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How can I encourage my DD to work more quickly??

(8 Posts)
Mandy21 Fri 16-Sep-11 12:18:42

Sorry, I don't want to come across as a pushy mum (or though I accept I probably will....!)

My DD (Year 2) came home last night slightly upset that whilst doing literacy yesterday, she "only wrote half a page whilst the others wrote a full page". She is really bright (sorry - biased mother again!) and loves school so don't want anything to interfere with that. She regularly gets full marks in tests (spelling / number bonds etc) so when she does come under time pressure (I think the teacher reads the word out and they get a few seconds to write it down so she must have to work quickly then) she's fine. When I asked her yesterday why she only wrote half a page, she said they had to write a story about a toy that fitted in their pocket and she couldn't think of one! We do lots of stories / activities etc which must feed her imagination although she's not as creative as my DS (i.e. thinking up her own stories / putting on little plays that other girls have instigated when they've come for playdates). Not sure whether thats the crux of it?!

But (pushy mum alert), she has been on the "top table" for Reception and Year 1 (not sure where she is yet this year) and I don't want her to fall behind.

Thanks for any advice

MrsGravy Fri 16-Sep-11 12:32:15

I think my advice would be not to get het up over one incident! You say she's on the top table, enjoys school and gets full marks in tests where there is a time pressure. No child can be the best at everything, all the time. You say she was only 'slightly upset'. I'm honestly not understanding why you are worrying so much about her falling behind because she wrote less than others on one bit of literacy.

DeWe Fri 16-Sep-11 12:34:52

Sounds just like my dd2. Teacher put her in a room on her own (just for the long writing) during SATS to make sure she did her best work as she typically got part way through then fell to daydreaming for the rest of the time. Loved her teacher for that!

I just try and encourage her to get down to it. Sometimes a stopwatch with a time challenge helps. By the end of yr 2 she was very aware this was happening and sometimes a simple reminder by the teacher helped. I'm hoping this year (yr 3) she'll be growing out of it.

munstersmum Fri 16-Sep-11 12:38:34

Can I politely suggest it's not about working more quickly, it's about generating a plot? We've all stared at a blank piece of paper.

I have introduced not very imaginative DS yr3 to Kiplings 5 friends. So when he has written a sentence or two, he has to ask himself where did that happen or why did they choose to do or what did they do next? The answer provides the next stage of the story.

It's been slow for DS to catch on but we're making progress.

redskyatnight Fri 16-Sep-11 12:44:00

Not wanting to your DD's ability I also think being on the top table can be a double edged sword. DS was pleased as punch last year when he got moved up to the top reading group. But ... he then started comparing himself to the really excellent readers in the class and started coming home demoralised and doubting his own ability. I know it's natural to compare, but it would be a good message to encourage your DD to try not to. Looked at from another angle, half a page (on a topic she struggled with) is very good going!

Mandy21 Fri 16-Sep-11 13:00:40

Thank you - its not one incident - her report / parents evening feedback last year flagged up that she needed to work quicker but I guess I presumed that this was feedback that everyone was getting (or similar). I will definitely try asking more questions (why, where etc) to encourage her and not make an issue out of it in case she becomes dispondent. Yes, I think she's a bit of a daydreamer but a bit of a perfectionist too - she doesn't tend to start things until shes got it all mapped out in her head. I suppose thats not a question of forning the actual letters / writing more quickly, its getting on with formulating the story etc.

wineandroses Fri 16-Sep-11 15:21:04

My DD (also Y2) has the same issue. In Y1 we were told she needed to work faster as although her work was good, it was frequently incomplete. She is worried about this, but can't explain why it hapens. There seem to be a number of reasons (or at least, she agrees with the following suggested by me); not wanting to make spelling or punctuation mistakes, wanting to write neatly, and trying to map out the story in her head first. Also, she is easily put off and distracted by noise. I want to help her but I can't work out which of the above reasons we should focus on. From the posts on here, I think the plot might be the place to start.

Atropos Fri 16-Sep-11 15:24:14

This child is taking time to think – wow! Rejoice. Smart kid. If you're really worried, but I don't see why you should be, talk to her teacher.

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