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how can i support my son.

(12 Posts)
forgetandforgive Fri 14-Mar-14 11:07:38

just had parents evening and my eldest son in year 5 reports wasnt so good. i already guessed it. im not academic myself but my son hates learning. he thinks there is no point. i have stressed to him that education is important. i know he never be an A student but he is falling behind still a 3c in maths and 4c in english. is not that he is naughty or desruptive in class, the teacher said he is quite the opposite. he just doesnt pay attention and his mind is somewhere else. computer games i suppose. thats all he talks about with his brother 8. im worried he will struggle even more once in secondary school and may drop out of school becsuse he hates it so much!

Clobbered Fri 14-Mar-14 11:09:35

Replace the computer games with books and board games and Lego.

Could he be dyslexic? Are you?

redskyatnight Fri 14-Mar-14 12:09:28

A 4c in English is not behind.

What have the school suggested to help his concentration?

cory Fri 14-Mar-14 12:21:24

I think it is far too early to say of your yr 5 son that he will never be an A student. You don't know that.

My ds was in bottom sets in Yr 5 and was described by his teacher as "away with the fairies".

Now in Yr 9 he is in top set in several subjects and predicted good GCSE results.

So what happened along the way? Basically, a couple of engaged and positive secondary school teachers managed to engage his interest in their subjects and spotted his potential, he realised that ability isn't something that has to be set in stone, he grew up and realised that if you work on what you find interesting that gives you a better chance of spending the rest of your life on something you find interesting.

Be careful not to assume that secondary school will be even worse. It may be much, much better. They have specially trained teachers there, there is a far wider range of subjects (including practical ones and some that could channel his interest in computer games- at a recent parents evening we saw some very good work that had been done by students of Media Studies).

Don't give him the idea that his future is something you feel gloomy about. Make it a positive story, about how things he learns now could help him to do interesting things to do with computers (or whatever) later on.

smee Fri 14-Mar-14 12:32:37

I agree with cory. Secondary might be brilliant for him and 4c for English is pretty good for yr5. 3c in maths isn't so good, but what are the school doing to motivate him. No point them just saying he's in a dream world. It's their job to excite and encourage him.

Also I totally disagree with clobbered. Don't give him a hard time or take away what he's passionate about. If you do that he could dislike school even more. Use it to motivate him, so get him into coding/ building his own games. Encourage what he's good at and likes. Make him feel good about learning through the things he's interested in as that'll have a ripple effect to the rest. There's time yet and a good secondary school will find ways to motivate.

forgetandforgive Fri 14-Mar-14 12:45:17

hi clobbered. i dont think he is dylesix but he just find school boring. i have put away his laptop and their dad bought them each an ipad for xmas present. i only let them use it on the weekends. they have two book shelves full of books which most haven't even been touch. they ask me to buy them books from whsmith but it goes unread. puzzle games and board games they dont enjoy. my 10 year old rather stay in and watch tv than go for a bike ride together. i would love him to be more active.

forgetandforgive Fri 14-Mar-14 12:51:17

his teacher has involved him in ramdom question but it clearly showed he hasnt been listening. she had offered for him to have xtra maths hw since last term report but i forgot to mention that at the parents evening. he is getting the extra help in maths in school but still his level has stayed the same.

PeterParkerSays Fri 14-Mar-14 12:55:46

Could he do maths games / puzzles on the ipad to try and engage him?

misscph1973 Fri 14-Mar-14 13:04:04

School is for girls! Many boys just aren't ready for school at that age.

Do you do homework with him? I do homework with my DS age 6, in the morning, as he is too tired after school. He's not very academic, which is odd, as his older sister is very academic.

Do you read to him? Bedtime stories etc? Go to the library?

About whishing that your son is more active - you're the boss! Just take him out, do outdoors stuff, and don't take no for an answer.

Unfortunately it's not just down to the teachers. You have to provide a home environment where learning is seen as fun and important, for adults and kids.

forgetandforgive Fri 14-Mar-14 13:05:25

thanks for your reply cory. its so wonderful to hear that your son had accelerated since starting sec school. hopefully my son will find a subject he enjoys and likes. i havent thought about that before smee. would decoding be too difficult for him because that involves maths. he loves to draw images of his roblox character and he could use the whole drawing pad without getting bored. i love your advice cory, about encouraging what he does best and use that to help him build his confidence up.

Seryph Fri 14-Mar-14 13:22:56

If you want your ten year old to be more active, then get him to be. Would he like to be enrolled in a karate class? Does he like swimming(you can bundle both boys in the car with some mates at the weekend)? You control when the TV is on, not him. So, switch off the TV, and get everyone on their bikes!

On the book front, eight and ten aren't too old for you to still be reading with them, or to them. So don't let the books just sit there, be proactive and read with them.

Your DS doesn't sound behind, certainly not in English. I agree, talk to him about how maths is used to make video games and load of other cool computing things. Even sending people into space!

Ferguson Sun 16-Mar-14 17:59:21

The following might help with numeracy; I send it to different age groups, so ignore whatever isn't relevant in your case:


Practical things are best for grasping number concepts - bricks, Lego, beads, counters, money, shapes, weights, measuring, cooking.

Do adding, taking away, multiplication (repeated addition), division (sharing), using REAL OBJECTS as just 'numbers' can be too abstract for some children.

Number Bonds of Ten forms the basis of much maths work, so try to learn them. Using Lego or something similar, use a LOT of bricks (of just TWO colours, if you have enough) lay them out so the pattern can be seen of one colour INCREASING while the other colour DECREASES. Lay them down, or build up like steps.


ten of one colour none of other
nine of one colour one of other
eight of one colour two of other
seven of one colour three of other

etc, etc

then of course, the sides are equal at 5 and 5; after which the colours 'swap over' as to increasing/decreasing.

To learn TABLES, do them in groups that have a relationship, thus:

x2, x4, x8

x3, x6, x12

5 and 10 are easy

7 and 9 are rather harder.

Starting with TWO times TABLE, I always say: "Imagine the class is lining up in pairs; each child will have a partner, if there is an EVEN number in the class. If one child is left without a partner, then the number is ODD, because an odd one is left out."

Use Lego bricks again, lay them out in a column of 2 wide to learn 2x table. Go half way down the column, and move half the bricks up, so that now the column is 4 bricks wide. That gives the start of 4x table.

Then do similar things with 3x and 6x.

With 5x, try and count in 'fives', and notice the relationship with 'ten' - they will alternate, ending in 5 then 10.

It is important to try and UNDERSTAND the relationships between numbers, and not just learn them 'by rote'.

I am sorry it seems complicated trying to explain these concepts, but using Lego or counters should make understanding easier.

An inexpensive solar powered calculator (no battery to run out!) can help learn tables by 'repeated addition'. So: enter 2+2 and press = to give 4. KEEP PRESSING = and it should add on 2 each time, giving 2 times table.

There are good web sites, which can be fun to use :


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