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Parents Evening Feedback/Possible Private Tutoring

(68 Posts)
monkeytree Thu 27-Mar-14 21:47:49

Hi. Just need to bounce a few thoughts about and get a bit of advice from any parents/teachers out there. We have returned home from 'parents evening'. DD is in year 3 now. Her report was basically O.K. It appears that she is about average in the class. She does not need additional support but nor is she a high flyer. The teacher states she is slightly below average for her age but is confident that at the end of the Summer term she would have bridged the gap and would have reached the expected standard. I think from what they are saying her learning has accelerated recently.

My husband and I try to spend time with DD each week (supporting her with but not doing her homework). It is really difficult to work out how she should be performing in comparison to others in the class - please don't criticize for this as I think although we shouldn't compare we do. I am pleased with her report but somehow I am not content as I know and this was backed up by class teacher that DD sometimes becomes distracted and does not always ask for the help she requires and I feel that somehow in a class of 30 she is not reaching her true potential. She appears bright (not super bright) but not truly academic I don't want to drill her but at the same time I am concerned that she is not maximising her potential. Her concentration is not always there - her punctuation is hit or miss - sometimes using capital letters, sometimes not and not always spelling common words correctly - doesn't read and check her work. It seems she finds writing a chore but can use some really lovely adjectives etc when she puts her mind to it. Also in maths may struggle with the concept initially but then goes from strength to strength when she has grasped it again a class of 30 cannot help this particularly if you are floating somewhere in the middle.

We have a baby dd in the house now and don't have the same amount of time at the moment to give older dd. We're discussing the possibility of tutoring for an hour a week but wonder whether this will make any difference to dd and also we don't want her to feel that she has to do yet more work but would like to at least consider it as an option. Bearing in mind my last paragraph do you think it would make any difference to dd? I also don't want her to think she is failing because we have brought a tutor in, I realise it needs to be fun. DD already does lots of extra curriculum activities - brownies, swimming etc and I don't want to overload her - any advice regarding this please?

Sorry for long essay but sometimes it's difficult to explain how things are and clarify thoughts. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

JeanSeberg Fri 28-Mar-14 05:40:40

Relax and let her enjoy her free time. She's what - 7/8? Plenty of time for tutors later on if needed

Mutley77 Fri 28-Mar-14 05:51:23

I think worth a try. My DD has a tutor although we are only using her ad hoc at the moment - I am working with DD to help her get where she needs to be. Our situation is slightly different as we are living overseas and DD wants to do the 11+ when we get back, so the tutoring will really be focused on content and exam technique from one year prior to the exam. However a basic test by the tutor showed that while DD is naturally bright she has a few gaps in her learning which have probably arisen from being moved between education systems - and also being in a relatively large class without the possibility of such focussed attention. Therefore I am just supporting DD to get back on track - I don't see anything wrong with this as it is probably naive to assume that children can get all they need from a public education system where there are classes of 30 children - how can even the best teacher meet individual needs as well as a personal tutor??

I see this as a confidence boost as well - DD struggled with sitting down and doing extra work to start with but now she can do it and we have had a good focus on times tables, maths techniques etc, she is enjoying being able to do more complicated work. To be honest you probably will still need to put the time in a bit as they really need repeated practice - the tutor at this stage for us has just identified the gaps and pointed me in the right direction to help DD myself. I also have a baby (and another child in between) and manage to help DD when the others have gone to bed a couple of times a week for maybe 20 mins - or for an hour at weekends now and then if DH takes the other out. It is a bit of a pain sometimes though as DD also has lots of friends and e-c activities on so it is sometimes the last thing she feels like doing!

monkeytree Sat 29-Mar-14 19:20:18

Thanks for your replies, any other thoughts anyone?

luvmy3kids Sat 29-Mar-14 19:40:29

My husband and I were both working full time so we had a private tutor and it has really helped my son who is 8. The teacher reports his confidence has improved and she moved him into a different stream. She reports he actually enjoys his maths and sometimes is reluctant to stop his work to go to guitar.

DeWe Sat 29-Mar-14 19:44:30

I wouldn't get a tutor yet. You risk getting her stressed out about her work.

What I would do is if she gets homework, is that time is some of the time that you really focus on her. So she settles down to homework, and you leave the baby, don't jump up at the first cry (preferably hand over to dp if possible), and give her your full attention-and praise.
But make sure you also have time with her doing fun things, otherwise she will feel she can only get your attention on schoolwork.

BornFreeButinChains Sat 29-Mar-14 19:55:03

Def give it a try, you can always stop it if it doesn't seem to be working or getting her down smile.

I think its important to keep up while they are being drilled in the basics or they loose it and get bored as they do not understand whats going on.

