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Strategies for demotivated boy - loss of playtime

(35 Posts)
fruitstick Tue 22-Jan-13 21:06:22

Can I have some advice please.

I started a thread in AIBU over the weekend about the standoff over DS's homework

However, I could do with some advice overall.

DS is 7 & in Y2. He's bright (predicted L3s) and is a very active boy. Has always struggled with sitting still etc, although much better as he gets older.

There have been issues with him finishing his work at school. He is not finding it hard, nor is he being particularly disruptive, he is just not doing the work. He's easily distracted an doesn't like to miss out on anything else that's going on.

His teacher (who I really like) has taken to keeping him in at break or lunch to finish his work. She hopes it will give him incentive to get his work done. She is also worried about SATS tests as he won't finish the tests in time, even though he is working at a high level.

I've been fully supportive of all of this and tried to reinforce it at home.

However, it's not working.

Now DS is complaining that no one will play with him and he doesn't care about break time. I think this is because once he gets outside, everyone has already teamed up for games etc and are in full swing.

He is becoming more miserable. He's always been a popular, confident boy.

I want to speak to his teacher about the break time thing but don't want to undermine what she is trying to do, or be all PFB about my little angel.

I would like to offer some alternative suggestions but not sure how this would go down.

Any thoughts?

neolara Wed 23-Jan-13 18:05:54

Have your tried asking your ds why he won't concentrate and complete the work? Try and do it in a very non-confrontational / non judgemental manner. Something like "You know what, I'm a bit confused about what's going on and I'd really like to understand. Your teacher says you often don't finish your work and I'm just wondering what that's all about (Don't ask "why". Kids this age don't get "why' questions.) Is it because you find the work hard, it's difficult to sit still, it's boring, other kids don't like you if you work hard etc (or whatever you think might be a possibility). Often I think parents and teachers go down one route (e.g. it must be distractability) but it can be due to something completely different. Sometimes really trying to understand the kids view point can be a good place to start.

thegreylady Wed 23-Jan-13 18:41:47

Is he 7 as you said in OP or 6 as you said at 10:25:56 ? I ask because it matters as if he is already 7 he is at the older end of the year group and should be 'settling' to work by now whereas if he is only 6 then,depending on his birthday, he may still be a little immature and finding it hard to cope with the transition from yr1.
I agree with neolara that talking to him + a reward chart may be the way to go.

Harleyband Wed 23-Jan-13 19:20:37

Could have been my DS too except that his school understood that 6 yo boys can have trouble sitting still and keeping on task so they had wiggle cushions and fidget toys standard in the classroom and they let my DS wander when he needed to wander (provided he didn't disrupt anyone else). We were kept informed but never at any time was it insinuated that he a problem child. He outgrew it, now is 10, rushes to get his homework done every night and loves school. Oh, and the school doesn't do any standardized tests...yes, it's private and worth every penny based on what I've been reading here!

Floggingmolly Wed 23-Jan-13 19:29:08

Saying no when asked to finish his work is rude, takemehome.
Why would you think otherwise?

fruitstick Wed 23-Jan-13 23:34:46

He's 6 but about to be 7 in a few weeks. So mid-year really.

I've told him that I'm going to see his teacher and that I will help him with whatever the issue is. So if he finds the work too hard, we can help. If he's too distracted, we can find a way to help that too, or if it's an issue with his friends, that's also solvable.

I'm sure he's fine really, and not at all out of the ordinary. I just want his teacher to not just put him on the default 'lose playtime' setting.

takemehometoauntem Thu 24-Jan-13 10:55:38

Floggingmolly 12 months ago and endless failed attempts to help my son to complete his work, most of which are suggested in the posts above, I would of agreed that it was rude, but knowing what I now know, No I would not say for him to react in that way was rude I would say he has given up. I believe he genuinely struggles completing his work in lesson time, he has been punished for this same thing now for 2 1/2 years if it was just down to him being defiant and stubborn he would of given up by now and set too. My son does not happily choose to lose something that he likes for the sake of something he doesn't..he will just do it. When he was 5 1/2 he was told that a piece of completed work was disgusting and the best place for it was the bin. Now watching him do his homework is gutting he spends all of his time writing as neatly as he can (which in itself is very time consuming) and he is devastated if he gets something wrong even if he knows he can rub it out and correct it. Can you imagine the pressure my son is under in every lesson? complete your work **, make sure its neat and tidy **, check your spellings **, we do not shout and scream in class if we get something wrong you are disrupting the rest of the class go to time out-followed by now complete your work (in even less time), share the rubber between the other 5 class mates on the table **, I can because I know him but sadly I am just his mum not a trained Educational Psychologist.

mummytime Thu 24-Jan-13 11:48:14

Takemehome that behaviour by a teacher was disgusting. You poor poor son. Is he getting help from the school, do they acknowledge he has problems?

If not I would be looking around for an alternative for him.

These stories are heart breaking. Children of 5, 6, 7, 8 etc canbe distracted, they can alo sometimes lack the sophistication to frame their responses in such a way as to NOT seem rude.

Good schools and teachers I know, can encourage and teach children without crashing them or continually punishing them.

takemehometoauntem Thu 24-Jan-13 13:49:45

mummytime Thankyou for not instantly deciding that I am a pig ignorant Worlds Worst Mother smile. I only found out about what was said by the teacher a year ago, and what my son said was pretty much confirmed in my mind when I was given information which tied said teacher in with working with him around that time although I was not aware as the teacher was not his class teacher or classroom TA, in fact I am quite sure she is outside help (I need to find out about that). Yes he is on SA+ for BESD, currently under assessment with camhs for ASD but he isn't having any additional help with school work other than that from the teacher because he has been assessed by an EP and he came out as being more than capable but lacking motivation, hmm wonder why that could be?? therefore my son wont be treated any different than any other. His teacher has actually told me that my son doesn't do most of his work because he "can't be bothered" backing up the whole "lazy" label he has given himself. I am just waiting at the moment to find out if there is something causing his difficulties which fingers crossed wont be much longer and then my husband and I will sit down and decide what we are going to do either look elsewhere or get the big guns out.

mummytime Thu 24-Jan-13 16:22:04

You might want to read Myth of Laziness there is a second hand copy for 6p or a Kindle version on Amazon, or I borrowed it from the library. When I read it a while ago it was before my son was diagnosed with Dyslexia, and I actually am a huge fan now, the basic premise is that there is a reason why children are reluctant to learn. Dealing with this reason is needed, not just shouting at them not to be lazy.

takemehometoauntem Mon 28-Jan-13 12:14:47

Have just ordered Myth of Laziness mummytime, can't wait to have a read! smile

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