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Why is DD aged 7 pretending to be less able than she is?

(30 Posts)
MumblingRagDoll Sun 11-Sep-11 15:20:15

Im not suggesting she's gifted...but she is DEFINATELY pretending to be less able.

She's always done this...she is in year 3...and she has just begun a new school but she dd this in her last school.

She writes quite neatly when she's messing around in her room...little pictures and soon as she has a bit of homework she writes, draws and colours like a baby and it can take more than an our to get her to complete a small and simple task and then it looks aas though it were done by a four year old. sad

The school she was in was a small prep and she had lots of attention ...they just said she lacked concentration...she had a lot of homework there...a piece every night in addition to reading, here she is only having one piece plus reading and weekly spellings.

She's not so bad when it comes to reading and spelling pactice..but anything involving putting pen to paper which isn't her own ideaand it turns into a massive battles.

Her grades were 2bs and a 3 in science....she had a 2c for writing. but she CAN write better than she does at school...I see evidence al the time!

RosemaryandThyme Sun 11-Sep-11 15:31:53

Maybe she is trying to fit in with class-mates ?

wotabouttheworkers Sun 11-Sep-11 15:38:27

Perhaps your daughter is bored and/or is intelligent enough to realize that she can get along without really trying. Use of bribes incentives is controversial - you know her best. Have you talked to her teacher? Difficult for you - there will be less able children who work extremely hard. Bookshops seem to have an array of workbooks which you could introduce at home if you can make it seem not like drudgery but fun. Just a few minutes a day??

mrz Sun 11-Sep-11 16:47:32

Do you know what level 2C writing looks like to make a comparison?

IndigoBell Sun 11-Sep-11 16:51:50

You've seen her do substandard homework. Have you seen her books in class? Are they the same standard as her homework?

What does the teacher say?

I think you can expect a discrepancy between stuff they do for fun and their homework. And you wouldn't expect every piece of written work at school to be their best.

But if the teacher's any good you certainly would expect some if not most of their school work to be their best......

Certainly if she behaves like she does for homework during class, the teacher will have had to notice......

firstgreatholswiththree Sun 11-Sep-11 18:01:20

I think there can be a number of reasons. We have for most part it the other way where I'm like "oh my goodness" and then I see the school books and it's not half as bad as I expect but for 1 year (I'm not suggesting it is like this for your child) where I actually saw her going backwards and it was because she wasn't stimulated and the relationship between her and teacher had broken down. She just wasn't putting in any effort - she got well done regardless of what she did!!!

Can you show the teacher what she can do independently?

IndigoBell Sun 11-Sep-11 18:09:24

Last year I bought in a sample of DSs work from home to show the teacher and we were both just open mouthed at the difference between what he can do at home and what he does do at school.

He finds school hard, it's difficult to concentrate, he's just had a fight with his friend, the topic isn't interesting, it's too noisy, etc.......

mrz Sun 11-Sep-11 18:37:40

Can spell some common monosyllabic words correctly (essential)
plus 12 of the following for a 2C

