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Support from school...

(8 Posts)
Squiffie Mon 16-Sep-13 21:08:42

I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall when I speak to my son's teacher. He's an extremely bright 5 year old with one exception his handwriting is shocking! He can read well above his age and is a gifted mathematician but school are crap! For instance they gave him maths homework where he had to fill in the missing numbers (counting in 1s) which ds found easy - obviously but he's not 'allowed' the more challenging homework because he writes numbers backwards. Should this affect the level of challenge in the work given?! He can solve complex maths problems he just writes some of the numbers back to front. I'm just frustrated (as his he) and don't know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! X x

whenigrowupiwanttobeaunicorn Mon 16-Sep-13 21:47:59

I do understand your frustration, but I imagine that in class your DS will be given challenging activities. His teacher is sending home work to specifically address his particular weakness - so a huge well done to him/her!
The counting-in-ones task for example is probably less about the mathematical process and more about getting your DS to practise writing numbers correctly.
Inverting numbers is a fairly common problem for his age group but I can't express strongly enough how much easier it will be to correct now, rather than letting it go unchecked so that its still happening in KS2 - that's when it will cause real problems (as I have seen so many many times - I'm a TA) so it really is wonderful that his teacher is actively encouraging you and your DS to work on sorting this out now.

Periwinkle007 Mon 16-Sep-13 21:49:28

he is in Yr1 presumably?

I think it is very early in the year to worry too much. My daughter has so far told me that all the work they have done (she has just gone into Yr1 too) is far too easy. I suspect they have given him this to get him to practice the numbers without just telling him to write a list of them.

I would leave it for a few weeks and let the class settle down, the teacher work out what levels everyone is and go from there. The things my daughter has done in English she could have done when she started reception to be honest but I am pretty certain her teacher has things under control and will see how things are going at parents evening just before half term. If she is still complaining everything is too easy then it will be interesting to see what the teacher says. Assuming that she doesn't say my daughter is struggling then I would politely mention that she is finding the work isn't hugely challenging and see what the teacher says.

Boobybeau Mon 16-Sep-13 21:51:44

Maybe they're giving him 'easy' homework to give him the opportunity to practise writing instead of focusing on the problem solving just now. Personally I don't think 5yr olds should be getting home work anyway as there will be plenty of time for that later on and they should be learning through play at this age, not filling in forms. Handwriting is just as important as the other academic stuff though so it seems sensible to focus on his 'weaknesses' so he can be an all round achiever. Sorry if I'm not much help

Periwinkle007 Mon 16-Sep-13 22:01:59

I think the only ones who have had maths homework at my daughter's school Yr1 so far are ones catching up a bit. only reading books and some words to practice spelling otherwise

Squiffie Mon 16-Sep-13 22:32:53

I'm carrying over frustration from reception tbh. I hate homework but if we must do it I want it to be meaningful, what he's been given he finds easy so doesn't want to try. I practise writing letters and numbers with him all the time as I know he struggles! I give him maths problems where the answers are 2, 3 or 7 as these are the ones he struggles with!

What's more annoying is that I know 6 other kids have a higher level paper (the teacher told me this) and I know at least one of them writes numbers back to front so that 'reason' is pants! I also appreciate by saying that I'm getting into 'pushy/competitive' parent syndrome.

When DS was in F1 (at a different school) they did some tests and ds was top of the class in all areas by a long way and its frustrating that his ability seems to go unrecognised.

I appreciate its early in the school year it's just because my concerns went pretty much unaddressed last year that I don't want to leave things.

richmal Tue 17-Sep-13 08:23:32

My advice would be to do some maths at home, following the national curriculum, so if in later classes they are set into different ability groups your ds is in top set.

IME it will be your word against the teachers as to his ability, except for at the end of KS1 where there is an actual test. If he can pass the level 3 this will prove his ability and will be hard to argue with.

I had years of being persuaded my child was not so far ahead; around bottom to middle of top group. A few months after taking her out to HE she got a silver in the JMC at the age of 9 and will take her gcse aged 10. Perhaps she was just in a top set who were unusually advanced. hmm

lljkk Tue 17-Sep-13 16:03:05

He needs to spend time on the areas where he's lagging in order to reach his full potential.

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