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Year 5 ds struggling to focus in lessons

(20 Posts)
follygirl Wed 16-Dec-15 18:29:14

I've just had my son's end of term report and the same thing crops up. He is academically bright but is far too chatty and doesn't concentrate in lessons. It is holding him back as he could do even better.
I've just googled some advice and he does get plenty of exercise (he does sport every day at school and mostly afterwards); has plenty of sleep; eats well and doesn't spend that much time in front of the TV or ipad.
He is a July baby and just quite immature. I've told him that he needs to concentrate and not chat so much and he says that he tries but can't seem to last the whole lesson particularly if people are discussing things he finds interesting. I appreciate that it's annoying for the teacher and distracting for the other boys which I have pointed out as well.
I don't know what else to do to help!

irvine101 Wed 16-Dec-15 18:38:32

Does he fidget? Can he stay still? He could be this?

follygirl Wed 16-Dec-15 19:46:44

Thanks for the info but no I don't think that he would benefit from a kinaesthetic learning style.
He can sit nicely, he just finds it hard to stay focussed if he finds the topic a bit boring.

IguanaTail Wed 16-Dec-15 19:49:41

Kinaesthetic learning styles was proven to be a load of old rubbish about 5 years ago.

I would suggest asking his teacher if he can go on a report in January so you can get feedback on every lesson. He is going to find lots of lessons boring in future - the new curriculum means lots of dull dull dull 1950s style rote learning, so sadly he is going to have to get better at focussing.

I would also think about where he is sitting in the room. Front centre is good.

MM5 Thu 17-Dec-15 04:58:13

Have you considered diet? Some children are allergic to certain foods, particularly wheat and dairy. The allergic reaction is not what you normally think of. It comes out in irritation and not being able to focus.

My friend had one of those simple allergy testing kits you see on groupon. It came back with a few things like wheat, dairy and something else. She took him off of these foods and within 2 weeks, he was much more focuses and calm. The child even commented on it!

One day,me was accidentally given something that had dairy in it and BAM! He went back to his old self within an hour! Luckily, they realised what had happened and back on his special diet he went!

mrz Thu 17-Dec-15 07:59:35

Sitting at the front of the class reduces distractions as does sitting where doors and windows won't be a distraction. Some children actually benefit from having screens and I've had children who wear ear defenders to reduce noise (recommended by OTs) it's a case of finding what works.

teacherwith2kids Thu 17-Dec-15 09:41:49

How are they seated in class? Around tables? Large table or 2-person size? Randomly / friendship / some vaguely ability-based grouping?

A bit like mrz, if I were your DSs teacher, I would be experimenting a LOT with seating. My classroom has mostly tables for 2 children that can be pushed into different configurations, and also a couple of individual ones. This gives lots of flexibility for seating individual children based on their needs - used pro-actively as a routine measure, or with the child in question choosing the best option for them based on the specific work / how they are feeling, or with me reacting to an issue as it arises.

I have always assumed that all teacher do the 'flexible seating according to the children's needs' thing, but I occasionally get classes who seem to expect to sit in the same places and same groups every day, and seem surprised by 'reactive needs-based' approaches, so it can't be completely universal.

follygirl Thu 17-Dec-15 20:53:07

Thanks for all the advice. I am going to ask for a meeting with his teacher to ask them what they are going to do and how I can help. I felt the report was very much the teachers expecting him to stop chatting rather than discussing what they are going to do. One child he sits next to in French repeatedly hides my son's pen/glue etc so he can't get on with his work. He also sits next to the worst behaved child in English, the list goes on.

teacherwith2kids Fri 18-Dec-15 09:31:59

"He also sits next to the worst behaved child in English"

I would rather tend to avoid that form of words. From your OP, your child's behaviour is not brilliant, and the teacher could hear remarks like this as you trying to 'shift the blame' for your child's behaviour.

It may be, for example, that the teacher has chosen to sit these two children together, and maybe very close to the front, because then this limits the impact that both of them have on the rest of the class, who can then get on with their work undisturbed. ......

irvine101 Fri 18-Dec-15 09:46:39

"I felt the report was very much the teachers expecting him to stop chatting rather than discussing what they are going to do."

As a parent, if my ds was chatting because he is bored, I would tell him to stop chatting and concentrate. Low level disturbance is very annoying for other children who are trying to concentrate. And teachers time is wasted on dealing with them.

follygirl Fri 18-Dec-15 11:30:09

I have been honest about the fact that my son's chatting is distracting for other boys around him and also annoying for the teacher.
I have told him off and he is aware that I am not pleased about his behaviour.

The 'worst behaved child' is a child who gets detentions on a daily basis and doesn't seem to care about being punished. He literally laughs when he is sent to see the Headmaster which happens on a weekly basis. My son does care about being punished and would be mortified if he got a detention. My comment was that I didn't really understand why sitting my son next to him would help my son.

I have never said that my child is perfect. He has been told off and he does know that I am disappointed about his behaviour.

That said, I cannot do much about it from home and I was hoping for some constructive feedback as to what I could do.

I will be making an appointment with the school so that I can reinforce what they are doing in lessons and I am hoping that knowing that he is being more closely monitored with stop his behaviour.

I appreciate it is annoying, I never said it wasn't.

Thanks to those who have been constructive.

irvine101 Fri 18-Dec-15 11:54:08

I can understand you get annoyed by the negative comment, but I got a feeling that you seems to blame the teacher or school for not doing anything about it, from your post.

There was a time my ds was in same position. He was bored and chatted with other children. It was soon sorted out because I was really firm about it, and backed up the teacher 100% for punishment etc. I asked everyday how he was, until it was stopped, did everything I can to sort it out, not just expecting teacher/school to do something about it. And he was in YR1.
Your ds is in YR5, so he should know better.

Child cannot stop fidgeting could be a problem beyond their control, but child cannot stop chatting, in my opinion, is his/her problem.

cece Fri 18-Dec-15 11:58:21

Have you ever considered ADHD?

irvine101 Fri 18-Dec-15 12:11:11

cece, OP says,

"He can sit nicely, he just finds it hard to stay focussed if he finds the topic a bit boring."

mrz Fri 18-Dec-15 13:12:16

Being able to sit nicely doesn't exclude possibility of ADHD (speaking as mother of son with diagnosis)

irvine101 Fri 18-Dec-15 13:29:52

Ok, sorry.

cece Fri 18-Dec-15 14:13:51

ADHD children are able to sit nicely when they are interested. It's called hyper focus.

irvine101 Fri 18-Dec-15 14:36:00

I always suspected my ds might have ADHD. Hyper focus does sound like him...

cece Fri 18-Dec-15 14:46:50

There are 3 different types of ADHD - it might be worth reading up about them.

irvine101 Fri 18-Dec-15 14:53:49

Thank you, cece.

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