1. Can write with meaning in a series of simple sentences, (may not be correct in punctuation and structure at 2C)
2. Can produce short sections of developed ideas (2C may be more like spoken than written language) AF3
3. Can use appropriate vocabulary, (should be coherent and mainly sensible) AF7
4. Can use simple phonic strategies (CVC words accurately, others mainly accurately) when trying to spell unknown
words, (If ALL spelling is correct – tick the criteria)
5. Can control use of ascenders/descenders and upper/lower case letters in handwriting, although shape and
size may not always be consistent
6. Can use ANY connective, (may only ever be ‘and’) to join 2 simple sentences, thoughts, ideas etc AF4
7. Can communicate ideas and meaning confidently in a series of sentences (may not be accurate, but mainly
8. Can usually sustain narrative and non-narrative forms (can write at length, staying on task-close to a side of
wide lined A4 at least.)
9. Can provide enough detail to interest the reader, (e.g. is beginning to provide additional information or description,
beyond a simple list)
10. Can vary the structure of sentences to interest the reader, (manipulated sentences e.g.,questions, direct
speech or opening with a subordinate clause)
11. Can use interesting and ambitious words sometimes, (should be words not usually used by a child of that
age, and not a technical word used in a taught context only e.g. ‘volcano’ or ‘evaporate’)
12. Can match organisation to purpose, (e.g. showing awareness of structure of a letter, openings and endings,
importance of reader, organisational devices)
13. Can usually use basic sentence punctuation (full stops followed by capital letters. May not be accurate for 2C) AF6
14. Can spell common monosyllabic words accurately AF8
15. Can use phonetically plausible strategies to spell or attempt to spell unknown polysyllabic words, (if all spelling
is correct in a long enough piece to be secure evidence – tick the criteria)
16. Can use connectives other than ‘and’ to join 2 or more simple sentences, thoughts, ideas etc (e.g. but, so,
17. Can make writing lively and interesting (e.g. consciously varies sentence length/uses punctuation to create
effect etc.)
18. Can link ideas and events, using strategies to create ‘flow’ (e.g. Last time, also, after, then, soon, at last, and
another thing….)
19. Can use adjectives and descriptive phrases for detail and emphasis (consciously selects the adjective for
purpose, rather than using a familiar one e.g. a title – ‘Big Billy Goat Gruff’)

20. Can usually structure basic sentences correctly, including capitals and full stops in a longer piece AF6
21. Can use accurate and consistent handwriting, (in print at minimum, can show consistent use of upper/lower
case, ascenders/descenders, size and form)
22. Begins to show evidence of joining handwriting

crazycarol Sun 11-Sep-11 21:47:05

My DD "played dumb" at times during primary school and because I knew what she was capable I spoke to her about it. She did it because she wanted to be accepted by her peers and didn't want to be called the class swot, or geek or something similar. She isn't a genius or anywhere close, she was just capable of doing a lot better than she was.

MumblingRagDoll Sun 11-Sep-11 21:53:52

Gosh Mrz....that list is a it much for me....I think she can do most of those things...she can speak in a sophisticated way but her writng is BAD! SHe draws and sews by hand in an amazing way her fine motor skills are ok...she is, I think coasting...lazy. I may try a star chart...and speak to her teacher. Thanks very much people!

Iamseeingstars Sun 11-Sep-11 21:55:04

We had this with one of my kids as well, and it was because the school/teachers focus on the weaker kids and ignore the brighter kids. My DC just gave up because the teachers never spent any time with her.

We turned it around by sending one of DC to a tutoring programme centre for a term and this brought back the enthusiasm to learn. Once DC started to show what she was actually capable of, then the work in the class improved and things got better...... for a while.

Back to same problem now because current class is mainly full of below average students and DC doesnt want to stand out, so is doing nothing in the class. Teacher not motivating her, and because I am ill, is not putting any pressure or pushing her because she doesnt want to upset her. In the meantime she is continuing to slide rapidly.

She is also sick of everyone constantly asking her how to do things, how to spell things, copying her work etc. and is preferring now to act dumb and not do the work so people will ignore her.

Her writing levels are now way below average whereas in Y1/2 they were very advanced.

MumblingRagDoll Sun 11-Sep-11 21:58:40

She can read well...fluently...she just seems to hate writing and isnt that keen t do it on a keyboard either...though she loves computers.

MumblingRagDoll Sun 11-Sep-11 22:01:37

That sounds bad Iamseeingstars but I dont think my DD is THAT bright academically...her grades are average aren't they? Apart from writing which is below and science which is she was ina class of ten so she didn't get too ignored I hope....she never was made out to be that bright by her teachers.

they were pleased with how she came on from year 1 through to 2...big strides in Math and inn confidence generally...but she is shy too....I dont know...I wish I could stop stressing!

I was thinking of a tutor...what programme did you use?

