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When to go and see the teacher about work being 'too easy' without looking like an awful Tiger Mother?!

(109 Posts)
harrietlichman Sun 13-Jan-13 09:26:21

My ds2 is in year one and though by no means a 'G&T' candidate, he is pretty advanced at spelling and reading - he can easily spell the words that dd1 brings home (Year 4) for her spelling work, for example.
This week he bought home the class newsletter which asks parents to help children with their spellings for a weekly test, along with a list of new words. They were all two letter words (on, at, etc) and absolutely no challenge to him whatsover.
I am reluctant to go in to school in a way, because I don't want to come across as a pushy parent who thinks her son is some sort of genius (!) but at the same time I am slightly concerned about what appears to be a lack of differentiation in the class.
So my question is WWYD? My dh thinks I should leave it as that is obviously what everyone in the class is doing at the moment, but my gut feeling is that he is just wasting time on this and should be being challenged a bit more.

TotallyBS Tue 22-Jan-13 15:10:39

Feenie/Learnandsay -

I get it that some MNetters DCs can try very hard and can only manage to be 'average' academically speaking.

But it gets a bit ridiculous where the OP gets flamed for complainiing that her bright DC isn't being challenged. Should the OP just shut up and let her DC coast because, to say otherwise, would offend those whose DC aren't doing so well? This is an education forum as opposed to a support forum.

In my case, DD wasn't reading as fluently as DS at that age. Hence my concern. It was Year R so I wasn't yet use to the sensitive egos at the school gate. Once I realised that some parents were like this I learnt to confine my conversation to safe subjects.

Its 'funny' how you see this lack of tact as an attempt to rub the mum's face in it. It says a lot about you that such an admission on my part is seen as a stealth boast.

learnandsay Tue 22-Jan-13 13:50:23

I was talking to totally. She seems made up that her child is doing better than someone else's and thinks it's good to have been going on about it in the playground. But a few years down the line things may well be the other way round. She won't feel so great then if the other mother is going on about it in the playground. It's fine to be proud of your children. But discuss it with your friends and family. Don't rub other parent's noses in in in the playground because it'll come back and bite you in the *.

Feenie Tue 22-Jan-13 13:44:11

That makes no sense, learnandsay, confused

I have been in a situation where my child wasn't doing so well - had I come onto MN and complained that I thought teachers were not doing 'enuf' for my PFB, I would fully expect to have someone take the piss for it.

learnandsay Tue 22-Jan-13 12:34:39

It's probably not a very good idea to rub other people's noses in it. One day your child might not be doing so well. I don't think you'll be happy if the mother starts rubbing your nose it it.

TotallyBS Tue 22-Jan-13 11:26:48

grin at Feenie.

I once made the mistake of saying to another primary school mom that I was doing extra reading with DD because her Literacy wasn't as good as it should be. You should have seen her face. I later found out that her DC was on a lower table than mine.

I have since learned that a lot of parents don't like to hear other parents going on about how their bright DCs aren't being pushed. Some, like you Feenie, choose to respond by making the OP's literacy the issue.

So Feenie, I feel for ya. I'm gonna go and make myself a cuppa but don't let dat stop ya frum ignoring the elelpant dats in the kitchin grin

Feenie Tue 22-Jan-13 10:48:23

'Enuff' is NOT a typo.

I would have thought my point was obvious - in view of your apparent lack of Literacy skills, I am doubting your ability to know whether teachers are failing to 'push' your child 'enuf'.

TotallyBS Tue 22-Jan-13 09:42:31

Before you rush to point it out Feenie, yes I know I wrote 'are' instead of 'our'.

TotallyBS Tue 22-Jan-13 09:40:41

Actually it's spelt with two 'f's ie 'enuff' smile

Feenie: If all you are going to offer is a typo flame why bother at all?

Some of us post from phones while on the move or on the bus etc. and occasionally the odd spelling mistake or typo gets through. So what? Does being careless with our spelling preclude us from making comments about how are children aren't being challenged by their schools?

madwomanintheattic Tue 22-Jan-13 02:08:29

Bwah ha ha.

Feenie Mon 21-Jan-13 18:31:37

Teachers were not pushing your ds 'enuf'? confused

Thier education?

Wow. shock

drivemenuts Mon 21-Jan-13 18:26:35

Sorry Harrietlichman, what is wrong in being a tiger mum if ur child is capable. We've had similar concerns where we felt the teachers were not pushing our DS enuf, when approached we got a lot of excuses as to how he likes being in his comfort zone & does not want to be challenged. But after a lil more encouragement from the same teacher he is now performing above his yr.

