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Feeling I failed my child

(42 Posts)
Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 14:59:39

I am a quite pushy parent. Been doing english reading and maths with my oldest one since she was year 1 on daily basis. For english, we have almost done all books for her stage in the local library. For maths, since I never have known what she leant in school, I have been teaching her long addition,long subtraction, all up to 4 digits with regrouping, all time tables, two digits times by one digit, or division. She can do all the above comfortably. But she came back home with 2b in maths ks1 sats. It seems that we have gone a completely wrong direction! I feel very sorry for my poor child and just hate myself! I don't know what I should do next.

clam Thu 11-Jul-13 22:07:06

Well you've probably already decided to do this, but I would ditch the workbooks. Standard written methods of addition/subtraction/mult/div (Tens and Units, as we used to do them at school and now do later on in KS2) don't feature in the KS1 SATs. Or at least, not in that format, so your dd wouldn't have got the opportunity to use the skill unless she understood when and why.
If you're intent on doing maths at home with her, concentrate on practical fun things - do some cooking and let her measure out the ingredients, perhaps asking her questions such as "we need 200 grams, and we've added 50 so far, so how many more grams do we need to add" and so on. And telling the time (never enough allocation in the maths syllabus to master this properly for some kids and they need to practise the skill on an ongoing basis at home), "it's 10 o'clock, we're going out at half past, how many minutes have we got to get ready?"
Play board games and see if she can see the patterns on Snakes and Ladders (how many do I need to roll on the die to get to the next ladder) etc...

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 11-Jul-13 09:40:31

I was just going to post exactly what cory posted! I teach my children lots of things, but it's because it's fun, and we get to spend time together talking and debating. It's great. smile But I don't care about the national curriculum or what they do in school though - school can take care of that, and they do it remarkably well. But there is life outside school!

cory Thu 11-Jul-13 08:46:12

You are using very strong language here: you feel a loser, you have failed your child, the time you have spent on this has been wasted.

I don't think your problem is so much that you have been pushy and eager to teach but that you set out with confused ideas as to what all this learning is for. You have hung it all on one small test, a test that only measures certain things and that won't make any difference to your dd in later life. And because the things you taught were not the exact ones she was asked in the test you think your work has been wasted.

If you want a child who goes on to do well in life, eager to learn more and use her capabilities to the best, you have to encourage the idea that learning is worth while for its own sake. And that kind of learning, where you both explore the world of numbers or literature or science because it is worthwhile and fun, can easily be combined with parent-daughter quality time. Playing cards, calculating quantities of flour for your baking, working out how much money you need to buy two ice-creams: this is all valuable maths.

If your dd gets put in a lower set, she can work her way up: sets are flexible. But if she gets the idea that learning is only about reading to a specific test she will always be lagging behind the children who have learnt to learn from intellectual curiosity.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Jul-13 19:59:36


I can remember a long time ago being in the HT's office in tears. Ds1 was a slow reader and I had pushed him too much and he hated reading. I felt like I had failed him. She said she wished all parents supported their dc and not to worry. He soon caught up when I backed off. Not that your dd needs to catch up, she sounds fine.
As far as the curriculum is concerned just to put into perspective, my dd doesn't follow the nc and I really couldn't tell you what level she is, as to us they aren't important. I do know where her strengths lie and where she is weaker though and also what she likes to learn and her style of learning. To me it is a happy balance and if she enjoys doing extra stuff at a higher level that is fine imo, as long as you aren't pushing her to do this after a full day at school grin

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 19:57:35

I think it is hard if you are not sure the school is filling those gaps but if she is a 2b then presumably they are (unless you were really expecting much higher)

Even if you had prepped her for the SATs and she had achieved a L3 I am guessing the teacher assessment would not match this anyway do she would still only be given the true level she is working at (I think)

mrz Wed 10-Jul-13 19:42:52

I'm afraid it isn't that simple. The purpose of assessment is to identify what a child knows now, any gaps in knowledge and skills and what they need to be taught next... it's why knowing numbers and letters (levels) is pretty useless

Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 19:31:13

Thanks a lot, MrsMelons. I will follow the curriculum for sure next year.

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 19:22:34

You sound like a lovely mum and maybe next year you can ask the teacher what they are doing and maybe work at home with her based on that if you really want to do extra. If not maybe do something completely different together such as a language or tennis etc. There's a lot of other things that are just as important at this age.

Look on the bright side - at least she will have covered some of next year's work grin

twentyten Wed 10-Jul-13 19:20:39

Don't be hard on yourself!At least you can see it and be honest with yourself.
What about your dreams for yourself?The best thing you can do for your kids is try to live a "good enough" life.....

