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What can I expect from the school? 6 year old not concentrating in class.

(32 Posts)
questionasker Thu 19-Jan-17 14:23:51

We have a lovely happy 6 year old who has worked pretty hard since she started school. I think she has been at the top end of her class. She is one of the youngest in her class and therefore we always do additional work at home to ensure she can keep up.

However she is not concentrating at school as much as she can at home. The teacher says not listening to instructions and being very slow with her work. She is not disruptive but quiet polite and one would imagine the type to be overlooked.

So here is my problem. Is it too much to ask that the teacher or one of the assistants prompt her, offer motivation and praise when necessary? Or is it as I am being told a case of she has to learn to get on with it herself?

my2bundles Thu 19-Jan-17 14:45:10

It's not to much to ask. Teachers should be doing all these things with 6 year olds anyway. I hope things improve.

Brokenbiscuit Thu 19-Jan-17 14:53:21

I think it depends on how often she needs prompting, really. The occasional reminder to stay focused, yes, and of course, yes, it's reasonable to expect appropriate praise for all children. However, the teacher probably has 29 other children to focus on, so they can't be constantly having to motivate your dd. Also, in the longer term, she really does need to learn how to stay focused by herself - maybe by not intervening too often, they're trying to help her develop her own concentration skills?

questionasker Thu 19-Jan-17 14:54:52

Thanks my2bundles. That is what I thought until yesterday.

Witchend Thu 19-Jan-17 16:12:35

I agree with BrokenBiscuits

It's fine if all she needs is a "Miniquestion, don't forget to start," comment. One of mine needed that sort of reminder and it worked well.
If she needs someone to sit next to her and say "Now write the date, no, put the rubber down, yes it is January... Can you turn back and look at the paper, please? What are you going to write? ... No it doesn't matter that Jane has written the date backwards, please concentrate on your own work..."

irvineoneohone Thu 19-Jan-17 16:25:10

How did you find out your dd isn't concentrating?
If it was mentioned by teacher, they must already remind her constantly.

My ds is the same, he isn't disruptive, but get lost in his own world. I know the teacher already remind him millions of times, I wouldn't dare asking the teacher to remind him!
Teacher already said she may not be able to give him good grades due to unfinished work, I think he deserves it, he needs to learn to concentrate, or he will fail.

questionasker Thu 19-Jan-17 17:19:57

Thanks for the replies. I brought it up as they kept saying you know what she is like, whats everything to be perfect which slows her down. I don't think she is a perfectionist as such so I questioned it.

In year one she was above expectation in English and maths. Then they changed the classroom set up which meant that she has gone from being sat in the top groups to mixed ability teaching. That means the class sit anywhere and its constantly changes.

She complains that its noisy and that people are talking or poking her and that is distracts her. I don't think she was fast before the mixed ability teaching but she must have been doing ok as it is hard to reach above expectation in KS1.

bojorojo Thu 19-Jan-17 18:04:29

First of all, why do you feel you need to do lots of extra work at home to keep up just because she is younger? I had two summer born children and I never pushed them because they were young. You think she is already achieving extremely well so I would back off at home for a start. She more than caught up last year so why is there additional pressure at home?

She seems to want one to one and is obviously used to that. My elder DD had a tendency to worry about what other children were doing but she grew out of it as she matured. I think, as an intelligent child she will come to realise that getting on with your own work is best. Being slow could be attention seeking as well.

Schools have now reverted to whole class teaching in many instances and then children practice what has been taught with varying degrees of difficulty. If she is slow, is the work too difficult? Has she understood what she has to do? Yes, the TA and teacher should check that she is getting on with the work but you cannot expect constant reminders. Working slowly should be investigated further if she was above expectations previously. Ask the teacher what progress she has made this year. It could be you pushed too much last year so she over achieved but cannot consolidate this year.

questionasker Thu 19-Jan-17 21:11:28

Thanks bojorojo, obviously now we know that it is our fault we will back off, stop pushing her and relieve her from the additional pressure at home. Any parent who tries to support their child at home is clearly an idiot.

Hermanfromguesswho Thu 19-Jan-17 21:31:41

I think that the teacher will already be doing all she can to keep your daughter on task. She will never focus as well at school as she does at home due to the fact that she has 1-1 support/attention at home and 1-30 support/attention at school. All you can do is to support the school in their efforts to get her to concentrate. Remind her that she should concentrate in class. Perhaps tell her you'll check with the teacher at the end of each day and if she's tried hard she can have a treat?
When you work with her at home try to promote independent work rather than giving her 1-1 all the time. Start her off then give her a timer and say you are going to do
something and would like 3 sentences when you return... really praise her for doing work independently. She will get it with a consistent message smile

questionasker Thu 19-Jan-17 21:52:27

Thanks Hermanfromguesswho.

This weekend I did a bit more than usual to see if I could identify what the problem is. I sat her in the dining room and gave her 2 maths papers from a practice sats pack. It took her 15 mins for the first and she got 29/30. The second took her about 30 mins and she got 25/ 30. According to the pack her time was fine and her marks were great. I prompted her twice as I walked past and saw her staring at the wall! I thought she did so well.

If she doesn't need that much prompting at home all I can think is that it is so noisy and chatty that like many 6 year olds she finds it more exciting than the work. I would fully support the teacher but she didn't indicate that she would do anything to help her at all!

