How to help DD(14 Posts)
We're not in the UK, so don't have anything like the G&T register in schools, but both our kids (DS and DD) have done standardised tests in the past in school, and on the basis of these, their school recommended they be assessed by CTY. Both children sat the CTY assessment, and have been accepted.
DD has just turned 7, and the problem is there are no CTY courses in our area for her age. They won't accept her for courses near us until she is 8.
She is just so bored in school. Nothing is a challenge to her. Her teacher knows this, but with 32 children in the class, and no resources for children like her, she's sort of left to her own devices. She is a social little thing, and has loads of friends, but this just means she is chatting, and making up stuff for herself to do in the class. She hates doing homework and just sits there rattling off answers. Her writing for her homework is always awful, and we think it's just she's bored with it all, as if she does creative writing of her own, it is always written perfectly.
She just has no interest in school as a place to learn. She loves it socially, but just academically is getting so little from it. She needs to be challenged, but I'm just wondering how best to do this for her, without overlapping on future school work. I'd really appreciate if anybody could give me advice, or point me towards websites, which may be of help to us.
We chose to pay fees. Could you take on a second job to be able to do that perhaps? Most countries have very selective academic schools even from age 5+ for the brightest children. Worked well for out lot.
Unfortunately, that's not an option. There is no private primary school in the city we live in. There are very few private primary schools here, and the closest would be 100km away.
What class is she in now? One she be one of the older ones in class & one that be one of the factors of the boredom, I know in Ireland children are allowed start school at 5 so maybe she had a headstart too?
She's in 1st, so in her 3rd year of school. She started school at 4.5, and is in the younger half of her class. The youngest in the class is 3 months younger than her, the oldest is 9 months older than her, so I don't think it's her age.
She has always been far more able than what has been expected for her age, and teachers have highlighted this, but it's as time is going on, she just seems to be going through the motions of academic work. She is a good little girl, but boredom means she starts entertaining herself, and filling her time, and it just comes across as messing in her school books. We've tried telling her she needs to show her lovely writing, and that it's important to show your work nicely, but she just has no interest in the repetition of things she knows really well already.
She really loves Maths, but I'm reluctant to teach her things she'll be covering in future years now, for fear of making the situation worse further down the line. At home, she does great with things like mental arithmetic, and loves having random sums thrown at her to solve, but her homework isn't as complicated, and she just looks at it, writes the answer, and moves on.
How about teaching her something at a tangent. I was bored in Maths at school so Dad taught me to programme a computer - a very good move as it now earns me a good salary. He also taught me how to do my sums in binary (and mum then had to go into my primary school and explain to my teacher what I was doing as she didn't understand my working, I was converting the numbers to binary, doing the sum, and then converting back...) which isn't something they are likely to be taught later.
Does she play an instrument? Could she learn a language?
My DD is also in a school system where diffentiation doesn't really exist (lip service is paid).
We've always gone the route of stimulating but not "academic" outside activities - music, computing, books etc. DD is more the artistic type and for a long time her main activity out of school was writing, mainly on a PC - if nothing else this taught her to type (a good 70 word per minute so faster than most adults).
We also talk a lot at home, about science and current affairs, and I've introduced ideas like testing claims to see if they stand up (at 14 her ability to detect b*lls**t is quite impressive!), basic statistics like the idea of the shape of a distribution, standard deviations etc, and estimation (we play silly games like "estimate how many takeaway pizzas were delivered in London last night"). I'm an economic researcher so this is all in my professional field but I'm sure you could use other types of professional knowledge to introduce general scientific/mathematic ideas that don't encroach too much on the school curriculum.
If she likes maths I would second both the computer programming and learning a musical instrument.
DS3 is 6 and maths mad. I downloaded Scratch onto my computer for him and bought a copy of Computer Coding for Kids by Carol Vorderman and he is absolutely flying! After a month he is now planning and writing his own interactive games.
He also enjoys learning an instrument which is quite mathematical with all the lengths of notes.
If the teachers can't do differentiation then could you arrange for them to let your DD do her own work in their classes once she's finished what the class is doing?
That could be: learning a language, reading classic books, doing a project (e.g. about a specific country, or animal, or artist or aspect of history). That won't directly anticipate school work but it will help stimulate her and get her to get into something.
I would make the price of that kind of effort from you her having a proper go at her official schoolwork though, including nice writing and good behaviour.
Khan academy website has free, suitable for children (make shapes, animate the animal etc), learn to code modules.
DS developed an interest in wildlife. Lots of science, numbers & facts to learn there & might fit well with your location. The Wildlife Trust run activities suitable for children & I see there is an Ireland Wildlife Trust.
Could they put her up a year in core subjects, perhaps?
I second learning a language and instrument out of school.
Keep encouraging her to write her own stuff, and to read. Read to her too, pick books that are too hard for her yet, so she can enjoy more sophisticated stories.
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