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DD (7) with no interest in schoolwork whatsoever-any advice?

(15 Posts)
funkypigeon Sat 22-Feb-14 19:11:11

She takes ages to write anything down but is able and can express herself well. She is very articulate and can pick up complex ideas an understands them. She's very perceptive but fails to put her ideas down on paper.

Homework is a nightmare. It often takes her an hour to write five or six sentences. As a result, she is below average in her grades.

I've tried being positive and encouraging but I'm at a loss as to what I can do further. She is so easily distracted, and needs constant reminding that she needs to speed up and get on with her work.

About a term ago, I got a letter one saying that she's written 3 words in 50 minutes during a class activity and since then she has managed to pick it up a bit, but is still painfully slow at home and as I said earlier, homework can bring about a lot of stress and frustration.

Has anybody been in this position and what did you do differently? I'm thinking of speaking to her teachers in the next week or so to see what I can do to support her.

I don't think this is an ability problem- she is able to do it but just doesn't want to and can't be bothered.

Any advice greatfully received.

Elibean Sat 22-Feb-14 19:15:18

Are you sure its not more than disinterest? Only that whenever either of my dds has displayed that level of disinterest, its been linked to 'I can't do it' feelings - real to them, regardless of ability, and sometimes (in dd1's case) linked to actual issue with processing certain tasks. In her case it was 'the words jump around on the page' which she reluctantly admitted to and was then diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome - sorted by coloured overlays.

dd's friend was similarly baffling at the age of 7, and has since been diagnosed dyslexic. Which all makes sense with hindsight, but was very hard to pinpoint at the time.

Just thoughts smile

lljkk Sat 22-Feb-14 19:18:44

Are you sure it's a case of won't rather than can't?

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 19:18:58

My youngest is similar to this, with her though she thinks life is just one big party. This year (yr4 she is summer born so 8 now) however she has a fantastic teacher which gives the whole class a kick up the bum and has got dd to knuckle down and has achieved some amazing things.

heather1 Sat 22-Feb-14 19:21:50

I would get her assessed. I have found getting an Iq test as part of the assessment reassuring.
I knew my Ds was bright (not a genius but a quick child) but his school work doesn't show this.
So we had him assessed. (We are not in the uk so it's a different process) and he has an iq in the top 80% of the normal range. So now the next step it to figure out how he learns, is he visual, auditory learner etc. the dr think he has a language processing problem. Then he can be helped to have his school work delivered to show his potential. Iyswim.
But at least I know my initial judgement that he is a bright kid is correct!

funkypigeon Sat 22-Feb-14 19:23:09

I suppose it may well be that she can't rather than won't. What do we do if that's the case? What's the first step? And also, yes, it had crossed my mind about dyslexia.

lljkk Sat 22-Feb-14 19:24:44

You need to first push the school for an assessment, something like Dysgraphia is more likely but it's relatively more obscure. Does she like to draw things?

funkypigeon Sat 22-Feb-14 19:51:27

Yes she likes drawing. Thank you for the replies.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sat 22-Feb-14 20:06:20

I would say it sounds like there is a reason, I don't think an able child would bother to NOT do it just 'because' as they end up getting more grief for it. they might try to get away with something but if they are at school and are expected to do it then I think normally they would. It sounds to me much more likely to be a problem of some sort. I have a Yr1 child who we are having assessed privately for a few things as something just isn't right. I have found a psychologist locally who will assess her for dyslexia and also do the WISC IQ test. We will then go from there depending what shows up or doesn't.

DeWe Sat 22-Feb-14 22:20:45

Does she do any writing at home though?
Because my ds (year 2) would say he hates writing, and writes the bare minimum for school stuff. However this morning (for example) he wrote a whole page of A4 rules for entering his room (eg "1. Knock before entery. (I must say YES). 2. Do NOT untiddy my room...") It took him less than an hour, compared to two half sentences in that time at school.

His teacher reckons it's all in there and he'll get to about year 4 and then fly with writing. But he's not there yet.

Lucyccfc Sat 22-Feb-14 23:10:40

My DS was the same at that age. Teacher constantly commenting that he didn't write enough. His teacher said he was more than capable, but just didn't put the effort in. He would do maths and science all day long though.

Within 2-3 weeks of being in year 4, everything changed. He has a totally inspiring teacher, who has chosen topics that really appeal to him. She encourages him, talks to him about his interests and is just a fantastic teacher.

Davidhasselhoffstoecheese Sun 23-Feb-14 19:33:07

We had the same. Bright child (like all MN kids), great reader, creative but HATED writing. No interest or motivation what so ever to write in infants and DS found school very tiring. Half a line of writing usually for DS and although what he did was well written, it just wasn't enough. We stopped doing homework as it created a bigger dislike of writing. We concentrated on reading to him and him reading to us. Creating a love of reading and words and story lines was important. He soaked it all up like a sponge and I stopped stressing about how little he was writing. My gut told me that things would click into place eventually and so I just say tight

On starting juniors he seemed inspired and started writing more, never as much as others but a lot more then before. He was very happy and engaged in that class and the teachers knew how to get the best out of him. They told me he was one of their most able writers! Roll on a few more years and DS is at grammar school and wants to be an author and write children's books.

umpity Mon 24-Feb-14 11:55:05

I was not bril at school but was well behaved. So I just got ignored and teachers had to concentrate on disruption. I take it things have changed somewhat. Good.

Nocomet Mon 24-Feb-14 12:06:55

Y2 or Y3? Even my very literate top of the class for Literacy DD1 would only have written a few sentences at 7 for HW and moaned about every one, until she was 8/9.

Honestly, IME DCs don't write a descent amount until it becomes suddenly easier around 9/10.

Look around hobby craft, or any toy shop, any kit that needs fine motor control says 8plus.

I have done craft with brownies, the kits are right the youngest 7y find fiddly stuff impossible.

I think this applies to writing, small DCs have to concentrate so hard on the physical act of moving their pens and remembering spellings, spaces and full stops that is genuinely hard work.

This is why I feel HW for all but y5/6 is just a frustrating waste of time.

pickledsiblings Mon 24-Feb-14 12:17:28

Nocomet, I agree that it is hard work but like anything, it gets easier with practice.

OP, I suggest that you get some workbooks from Amazon and some new pens and pencils and keep them where your DD can get at them easily. Encourage her to do 5 minutes here and there and you'll hopefully soon notice an improvement <voice of experience smile>

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