I know what you mean about having a baby too, its really hard to give them the same attention.

luvmy3kids Sat 29-Mar-14 20:10:43

A lot of people seem to think tutoring stresses young kids out. I just don't see why tutoring should stress a kids out anymore than homework.

What is the issue? Some kids go to school on Saturday mornings. No one seems to be blasting independent schools for that.

columngollum Sat 29-Mar-14 20:18:59

If all the other children are doing something, then it makes no difference. But if I'm the only child who has to do something then it makes all the difference in the world.

luvmy3kids Sat 29-Mar-14 20:21:04

ok columngollum how about when schools pull kids out of classroom for extra support. How is it any different?

columngollum Sat 29-Mar-14 20:23:24

It must be awful for the child concerned. I suspect that teachers have little choice because every child has to make a given amount of progress. When levels are finally abolished oddly enough, this practice might cease because there will be nothing to measure.

luvmy3kids Sat 29-Mar-14 20:26:35

I think 'some' teachers are intent on criticizing parents who take matters into their own hands - accuse them of stressing their kids out. It's wrong. Teachers don't hold a monopoly on helping children learn.

'nothing to measure' How is that going to work?

mrz Sat 29-Mar-14 20:32:59

columngollum when levels go there will be new scaled scores in place

columngollum Sat 29-Mar-14 20:33:28

how's that going to work? hmm, messily I suspect.

Criticism schmitisicm. Everybody criticises everything, (and then some.) I don't think the criticism is the point. I think the point is the child. I guess the parents most under pressure are the ones in super selective areas. They're under starter's orders the minute conception has occurred. I suppose they could all move house to a less selective school system. Hmm, now there's an idea.

mrz Sat 29-Mar-14 20:35:18

New tests based on the new national curriculum with results expressed as a scaled score

luvmy3kids Sat 29-Mar-14 20:37:19

columngollup - the new curriculum getting rid of levels does not mean they won't expect schools to measure attainment and changes in attainment. As a teacher you will still be on the hook.

If it was simply criticism that would be one thing. I think trying to make a parent feel guilty for getting extra support for their child when the school is struggling to keep the to high standard is tantamount to teacher's bullying parents and playing on their emotions.

columngollum Sat 29-Mar-14 20:37:30

NC levels didn't require tests, did they. They were just observations. Isn't a test based system a step backwards?

luvmy3kids Sat 29-Mar-14 20:37:56

It's morally wrong and makes me very angry.

luvmy3kids Sat 29-Mar-14 20:40:18

There is no harm in an occasional test. As long as it's a minority of the time spent in the classroom. Tests are objective, teacher's are subjective because they are human.

mrz Sat 29-Mar-14 20:40:38

There have always been tests columngollum

luvmy3kids Sat 29-Mar-14 20:42:05

I should have added except for the phonics check - the data suggests a good deal of subjectivity in the way those tests were marked.

TeenAndTween Sat 29-Mar-14 20:42:22

Luv and column I don't think that children going out of class for extra support is in anyway awful for the child concerned .

Generally children are often pulled out in different groups to do different stuff anyway, e.g. to do a science experiment with the TA in turns, to do 1-1 reading with an adult etc.

My DD has had various extra support during her school life, e.g. motor skills, writing, she has never found it awful or embarrassing or anything. Actually I think she likes the small-group attention and the variety of being out of the classroom.

It's not as if the teacher says "Right now Jo and Clare time to go and do your catch up spelling now" ! Also some children may get pulled out for G&T stretching so it won't always be those that are behind.

OP - I think y3 is a bit young really for a tutor, especially as she is not struggling in the class. Her concentration/confidence will probably increase with age. That said, if she is amenable, and if you found someone who made it fun, it could help her. (Or you try to carve out some time to help her along yourselves).

mrz Sat 29-Mar-14 20:44:06

Tests are subjective too because they are marked by humans

luvmy3kids Sat 29-Mar-14 20:44:46

well said teenandtween

columngollum Sat 29-Mar-14 20:45:15

I'm not sure that's right, luv. In the thread we're in there doesn't seem to be much criticism because the OP is just wondering if it's worth doing. And the consensus, if there could be said to be any, seems to be saying we don't know. Why don't you try it. It might work and it might not. One poster says, based on her experience, she thinks it's a great idea. What more is there to say, really.

But where that departs from the heavy criticism is if a teacher has given an assessment then it'll be based on her judgement. Now, maybe her judgement is right, and maybe it's wrong. But if the tutor has to use material given by the teacher in order to make a reassessment, what has that done? In that case you're using the tutor to follow the teacher.

If you want to tutor your child, whether at home yourself or via a private tutor, get on with it. But leave the teacher out of it. Nobody has a problem with parents hiring tutors if that's all the parent is doing.

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