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Dd (6) floundering a bit.

(15 Posts)
wanderingwondering Sun 10-Jan-16 23:54:19

I have a few concerns about dd, firstly her concentration-it has never been good and all her teachers have commented on her 'being away with the fairies'. It used to be cute/funny but now she's half way through year 2 and I'm worried that there is a real problem and she will fall behind. She often doesn't finish a task, although she now seems to get what she does complete right which is an improvement on last year.

Secondly her handwriting. She is left handed and the position she holds her pencil/paper means she can't see what she is writing. She doesn't form her letters correctly so although her writing is legible when she tries to join her letters they are all over the place. I worry this wil also hold her back as she starts to need to write more and write faster.

She doesn't seem to retain number facts-tables, njmber bonds etc so although she can work out basic things by counting forward, back or in 2s etc, more complicated maths is beginning to flummox her.
I try to help her with all these things but she is resistant to any advice from me. Slightly more amenable to DH but he's not around as much!
I am thinking of booking an appointment with her teacher but realistically can't expect her to put much in place for an average student who isn't motivated to improve herself (extra homework would go down like a lead balloon)

On the positive side she is a great reader and has a good memory and good verbal skills.

Any advice? I don't want to push her too hard but feel I have stood back for long enough and don't want her to fall behind.

wanderingwondering Mon 11-Jan-16 09:16:49

Little bump for daytime crowd, although just reread my midnight ramblings and wonder if I'm worrying too much

FinallyHere Mon 11-Jan-16 09:29:30

I can understand why more homework would not be regarded favourably. Could you possibly do more maths with her in everyday life? Count buttons as you do them up, make it a game?

Hope that works, its just possible that you have a genius on your hands, who just needs to focus on the job in hand. On the other hand, one reason i avoid finished things is to avoid any criticism of what i have done so finding things to praise might help. Cheers Tricia

mrsjskelton Mon 11-Jan-16 09:34:24

As a teacher I'd say get that appointment booked and take a notepad to get down any ideas you can use at home. It's important to remember she's still only young and needs to feel excited about learning, not pressurised. At that age I'd be encouraging LOTS of practical maths objects (numicon is particularly brilliant) and open ended tasks to keep her thinking and spotting links.

Ferguson Mon 11-Jan-16 19:56:26

This might help for Maths:

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, 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
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'.

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 :

And to encourage Literacy, this book may help:

An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’ and my name.

FairyDustDreamer Tue 12-Jan-16 17:47:31

My year 2 boy seems a bit of a dreamer at school.
Don't think he is showing all he can do yet and don't think he will this year.
This may reflect in not so great SATs result but I just feel in long run he will do ok.
Maybe misguided of course!
Just feel at moment he thinks school a waste of his time and only feels motivated to do minimum. Tantrums at home if asked to do more than minimum so I've backed off.

irvine101 Tue 12-Jan-16 18:03:21

Does she like to play on computer/ ipad? I can recommend you some if you like.

wanderingwondering Tue 12-Jan-16 20:06:51

She does like to play on the tablet (mainly CBeebies!) I have a good app called 'hit the button' which looks good for practising number facts-I should probably push that a bit more. But yes, other recommendations would be useful.

A slight breakthrough in another area today-she said she was looking forward to swimming lesson shock-most activities that require effort are met with complaints blush.
I haven't made an appointment as I can't decide if I'm being a pushy parent (but without the ability to actually push her!!)

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 13-Jan-16 13:40:02

I would always speak to the teacher if you are concerned, even if only so that if they then notice any problems they will flag them up with you more quickly because they are aware that you are concerned. Teachers see so many children that they will be able to give you their opinion on whether there really is anything to worry about or not.

you comment she is an average student so perhaps that is what she is, most children will be average with only a few above and below average. if she is plodding along as average then is it really necessary to push her to do more at this age? If however she is naturally very clever but isn't demonstrating this and you think she really just needs a bit of a push then playing maths games might be the way to go. I know quite a few of the children we know around that age do quite a lot of extra work at home, not to help them keep up but to try and get them to be near the top of the class. Now I agree with working hard and having a good worth ethic and every child having the opportunity to be the best that they can be and also that bright children need to be stretched but not to spend so much of their time doing it just to keep ahead. I realise that isn't what you are saying at all but I just think perhaps a child of that age needs the time off from work.

Concentration wise - what activities does she do out of school? does she do anything like ballet or martial arts where they have to listen, concentrate and focus. Perhaps something like that, if she doesn't already do it, would help her develop the concentration skills in a far more interesting environment (lets face it - school can be pretty dull to a 6 year old).

they also say that dancing, martial arts, swimming and music (and no doubt other things) are all very beneficial for brain development as well.

Yolande7 Fri 15-Jan-16 23:31:02

I wouldn't worry too much (easier said than done, I know). The most important thing is not to make her believe that she is no good in maths. Maths performance is highly dependent on self-perception (counter-intuitive, I know).

I practiced times tables with my girls the following way:
- make flashcards of the 2 times table. Practice 10 mins a day for 3 days.
- make flashcards of the 3 times table starting from 3x3. Practice 10 mins a day for 3 days.
- make flashcards of the 4 times table starting from 4x4. Practice for 3 days.
- revise the times tables she has learnt so far.
- keep on going like this until you have all 10 times tables.

Numicon is great to help understanding. I used it a lot visualise concepts and my daughers loved it. You can also read maths stories. That might be a good way to get her interested since she likes reading.

I would download lots of different maths apps and let her practice with them. I only have educational apps on my iPad and my daughters starting using them from Y2. It also helps to keep screentime under control, because they stop voluntarily after 20-30mins. :-)

From about mid-Year 3 onwards you could use It is fantastic, because it is an intelligent system which constantly checks if your child has understood and remembered the concepts she has practiced. Y2 might be too early though, because it is not playful at all.

wanderingwondering Thu 21-Jan-16 20:21:02

To update, I met with the teacher who was pleased I'd made the appointment as she had similar concerns.
Her feeling was that dd is struggling with some aspects of maths and would def benefit from more practice with apparatus so I'll invest in the numicon
She also said that she didn't feel dd was performing as well as she could in her writing and is, with my agreement, going to push her a bit in that area.
She didn't seem too worried about handwriting and showed me dd's handwriting book which was beautiful and showed she can form the letters properly when she tries so there's hope there!

In general I felt we were on the same page and I'm glad she thinks that dd has potential even if she's not showing it at the moment.

Topsy34 Thu 21-Jan-16 20:49:23

sounds like a good meeting, maybe a catch up every few weeks with the teacher (or ta) would help keep things focused as well

leccybill Thu 21-Jan-16 21:53:20

Thanks for starting this thread, OP. I have a DD in Year 1 who is much the same, a real dolly daydreamer. I think I'll start introducing some educational maths apps and games. She is enthusiastic, just a little, well, dozy sometimes.

rebellove Fri 22-Jan-16 22:54:19

Really helpful thread. My dd 6.5yr is the same. She's been placed in a 'fix it group' at school as she's struggling with maths. We've had a go at partitioning tonight and I can see that she's still confused but trying to keep her attention is really difficult.
Any ideas for apps/resources would be appreciated!

houseHuntinginmanchester Wed 27-Jan-16 00:53:34

ferguson is the book you mention 'Oxford phonics spelling dictionary'? It's all that seems to come up when I try to find it.

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