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Those of you who helped me on the We have fucked up thread in this topic - would you mind sharing your wisdom again please?

(20 Posts)
TheOriginalFAB Tue 23-Aug-11 18:29:45

DH asked me to get DS1 to do 2 papers each of non verbal and verbal reasoning and maths. I told DS and said he had all day to do it. He wantged to play n the computer so I said if he did 2 more tests he could go on as long as he wanted. He probably didn't hear as he had stormed off mid sentence.

DH has come home and checked and he has spent between 4-7 on each paper (he has only done 4) and got between 23-40%.

Is there any point us buying help books and forking out for a tutor when he clearly can't be bothered to put any serioud effort in?

He is not stupid, he just doens't want to do it and no matter how many times we tell him practice makes things easier the next time (ie when he couldn't swim and now he can because he tried lots) he isn't having any of it.

We have moved on from hoping he will pass the 11+ to using the tutoring as a way of getting him up to speed for year 6 but I am wondering now what is the point sad.

TheOriginalFAB Tue 23-Aug-11 18:31:38

4-7 minutes that should have been.

Himalayanbalsam Tue 23-Aug-11 18:32:52

Doing past papers is soul destroying. I'm not surprised he doesn't want to do it!

See how you get on with the tutor building his skills but don't think that you are ever going to get an 11 year old enjoying doing VR papers.

Also don't let dh make you in to the policeman - if he wants ds to do something he should be setting the terms.

DilysPrice Tue 23-Aug-11 18:35:48

I didn't get to the end of the last thread, but I would say a) don't put too much reliance in a boy's mood on a single afternoon and b) consider starting him on some bond tests aimed at slightly younger children, which he will find easier and more fun. Once he's had a little bit of "doing tests" practice at a simpler level then you can try him out on age-appropriate ones - at which point you'll have a realistic sense of his true abilities.

hopenglory Tue 23-Aug-11 18:36:06

Are you using the 10 minutes tests? They're quite effective - and not long enough to make it a torture

mrz Tue 23-Aug-11 18:42:55

Have you asked him if he wants to go to grammar school? Could he be rebelling?

TheOriginalFAB Tue 23-Aug-11 19:06:03

He does want to go but tbh he wants to go to the same school as his best mate rather than the grammar school itself.

We can't make him understand the importance of at least trying and left to him, he would do nothing.

I am doubting my abilities today tbh. I am so tired.

mrz Tue 23-Aug-11 19:17:30

I'm beginning to think your problem may lie in his desire not to pass rather than ability

lovecheese Tue 23-Aug-11 19:27:40

Have a couple of days off, will do neither of you any good in the long-term if you are picking up on each others stress.

After that, have a frank talk with him about how hard he will need to work at Grammar school, not just for the entrance exam but for the whole of his time there, as I think someone mentioned on your last thread; If he does want to give it his best shot you need to be firm and say either he DOES knuckle down and do some practice... or settle on the school his friend will be going to, and if that is what you decide on then it is NOT failing him with his life chances etc. Your stress about this will be counter-productive if the barriers are up on both sides, believe me I know, so sit down and be honest with each other and listen to each other. If he wants to give the Grammar his best shot then agree on a daily time-table - no more than 15 minutes per day at a time agreed by both of you - and try to get it done in the morning then it is not looming over you the whole day. Try a neutral territory, take him for a hot chocolate whilst he does his paper, and try to keep things friendly and purposeful. I am going through similar with my DD at the moment, although hers is not a Grammar entry issue; we have both re-thought our approach <<whispers>> and it seems to be working. PM me if you like. Good luck.

TheOriginalFAB Tue 23-Aug-11 19:30:04

He has written that he doesn't think he will pass and it is stupid.

We do need to talk to him but tomorrow now as we are all tired.

ANY TIPS WOULD be greatfully received.

CardboardFox Tue 23-Aug-11 21:02:49

Not sure what help I can be, but I expect my DD's (aged 10) reaction to doing school work in the holidays would be similar to your Ds's.

I suppose you have to either:
*try to force him
*try to get it through to him why you want him to do this work or
*bribe him.
Obviously the second option is the prefered and sustainable one.

However, not all 10 year olds are ready to knuckle down for such untangible and in-the-future rewards as 'school next year' or 'fulfilling potential', and don't have enough world experience to really consider the consequences of their actions or inactions.

If he really is that reluctant, and if he is unlikely to get into Grammar despite this work (what were his NC levels btw? Is he old or young in his year?), then maybe back off a bit. Give him a little time to think about things without pressure. Then, if he is more receptive, do as Dilys said, and start him on easy stuff to up his confidence. It may be that he is resisting because he feels it is too hard and he doesn't want to be seen to be falling short.

