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How did you made your dc's ahead?

(50 Posts)
irvine101 Tue 12-Jan-16 19:47:37

On the primary board, there was a thread about what do you do with your children, and many people said they don't do anything at all at home. Yet some claim they are in yr2 working at yr6 level etc. I believe even able children need to be taught to learn new things, so if the school isn't helpful, I have to do it.(Provide him with resources.)
Did your able children just new everything without being taught, like true genius, or they still needed your input?. That thread made me feel like I was a real pushy parent, even I don't really feel that way normally. I just feel like helping my ds with his needs.

irvine101 Tue 12-Jan-16 19:48:53

Wrong apostrophe on title!

Soooosie Tue 12-Jan-16 19:49:56

Personally I believe the best thing you can of is to get them addicted to books.

Mine read to themselves for 45 mins each evening and the read to me for 15 minutes each morning.

GraciesMansion Tue 12-Jan-16 19:57:29

My dd genuinely taught herself to read and write. We didn't do anything beyond providing pens, paper and books. She didn't even really like being read to. She's at school now in y3 and obviously learns new things there but her early reading meant that she's always been able to do a great deal of independent learning and continues to be way ahead of her peer group across the curriculum. I agree with pp that reading is the key.

TeddTess Tue 12-Jan-16 19:59:17

yes, if they read and you make decent quality material available they will learn so much
i truly did not teach dd to read.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 12-Jan-16 20:04:21

You make stuff available and respond to their interests. It would never have crossed my mind my 8yo ds would be interested in philosophy but he kept asking questions about it, I came across a simplified book and he devoured it and asked for more.

Bounced Tue 12-Jan-16 20:09:28

iPad apps and lots of books, so she can discover things for herself. Expecting things like a decent summary of the book she's reading (and modelling how to do it) before I read to her at bedtime. Getting her to work out the timings for the roast dinner (20 mins per 250g plus 20 mins etc). Lots of trips to museums. Farming her out to grandparents when I can't face any more difficult questions grin - they have a variety of interests and expertise that they're passing on.

Greenleave Tue 12-Jan-16 20:15:46

Irvine: both our child are excel at maths(mine might not be as much of level 6 but maths does come to her naturally). My biggest worry is English as both myself and my husband are foreigners and we can/should teach her English. What I do is I fill my house with books, I talk about books she read, is reading, my husband reads all these books too(I havent found time as on tube I have to work on BB). I encouraged her writing, first after any holiday trips, then everyday a little in her diary, then try to ask her to extend her sentence. She has a task last year learning every day 3 new words, then increased to 5 recently. She didnt like it and/or forgets about it at first then now she mostly writes down more. She writes a sentence with the new words she learns too. Read alot and I mean alot. She was given "a complete of Chronicle of Narnia 7 books in 1 and she just finished it last week" she was so into it and enjoy it so much that she made posters, drawing picture of all the character the scene everywhere, our house is full of them(before it was Harry Porter).

To be honest, I dont want her be overly academic. Getting a very high standard academic base is important at the same time I'd like her to be out, be socialise as much as she could, plays couple of instruments well. Enjoy museums, theatre, concerts, sight seeings with knowing history, knows what is happening around her. I think she will do well academically my main and hardest task is to help her with the rest

Greenleave Tue 12-Jan-16 20:16:48

Cant, shouldnt teach her Rnglish(sorry type too fast)

irvine101 Tue 12-Jan-16 20:17:23

I agree with all PPs, but in my mind, that doesn't seem like doing nothing.
So, when they say they don't do anything, it normally means they don't force DCs to do something, but just give them what they need?
I also didn't teach my ds to read, but provide him with lots of books. Answered questions when asked.
So, giving them resources to learn themselves is considered doing nothing with them? If they do it themselves and not forced?

Hassled Tue 12-Jan-16 20:20:21

I think so much depends on what the child is like rather than what the parents do or don't do. I have 4 DC, all of whom have had similar levels of help and support at home. One of them is what you'd call "gifted" - as in incredibly academically successful and high achieving. Where he differed from the others was a constant desire to learn - he has always been endlessly interested in things. And you either have that or you don't. His siblings don't have it, I don't have it.