Badvoc Wed 10-Jul-13 18:27:28

Please don't try to live vicariously through your child.
She is not behind.
She is happy.
Let her enjoy her schooling.

Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 18:22:42

you are quite right, morethanpotatoprints. I think the most tricky part of being a parent, at least for me, is that I want them or I dream them to be the ones i wish them to be. I keep trying keep trying, whenever it didn't work in that way, I feel lost and frustrated. Actually I know no matter how a parent tries, they will grow up to be the ones they mean to be.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Jul-13 18:05:14

Hello OP, lots of people do this and at least it shows you care for your child.
Please let her be a child and play, for goodness sake. Ok, you made a mistake, every parent does. Don't beat yourself up and move on.
You can encourage without being pushy, and if you really want to help there is no problem with that at all.
You have done quite a lot of KS2 maths there and the reason she got a 2b which is average and nothing to be sneezed at is probably because you didn't cover the ks1 maths at all.
So you know now that she is capable without you overdoing the support. Ok, if it were me I would get a couple of ks1 puzzle type work books and word searches etc for rainy days during the holidays, if she chooses to do them then great. If she doesn't also great and don't worry, she's not scarred for life.

ReallyTired Wed 10-Jul-13 18:02:21

At my son's school many of the YEAR 6s!!! are on 2b (Prehaps that is why the school is in special measures!!)

Actually level 2 is expected and 2c is just about acceptable for year 2.

mrz Wed 10-Jul-13 17:57:00

your child is not suffering hmm

caffeinated Wed 10-Jul-13 17:51:34

2b isn't average, it's expected. And in some school it would be in the bottom 1/3. In our school 2b's make up the bottom 1/4.

ReallyTired Wed 10-Jul-13 17:22:01

I imagine that the OP child might have been stuck in the bottom set in year 1 and prehaps that why she thinks her daughter is in the bottom third. Sometimes children in the bottom group do not get the chance to do challenging work. Methods used for teaching maths are very different to what we used at school

2b is bang on average and would put her in the middle group in the average primary. Prehaps your daughter will be moved up a maths group next year.

Your child's birthdate makes a huge difference to their academic level. Summerborns often do worse in key stage 1 SATs and catch up later.

Oblomov Wed 10-Jul-13 17:15:12


Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 17:13:20

Oblomov, I should print your last message out and stick it by my bed. It is biting my bum!

titchy Wed 10-Jul-13 17:11:01

Stop thinking about what you can do to help her. Learn from this and just enjoy your child. She is not a project to be done as best you can. Be her mum and let her teachers do the teaching.

Oblomov Wed 10-Jul-13 16:56:05

I am the same as Mrs Melons.
I do not do any extra.
Ds is very bright. Ds2 not quite so. I certainly am not bothered by this.

LynetteScavo Wed 10-Jul-13 16:55:46

Maybe she isn't particularly able, and all the work you've been doing with her means she has managed to achieve a 2b.

Yogurthoney Wed 10-Jul-13 16:55:01

I have never mentioned anything about her assessment to her, actually she is very happy talking about helping her classmates with timetable in school. But I have been thinking and rethinking for several days, what can I do to help her? Maybe follow the national curriculum or do more practical problems? I feel as her mother because my strategy was wrong, and she is the one to suffer. One minute, I decided to give up,just let it be and the next minute I think if I am able to help her to improve, why not, better than not doing anything.

Oblomov Wed 10-Jul-13 16:53:37

You know you are pushing too hard. And you know this. And now this has, unfortunately, come back to bite you , on the bum!!

You need to ease off. And deep down, you know this.
BUT, this is not all wasted.
The wordy questions, test the higher skilled children. Applying what you know, techniques, to long wordy questions, is very tricky. And even for bright children, it is quite a leap. She obviously hasn't quite got there yet. But she will. And your work this year, can not, has not, done any harm.

2b is NOT bottom 1/3rd.

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 16:52:16

I would be surprised if she is the bottom 1/3 in the class, probably somewhere in the middle which at 7 YO is surely ok.

My DS2 (5) is probably middle to bottom at school but I still don't do anything extra with him, DS1 (7) is top and I don't do anything extra with him either. I am equally proud of what they have achieved and bizarrely sometimes more so with DS2 as it doesn't come as easy to him as DS1. I don't feel like I have failed DS2 as he may be achieving slightly more if I pushed him but I would rather he enjoy it and find his natural level then if need be later on closer to senior school push him a bit more.

Badvoc Wed 10-Jul-13 16:45:17

But she isn't is she?
And even if she were, why is that an issue for you?
Is she happy?

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