Best of luck!

TheOriginalFAB Tue 23-Aug-11 21:38:25

We have promised him a lap top. Maybe we need to remind him of that.

TwinkleTops Tue 23-Aug-11 21:51:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

CardboardFox Tue 23-Aug-11 22:12:40

Moving on from Twinkletops' advert...

FAB, what was the promise of a lap top for? Does he have to earn it, or are you getting it to help with homework?

What do you think about what I said in my previous message?

sarahfreck Tue 23-Aug-11 22:36:52

OK - first off - you said 6 tests, 2 in each subject area. Are these the full 50 minute tests? If so -far far too much for one day!

If they are the 10 minute tests, I'd have settled for 1 of each plus a discussion of stuff he got stuck on, rather than two of each, so your DH may have expected too much I think.

It is also quite a tall order to expect many 10 year-old boys to self-supervise and manage their own work. I think you were maybe expecting too much to want him to go away and do his own tests without supervision.

I think you need to have a discussion as lovecheese suggests but with both you and DH present. If the outcome is that he does want to give the Grammar School a try, then I think he will need help to structure his practice.

During the school holiday, I would:
sit him down at the start of the day and explain that you and he are going to do an hour of work. Then the rest of the day is his own (or half an hour with you doing the tests straight away and half an hour in the evening with DH going over them). Nothing else will happen or be done on the day until he has done this hour (or half-hour). Do not allow yourself to be negotiated into leaving it till later in the day.

Put the first 10 minute test in front of him (with sharpened pencil and rubber and a drink and all other stuff kids can faff about getting when they are supposed to be working). Explain he has 10 minutes, if he gets stuck, he should move onto next question, if he finishes, he still has to spend the full ten minutes going back and checking the answers or having another go at a question he got stuck on.

Set a kitchen timer for ten minutes. Let him get on with it without help, but still stay in the same room so he doesn't get a chance to get sidetracked. You can be cooking or ironing or whatever, but still stay there.

If you are doing the whole hour with him - go over paper immediately and discuss problems - if not leave for DH in evening.

Repeat process for papers 2 and 3.

If he needs to go to the loo, change out of an itchy shirt or 101 other displacement activities, the "clock" stops while he does this so he knows that wasting time doesn't get him out of doing any of his "hour".

Praise him for his concentration and effort NOT for how well he has done (even if he does do well). Get DH to do the same! This is really really important.

During term time, an hour at a time will be too much after school. You could try one 10 min paper a night ( ie 20 mins work following the same routine as above).

At some point he needs to get some experience of full length papers so he has some feeling for time management etc. Probably doing one of these per weekend is enough.

A good tutor should be able to help support your DS and build his confidence, which should help his motivation, so don't automatically rule a tutor out because his motivation is low at the moment.

TheOriginalFAB Wed 24-Aug-11 08:06:54

I have had a chat with him this morning and he said he can't do it.

DH is coming home early today as I have to go to hospital, so I am going to do the ironing now and leave ds at the moment. I know he has been and got a pencil and some paper so I want to wait and see what he is doing rather than rush in and interfer.

I don't think he cares what school he goes too as long as he is with his friend. We have tried to say that without work he won't be able to go to the same school.

I appreciate all your advice and will reread this thread later once my head is no longer full of cotton wool and I have stopped sneezing.

MrsRobertDuvall Wed 24-Aug-11 11:38:14

Fab, are all of his friends trying for grammar?
Or are some just applying to local school?
You can't make him do the tests and could put him off school/learning for life if you insist.
If you have explained to him that grammar is selective, not everyone gets in, but most boys will be practising these tests.....and he still won't do them...I would just give up. Tell him then he will not have a chance of going to the same school as his friend. His choice.
Presumably his friend is doing the tests....maybe they could do some together?
But you may just have to accept he is not going to grammar school, and look at your other options.
As I said on the other thread, ds did not want to go to grammar....even though bf was. He has excelled at the local school, made great friends, having fun.
Really feel for you as it's a horrible situation.

TheOriginalFAB Wed 24-Aug-11 12:27:07

I only know of 2 boys who are doing the 11+ as I don't talk to anyone.
I don't want to put him off at all. He is clever, just doesn't get things and doesn't like doing homeowrk. He said to me today he is imaginiative. He is/ He is a scientist too. This morning he has made a computer out of paper, stickers. glue, string.

MrsRobertDuvall Wed 24-Aug-11 14:04:28

It doesn't sound as if grammar school is right for him....maybe he wouldn't be able to keep up.
If he got in at all.
Maybe you're flogging a dead horse.
Have you looked at the other schools? Has he an opinion on them?

TheOriginalFAB Wed 24-Aug-11 15:06:24

I agree. We should have done more with him.

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