GraciesMansion Tue 12-Jan-16 20:22:57

I think when people say they did nothin with them they mean that their dc chose to do things without any prompting or intervention from parents/adults. It would be pretty tricky for a child to learn to read if they had no books in the house for instance, although I do know of one child (who has autism) who learned to read from the tv. I don't consider having pens and paper in the house as actively doing something with them.

jelliebelly Tue 12-Jan-16 20:28:48

Definitely making appropriate material available - especially on the reading front. My ds has a fantastic memory which helps enormously and I don't think you can teach that.

Iwantakitchen Tue 12-Jan-16 20:35:44

Lots of board games, counting games, playing with Numicons and the old fashion Cuisinaire rods, counting (cars, motorbikes) lots of doubling numbers, doing sums at supermarket, how much change will we get back if I hand over 5 pounds and the card cost 2 pounds. Puzzles, reading non fiction books about science, cars, boats, planes, look at various scientific discoveries.

Never done a worksheet with them though. We do a lot of experiments in the garden and the forest, such as how a banana skin decomposes compared to a piece of bark from a tree, etc. We look at insects worms birds etc. We build dens for frogs. That's all part of exploring the environment and making them curious, inquisitive, etc. Both DCs are doing well at school and one is gifted in maths. Both love to read, now aged 8 and 10.

Greenleave Tue 12-Jan-16 20:38:00

It did bother me a great deal last year about help or not help, how much, to what an extend? I have a friend whose child is learning for 11+ and she said they havent done anything yet, then her husband told us in the other corner 10mins later that the child wakes up at 6 daily, went to tutor from yr4, and doing couple of papers a day and he was exhausted, the husband said so infront of the child. Later on my friend still insisted that they dont do anything to help their child.

I learnt that all must be balanced, and it all depends on your ownchikd and what you want him to be. Then it could never be over studying(if he really loves doing what he is doing). My daughter loves our maths quizzes, to be able to win us she has to have strong mental maths(works all in her head) and also learns deeper and wider than at schools. Every time she lost then I will read and find smth online and print the questions, practices down for her to learn. I bought Bonds but they were easy, too easy for able children.

Another thing I found is music, she has progressed so well and loves it and loves the challenge.

So in the end, they are our children, as long as we are doing our best, my standard and aim are different from my friends'. Many time people dont want to share the real story worrying their child might come second best or just because of personal reason. It doesnt matter. It appears that my daughter is top in her year for both maths and English but then its only her school, its not a selective school. I am worried her outstanding school, top pupils could never be as good as a selective independent. And uk might never be as good as us. So its really doesnt matter if the parents in her class/school or my friends saying. Mumsnet is a great place and I have spent time in here so much more than I should but I have learnt so much and from many honest sharings. Any question, just search here then fire here...

irvine101 Tue 12-Jan-16 21:23:14

Thank you everyone. It does make sense. If it is child oriented, then it's ok, if dc learns new thing at home. And it doesn't necessarily considered as hot housing?

BabyGanoush Tue 12-Jan-16 21:27:41

Hi OP,

My experience is that in The UK people downplay how much they help and support their kids.

Natural ability is applauded, but working hard to move up academically is seen with some suspicion.

So it's hard to gauge what other people do (some lie, very unhelpful, or get secret tutors confused) though this board is helpful.

I am not from here so it took me years to figure this out.

Bolognese Tue 12-Jan-16 21:34:54

Geniuses are made, not born (my DC certainly is not one). Look up László Polgárs amazing experiment with his DDs which bear out my experience as a parent. Current thought seems to be that it takes about 10,000 hours practice for anyone to reach the top of a field, which is about 3 hours a day for a decade.

I would partially agree with Soooosie but would prefer to say, get them addicted to learning. The way I did this was to play fun games with my DC and every game involved learning. There is so many ways to do this, I could talk about it for hours. Every day from the moment they woke their was a new puzzle on the floor tempting them into solving it. Every car journey had memory games. Upon return from school an educational treasure hunt. Every weekend trips to the museum, science center, early learning center, the 100 acre wood, library. Every wall in the bedroom plastered in words, numbers, maps, science. Learning spellings became games of hopscotch. Dressing up and reenacting Greek myths when it rained. Every coffee morning I brought fun things to learn, while all the other mums just gave their kids some sparkly horse/car toys to play with. There are masses of normal pop culture kids books but look a bit deeper and there are kids books on quantum mechanics, black holes, chemistry, languages, history etc that are just as much, if not more, fun.