Even though his class has children in diff groups according to their capabilities, so each child can work at their own pace,we still faced this problem. I cannot understand how can teachers miss such talent.

Sadly for this very reason, we r moving our son to independent schools now, as we are afraid in a class of 30-32 kids he may not get the attention he needs & may lose all the momentum & interest he shows in his work rt now. But please speak up for ur child because it is a matter of thier education.

mam29 Mon 21-Jan-13 01:20:26

my dd nearly always got 10/10spellings test in year 1.

same happened in 1st term year 2.

She passed phonics tesr year 1 so was in top phonics group.
There were 3phonics groups within her class of 30.

they all had different spellings.

lower groups had easier and less words I gather.

dd moved schools.

shes now getting xtra help with spelling.

They recognise shes good at phonics but spelling and readings diffret whereas old school felt everything was just fine.

The problem was she could learn and memorise words

few weeks later couldent remember some of them.

her written works littered with spelling mistakes.

so now she gets something called zapper cards the teacher identifies ords within her written word that are wrong and they get sent home to to work on which seems more sensible.

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 13:49:12

skull, you're probably just lucky. In a lot of cases people do ask and don't get.

skullcandy Sat 19-Jan-13 13:47:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LivingInAPinkBauble Sat 19-Jan-13 10:24:21

Currently teach year 5 but send out 6 levels of spellings-from very simple high frequency to new vocabulary and words much harder to sound out etc. it is all on a spreadsheet, I print out the words and children stick them in their homework diaries. Takes very little time and I don't have a TA. I also differentiated spellings in year 1. I would ask.

simpson Sat 19-Jan-13 10:13:09

My DS (yr3) finds times tables effortless and spellings too (we never practise at home blush) but he forgets to apply the spellings in his writing...

DD (reception) gets 10 spellings a week which she insists on doing most days <<sigh>> and a test of Fridays.

She also knows her tricky words so one of her homework tasks is to write sentences with certain tricky words in (4 a week).

However the difference with her is that she does seem to remember her spellings and put them in her writing...

She got three (pointless IMO) certificates for knowing tricky word list 1, 2 and 3 but the school gave up after that as she knew all the other lists too....

Or he's getting one wrong on purpose as he was getting comments from the other kids...

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 09:20:44

Hey, well don't tease him, cece. Once or twice maybe it's funny. The chances are they're odd numbered tables and he actually has to think about a couple!

cece Sat 19-Jan-13 09:15:51

I agree about the certificate. I was quite cross when he got it as I knew how little he had to do to earn it.

I have the same problem with the times tables test each week. He does them with no effort whatsoever, whilst his friends/peers struggle to learn them every week. However, recently he's been getting one wrong every week, so I have been asking him why he's not getting them all right? LOL

mrz Sat 19-Jan-13 08:44:29

Personally I wouldn't give spelling lists to take home to memorise as all the research suggests that it's a pretty pointless exercise (and I wouldn't reward a child for behaving as they should).

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 08:35:27

Obviously with my daughter it's too early to tell; they haven't had any spellings yet. But we all know they're coming. For some reason my daughter has memorised the whole list of tricky words. That's the list that she's going to be asked to spell. I think it's a bit unfair if she memorised the list several months before the words were set and someone else learned them as weekly spellings (the way they are supposed to be learned) that she would get a certificate. That's not the idea of weekly spellings. If there was a remember the whole list a month in advance certificate then sure, give it to her.

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 08:27:11

Sure, but isn't that pointing towards the lower end of achievement? At the higher end were starting to talk about differentiation. If it takes no effort for a child to remember her spellings, so little in fact that she never even takes them out of her bag, then should she get a certificate? Why not give her a certificate for putting all the spellings into a lovely poem (at least she read them!) and give Little Jonny a certificate for spelling five out of ten correctly at his fifty fourth attempt?

mrz Sat 19-Jan-13 08:21:03

Effort is also about the care you take with your work not just knowing the answer before the other people in the class. It's about doing the best you possibly can regardless of ability.

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 08:09:26

It's a half truth, of course they're rewarded all the time. But the impossibility statement came in relation to children who have learned things effortlessly, and therefore theoretically shouldn't be rewarded for effort in those cases. And the angst about good children's rewards commonly stems from bad children being rewarded for being good, exceptional children being rewarded for being exceptional and decent children in the middle getting nothing.

mrz Sat 19-Jan-13 07:54:36

too early for me that doesn't make sense!

I find the idea that bright, well behaved children aren't rewarded or that it would be impossible to reward them for effort very odd.

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