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when the child at home does not match the child at school

(9 Posts)
tryingtogetagrip Tue 19-Jan-16 12:02:01

I know that parents are not always good witnesses. I know that home and school are 2 different places. But what on earth do you do when the child that you see at home is not the same one that the teacher sees at school?

I often get complaints from the teacher saying DD couldn't do something at school. We sit at home, she does it. Teacher says DD doesn't seem to understand something at school. At home, she explains it to me before we even start. At the beginning I shrugged it off. Maybe DD just needed an extra practice. Maybe DD wasn't listening when the teacher explained it. Maybe DD just feels a bit more confident at home than in class. I send in the work that DD does at home and it comes back with a happy face at the bottom from the teacher. But it keeps on happening.

Last time we talked nothing was really resolved. It was like a panto yes she can, no she can't, yes she can, no she can't. Either DD is doing a jekyll and hyde act, or the teacher just sees her in a way that I don't. Either way, another six months of this will seem like a lifetime. Learning, behaviour, ability etc, it probably doesn't matter what the 'problem' is, from your experience is there a better conversation to have?

catkind Tue 19-Jan-16 12:36:31

Is she shy? Or distracted in school?
We tend to get a lot of this in the first term with a new teacher, DS is very shy with new people and reluctant to be noticed in any way, I've come to assume it's that. If asked a question he'll say I don't know, as the quickest way to get the question and the attention to go away.

PhilPhilConnors Tue 19-Jan-16 12:48:29

There are loads of reasons why a child would do this.
Presumably the teacher can see that she is able from her homework and should be focussing on helping your dd in school rather than getting into the whole "no she cant'" scenario.
Have you ever asked your dd why?

CookieDoughKid Tue 19-Jan-16 12:53:00

I would analyse the seating arrangements in her class and see who her peers are. Are they egging each other on? Distracting each other? Why don't you try getting her moved to the front of the class? Makes a big difference IMO - no where to hide. Could also be your dd is quite bright, not challenged enough so look at the exercises and examples and ask your dd to repeat BACK to the teacher the instructions so that she actually does understand it!

sunnydayinmay Tue 19-Jan-16 17:30:18

Think this is quite normal. I listen to dcs' piano lessons, and pieces they play perfectly don't happen with the teacher! As she says, different room, more nerves as they have a teacher listening etc.

Same in school - different distractions, pressures, questions worded differently maybe? I would worry that you or your DC see it as a complaint or criticism, though.

treesarebrown Tue 19-Jan-16 17:44:23

Could she be

a) attention seeking -so pretends she can't do it at school to get more attention from the teacher

b) scared of the teacher so goes to pieces and can't manage to get it right at school. The pantomime thing rather suggests the teacher could be rather off putting

MilkRunningOutAgain Tue 19-Jan-16 19:11:43

My DS did this a lot in ks1. In yr 3 he was moved from bottom to top table for maths when his teacher realised he did get maths, he just hadn't demonstrated this while at school at all up til then. With him it was a lot to do with shyness, and also perfectionism. He wouldn't do something unless he was 100% sure it was right.

tryingtogetagrip Tue 19-Jan-16 23:56:30

Thank you for all the comments. Really helpful.

DD is still young (reception) and I don't know that she is aware of what is going on here. Yes, perhaps a bit shy, and yes, could be lacking a bit of focus in the classroom. catkind and trees you make a good point and I would not be surprised if she claims not to know, or just doesn't answer, to try and get out of the spotlight. I don't think she wants more attention from the teacher. She seems to want less of it hmm
sunny yes certainly. Reading with mum and dad is reading with mum and dad and we have done it for a long time. Reading with the teacher is READING WITH THE TEACHER!. DD is getting less willing to have a go at sounding words and stuff than before. Maybe she has a better sense of right and wrong if there are other children who are more confident, but it might be just not wanting to be wrong in front of the teacher
I think I might bat it back to the teacher. If we have proved that at home DD can do things that she does not do in class, it should be okay to ask the teacher what can be done to help in class other than bring a parent in to sit there all day grin. It would feel like less of a complaint about DD if we were talking about seating arrangements, shyness and how to fix a won't do rather than can't do situation instead of getting what DH calls the tut and sigh treatment.

mamadoc Wed 20-Jan-16 00:10:50

Have always had this issue with DD (now y4) because she is painfully shy. She will never put her hand up or answer qs in class and she often goes to pieces if put on the spot.

Teachers have usually been quite understanding and willing to believe us but have said that they can't record her as having attained a skill/ reached a level unless she demonstrates it in class. I do get that. They can't just take my word for it as I might be going the homework for her

As she has got older it is maybe less of an issue because she is happy to work away on writing or maths as long as no communicating out loud is required so the evidence is in her books.

I don't get too upset about it. In my view it's being able to do things not being able to show the teacher you can do them that matters in the end.

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