I shall be using your timer suggestion for breakfast in the morning..but that is another story!

user1475439961 Thu 19-Jan-17 22:12:42

Once again-let's blame the teacher! Your dd is 6. Children of this age find concentrating in classes of 30 hard. I'm sure the teacher works very hard at getting the children to do their best-what on earth do you think her job is?
As a parent talk to your dd about doing her best & manage her distractions whilst at school-just as the teacher will be doing.

whinetasting Thu 19-Jan-17 22:22:03

I could have written your message about my son a month ago! I had a meeting (called by his teacher) where we developed a plan:
1) when they're doing a writing or maths task he moves to sit in a small corner desk on his own.
2) teacher will ensure his work is targeted appropriately- he is extremely able and so she will give him more targeted work to challenge him and keep him engaged.
3) he's got a timer she'll use with him to ensure he knows what's required (e.g 10 sums in 10 minutes).
4) he's to bring his books home every few days for me to look at.

Honestly I'm delighted with the school. It's more than I could have hoped for, and we're already seeing a real improvement. It's a big London state school so the fact that they can and will do this is excellent.

questionasker Thu 19-Jan-17 23:05:48

whinetasting NOW that is a lovely helpful reply.

irvineoneohone Fri 20-Jan-17 06:43:27

It's really different at home and at school.
If I left my ds to work on the dining table, he will do ok. But if I let him do work in his room on his own, he will spend most of the time distracting himself.
Ds' teacher last year did what ever possible to ensure he finishes his work. It kind of worked. This year, not so much, and his unfinished work carries on.
I really think the key is in child themselves to realise importance of concentration in any environment.

VintagePerfumista Fri 20-Jan-17 06:54:43

She's 6 and you are sitting her at a table at the weekend and getting her to work through maths papers????

She must think school is playtime compared to home. Think for a second- she probably is aware she is not as quick/focused as others in the class, Mum has been in to speak to the teacher about it, and she gets put in the kitchen to do maths papers at the weekend? Way to go to make her love school.

You are not supporting her, you're punishing her for what the teacher said, and you're hothousing her. Did you tell her what marks she got as well?

Unless the teacher (as in other posters' cases) actually told you she needed this kind of heavy-handed intervention, (how did the conversation go? did the teacher indicate doom/gloom and the necessity to sit and work at the table over the weekend? Or mention it as part of the meeting? If I understand correctly, the teacher didn't even mention it until you did?)

YANBU to ask the teacher to prompt her to concentrate. (though I can envisage an eye-roll and a "d'oh, I'd never have thought of that wink) from the teacher....YABU to sit and hothouse her at the weekend.

questionasker Fri 20-Jan-17 07:54:18

My child is lovely. We have a lovely relationship. She asks to be homeschooled. You come on here for some advice and you get aggression for helping your child. Perhaps I should just stick her in breakfast / after school and not try and help her with her education.

I dont need anymore replies on this thread. Thanks for the people who gave good advice it was very helpful.

bojorojo Fri 20-Jan-17 10:17:19

Are you helping though? You seem obsessive! After all - your child has a problem at school. So what you are doing cannot be that wonderful and you are, of course, blaming the teacher.

I do not appreciate the sarcasm. Op, and for those of you thinking a six year old should be sent to their bedroom to work alone - words fail me! You do need replies but you don't want to listen to common sense and normality. Your poor child!

Autumnsky Fri 20-Jan-17 11:55:04

OP, don't be stressed by this. I think it is normal that an 6 years old doesn't concentrate very well. Her progress seems well, so just leave her to be at the moment.Maybe she will improve herself after a year.

questionasker Fri 20-Jan-17 12:27:00

Thanks again for nice responses and I won't be commenting again as its like being in a school playground with the bullies.

irvineoneohone Fri 20-Jan-17 12:34:50

Op, there are people with different opinions.
My ds loves doing work at home. He thrives with 1-1 attention. He also expressed desire to be home schooled in the past.
Don't worry too much about what other people say, and do whatever you think best for your child. You know her best.

irvineoneohone Fri 20-Jan-17 12:41:23

bojorojo, my ds prefers to do his homework in his bedroom. He loves to work surrounded by his lego creations, but doing one piece of writing takes forever! grin

bojorojo Fri 20-Jan-17 15:17:09

A tiny minority might like being in their bedrooms doing work as a 6 year old. I can assure you, this is unusual and stops conversation taking place about the learning. Learning with the interaction of adults works best, but not excessive helicoptering.

I am surprised that straightforward advice is labelled as bullying - it is an alternative point of view. Plenty of parents do not want any homework at all and there are academic studies which show, at primary level, it has no effect. What does have effect is reading together, going out to interesting places to extend knowledge and vocabulary, playing with other children and starting to learn skills, e.g. Cooking, sport, music etc. A forced diet of academic study at 6 is counter productive! So making a child do even more work at the age of 6 is really over the top!

irvineoneohone Fri 20-Jan-17 15:35:34

bojorojo, what you say maybe true.
But in my native country, children start school at 6/7 years old, and have daily homework straight away. It's not a lot, it's more to do with making children get into a habit of doing a bit of revision regularly.
My country always seems to come one of the top in the PISA, while England is always seems to be 20+....so I trust my instinct.

MyschoolMyrules Fri 20-Jan-17 16:39:05

OP I made that mistake too. Most children will be able to concentrate better at home. It's quiet, there are no distractions, no noise and she gets all your attentions to is completely normal that your ds gets distracted it is to be expected. When doing learning activities with her at home (let's say colouring) just help her set it up, and walk away, do something else, make noise, pay attention to other things and see how she reacts. Unfortunately it is a fact - she will not get a teacher or TA's attention in the class, she will have to learn to learn on her own, with many things that can distract her. It's a skill that children have to develop.

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