At bedtime we invented our own stories where we only advanced the plot by one tiny bit. Each character represented something eg a number and so he learn huge amounts of facts by making up stories/journeys one night at a time (memory maps). Pi to 100 decimal places, the periodic table, the bones/muscles of the body, flags, countries, capitals, planets etc etc.. Some thought he was a genius, others dismissed it as just an irrelevant memory feat. To us it was just stories we had made up, no different than any story he had ever read in a book.

Probably sounds like hot housing to many parents but it isn't, it is quality fun time together we both enjoyed. Even as a teenager we still do all those things but now its more of a challenge of equals. The results are an insatiable appetite for knowledge, just vociferous, he never watches TV, its inane and boring to him. I will admit his interests have tended to stray to the maths/science side because I found them more interesting as well but you cant have it all.

Y6 reading in Y2 is no big deal, once they go to secondary every child reads pretty well. DON'T do nothing or in the long run a bright kid will waste their potential.

Sorry for the rant but when I get talking about my DS...
To sum it all up make learning, fun and games all the same thing. Do a little every morning and night and you will open up a world of magic for ANY child. I wish I knew more parents in real life that felt the same.

irvine101 Tue 12-Jan-16 21:38:26

Thank you BabyGanoush.
I am foreign too, so sometimes things can get very confusing for me too, especially things like academically able is something you need to hide in real life.

irvine101 Tue 12-Jan-16 21:41:48

Thank you, Bolognese for inspirational post. I totally agree with you.

Greenleave Tue 12-Jan-16 21:42:22

Totally agree with Babyganoush: my daughter friends' parents never mention anything about what they do at home to help their children except read to them and with them(we cant read to her as our English is terrible). Our friends choose not share real story to us(especially the ones whose children close to our's age). Every time I asked they said they dont do anything and why I have to do anything when my daughter is doing so well at school. Then when I mentioned about nrich, everyones know about nrich and have their children working on it.

Teacher is too busy with other less able ones and being told to focus on lifting the whole class's quality and could ignore an individual if the child is doing well.

Then you have mumsnet, 11+forum(not joined yet, will soon next year) and/or anyone who have much older children(but then the experience might not be as relevant)

cece Tue 12-Jan-16 21:46:58

You need to read up about growth mindset.

Mrspepperpotty Tue 12-Jan-16 21:54:20

DS is in year 5, and recently got through to the bonus round of the primary maths challenge, which puts him in the top 1.5% of children entering (it's nationwide). I have honestly never done any extra maths with him, beyond helping him with his homework (he does get differentiated work - but that comes from the school, not us). We've never done nrich or anything similar. He's just naturally good at maths!

Lurkedforever1 Tue 12-Jan-16 22:01:28

I don't think I've ever done anything that any normal, involved parent doesn't do with a child of any ability. In fact academically possibly a lot less because I've never had to support school work.

I just followed her lead, and made stuff available, and interacted like anyone would. The content might have been different according to her interest/ability but that's about it.

I was exceptionally lucky with her primary, and the occasions she was bored/ frustrated they were doing their best so didn't ever do anything much for her there. Only actual thing I've done differently was pursuing a bursary/ scholarship for secondary school. Nothing else was any different to what you'd do for a middle achiever.

Not sure whether the fact we're academically similar was part of it. On the one hand, yes as she's got older I can help or explain when asked. On the other hand, I was very unfamiliar with a lot of the circuitous routes used in the early days at primary. Eg when she brought home a number square with some homework questions and it took me a few minutes to figure out how the former was meant to help, when in my mind the answers just were.

PiqueABoo Tue 12-Jan-16 23:09:39

"Current thought seems to be that it takes about 10,000 hours practice for anyone to reach the top of a field"

No, that was largely Gladwell talking bollox and it's rather dated now e.g. the first dismissal I hit with Google is here (but there are more):

You only have to observe real-life to realise that most things need practice, but some people will need more than others and some will never achieve the goal at all.

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