in school. My parents didn't care either. I never did my homework, or any work in class, or coursework. I did the bare minimum. I could write my mum's signature better than she could, and invitations to parents evenings went straight in the bin on the way home from school. I some how managed to wing my exams and get a few GCSEs, but no one's ever checked them or asked to see them.

Obviously I've always had low status jobs and had children young.

Ihaveamind Wed 19-Feb-20 15:50:08

I have natural aptitude and school and university were academically plain sailing.
My best friend had to work much harder for the academic results I received with almost no effort.
As adults she has been much more successful then me. The work ethic she developed achieving good marks in school prepared her very well for adult life.
I think knowing that effort = results also gave her a confidence in her own ability to achieve her goals that I lacked.
So no I don't think you either have it or you don't, unless "it" is family/teachers who encourage and help you to achieve the best education you can get.

JosefKeller Wed 19-Feb-20 15:50:45

Obviously I've always had low status jobs and had children young.


JosefKeller Wed 19-Feb-20 15:52:22

It's a very lazy view to pretend that those who do well have it "easy".

FET2020 Wed 19-Feb-20 15:52:26

Well I think it sounds like you are doing a better job than our parents did!

Good for you. Keep at the encouragement. Make sure he’s done his homework everyday. My parents never asked if I had homework or made sure that I had done it. I dont want to blame them for my failings because I love them dearly but that’s something I will do differently with my children for sure.

Lllot5 Wed 19-Feb-20 15:53:07

I think you have to be interested in the subject to do really well. I passed my o levels ( showing my age) but in English, maths, and history I did well. I loved the lessons and the teachers.
Support from home is vital too.

Purpletigers Wed 19-Feb-20 15:54:24

I disagree Regina . There is a section of the population who have low iqs. Even with one to one teaching they will never pass a host of GCSEs. Education should focus more on a range of skills and not just academic ability .
Studies show that the academic outcome of children rest mostly with the outlook of the parents . You were failed by your parents op , don’t fail your son .

GreenTulips Wed 19-Feb-20 15:55:33

Work refusal
No homework
Not engaged
Not fitting in/belonging

All signs of dyslexia

Purpletigers Wed 19-Feb-20 15:56:53

I do think intelligence is either there or it isn’t . What the owner does with it is what can make a difference . Will all the will in the world ,you can’t buy brains .

blubberball Wed 19-Feb-20 15:57:23

It's seriously true. I have.

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