Iamseeingstars Sun 11-Sep-11 22:03:27

It was an external training centre, similar to Kip McGrath, but it was too expensive and I didnt continue with it

mrz Mon 12-Sep-11 07:40:39

The ability to read and speak extremely well unfortunately doesn't always relate to being able to write (speaking as the parent of such a child, who everyone assumed just wasn't trying and was later diagnosed as SEN).

goingmadinthecountry Mon 12-Sep-11 08:08:25

Agree with Mrz - my ds (3rd child) is highly articulate and comes across as bright and mature but his writing was always dire and still is in Y10 at grammar school. He's dyslexic.

Dd3 (7) loves school but already I'm worried she won't be as motivated this year. I have 3 issues already with 1st week's homework/spellings. Don't want to be one of those moaning parents, but as a teacher and mum of 4 I've learnt that wait and see doesn't work.

IndigoBell Mon 12-Sep-11 08:10:16

Does she find spelling hard?

Is she worried she'll spell words wrong?

Is she worried she'llbetold she's spelt wordswrong?

Iamseeingstars Mon 12-Sep-11 09:37:00

Agree with Mrz that ability to speak well and articulate doesnt mean they are good writers, but in my case, DC is not dyslexic, nor has any learning issues. Just lazy!

MumblingRagDoll Mon 12-Sep-11 10:22:04

No Indigo she is very good at spelling and almost always gets them all right in tests...she loves words generally ad plays with them a lot...making new ones and discussing Etymology with me....what are some signs of Dyselxia then?

snazaroo Mon 12-Sep-11 10:25:53

She is 7 and probably can't be bothered to constantly try to do her best work. It isn't the end of the world. If she is happy and enjoying school it really doesn't matter if her homework isn't always perfect.

IndigoBell Mon 12-Sep-11 10:33:12

One sign of dyslexia is being unable to read.
Another sign is being able to read but being unable to spell.

So it doesn't sound like dyslexia.

snazaroo Mon 12-Sep-11 10:50:39

Being able isn't just latent ability - being able is also about being organised and focussed.

piprabbit Mon 12-Sep-11 10:50:39

OP - is there any reason why you did not believe the school when they said she lacked concentration?

Would it be worthwhile changing your approach to how and when your DD does her homework? Perhaps the routine needs a bit of adjustment?

As homework is done weekly, perhaps it could be done on a weekend morning when your DD is well-rested instead of on a Friday night when she might be overly tired?
Does she understand exactly when you expect her to do her homework? And does she get a 5 minute warning to prepare herself (finish a game, read to the end of the chapter etc.)?
May be even set a time limit on how long she struggles over a piece of work - say 30 minutes - and whatever she has done in 30 minutes is what gets handed in (even if it is a bit scrappy - at least it will give the teacher a better feel for things).

Take a look at this video clip for more ideas on how to improve things.

MumblingRagDoll Mon 12-Sep-11 12:46:47

Its not that I didn't beleive them really pip but it seems..well...such a weak excuse for her! I think I get annoyed because I'm very hard working personally...but DH isn't...I dont understand not wanting to do your best all the time.

SHe gts it from her Dad I tell you! grin

I have tried all you suggested pip and I still think there's something going on which I have not managed to grasp....last homework was to draw an outfit for a character in her book and she wouldn't do it even though that is the kind of thing she does for fun!

It feels like a control isuse tbh....with her enjoying the sense of power...think I am crap at all this.

piprabbit Mon 12-Sep-11 12:53:21

If you've tried everything, and it does sound like you are getting to the end of what is reasonable to try, then I think it's time to back off and leave her to make her own mistakes (in terms of deciding what if any homework she does). Perhaps let the teacher what you plan to do and why, first, as homework is a 'deal' between teacher and pupil.

If your DD thinks that she is fighting you about homework, then perhaps saying "You know what, take this up with Miss X because she is the one who has asked for the homework" might get her to realise that this isn't about her winning against you.

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