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Keeping DS motivated after grammar school entrance exam

(14 Posts)
CommutingMumfromKent Wed 27-Aug-08 11:18:08

My son is doing a grammar school entrance exam in December. Its a 13+ entry (Kent has some weird anomalies in schools). My worry is that if he gets in he'll spend the following six months just cruising on minimum possible effort while his school friends are preparing for Common Entrance. In fact I'm 99% sure that this will happen as he's always getting into trouble for doing the least amount of work he can get away with. Does anyone have experience of this? Someone I know mentioned that there's a school in France that offers short courses for English kids in similar positions. He's also really into music, so some sort of music course? I'd really love to hear if anyone has similar experience.

snorkle Wed 27-Aug-08 14:21:11

Would it be the end of the world if he did cruise for a bit? If it means he'll struggle to keep up at the grammar if he coasts then maybe you need to let him know that and encourage him to keep on top of his work. If he passes the exam though, he'll probably be fine at the school, so I wouldn't worry too much. With the courses, are you thinking of taking him out of his regular school for the rest of the year and doing those instead, or doing them as extras in the holidays? If the later, I'd only do them if you can find one that he really wants to do, or it's likely to be a waste.

CommutingMumfromKent Wed 27-Aug-08 17:58:28

Thanks for responding. I'm new to this Mumsnet stuff and amazed by the depth and breadth of experience.

No, it wouldn't be the end of the world, you're right. I'm not pushy and don't want him to become an expert in Mandarin, or anything like that! Just thought that it would be nice to help him to find something which was fun and interesting to do during that six months. Could be something new he hasn't tried before, or developing something he already enjoys. So wondered if anyone else had already experienced that sort of limbo time and how it was for them.

snorkle Wed 27-Aug-08 22:39:44

Year 8 is known for being a year that often gets overlooked at schools and in which children can lose motivation and coast even when they've not done 13+, so you are probably right. Ds has a lot of interests including music, so I didn't really hit the problem - actually I think outside interests are the answer so cultivate those he already has (music) & maybe encourage some new ones too. What sort of music is he interested in? Ds has done several orchestra type courses that typically last a week in the summer holidays and enjoyed them. Is he a sciencey type who might enjoy some home electronics or an astronomy club at a local observatory?

MarmadukeScarlet Wed 27-Aug-08 22:50:55

Hello, I'm from Nr T.Wells too.

I'm not at entry exam stage yet as DD is Yr 4 now, but most everyone I know has started their DC on papers already <thud>

I wasn't aware there was a standard 13+, I thought just 11+ and CE at 13.

SueW Wed 27-Aug-08 22:53:36

<Hijack> snorkle did you see my post last week about DD at Beauchamp?

snorkle Wed 27-Aug-08 23:08:55

Sue - No I missed it (on holiday) - did she enjoy it and did she do the theory or the orchestra course?

To keep the thread on track CommutingMumfromKent Beauchamp House run summer music courses near Gloucester - the children camp in a field and do lots of music with first rate musicians & other fun stuff too.

SueW Wed 27-Aug-08 23:25:11

G5 Theory. Assessed G2 on arrival; passed 2 x G5 mocks on leaving Crap weather though.

Fab staff and tuition. And participants. Def recommend from me. DD not keen on camping in bad weather and says hard work. Thx though - I am sure yours was first recommendation we saw.

OP does your DS play an instrument or could he take up a new interest to keep his mind active?

Janni Thu 28-Aug-08 00:34:30

So you're worrying that if he gets in he'll relax and coast. Presumably if he didn't get in you'd be worrying more?! Your MN name suggests that your life is quite hectic so why not just allow him and you to relax if he passes the exam? Sure, no harm in finding something enjoyable for him to do, but try not to approach it as if this six month period is a problem. He'll be working hard enough once he hits grammar school!

snorkle Thu 28-Aug-08 21:59:49

SueW - she's learned a lot of theory then, well done to her & good luck for the real exam. Shame about the weather though- if you're camping, sunshine makes it much more enjoyable.

I had a thought for the OP - Why not tell the school your concerns? They're best placed to ensure he doesn't coast really.

CommutingMumfromKent Mon 01-Sep-08 10:35:37

Snorkle - School more concerned than we are , have been banging on for years about him "not fulfilling his potential" but don't seem to have a formula for motivating him. He's just counting the days until he can leave now, and disengaging with them.

I just thought it was sad for him to spend a whole year thinking "this is crap I wish I wasn't here", and wanted to see if I could help him find something that could get him excited and enthusiastic.

He doesn't like sport. Loves rock music - plays guitar, bass & drums. Also plays cello quite well but keen to give it up.

Will look into Beauchamp House, sounds interesting, definite food for thought.

rubyloopy Mon 01-Sep-08 16:43:29

Message withdrawn

mistlethrush Mon 01-Sep-08 16:59:41

Keyboard would be a useful addition to that group that he is already interested in. Also great for composition etc. However, you would need to choose a teacher with great care to get one that can stimulate with the appropriate type of music and learning and not necessarily go down a classical route.

How about martial arts - quite different from sport - even my dh managed to 'get into' one despite being very non-sporty!

snorkle Mon 01-Sep-08 19:10:53

It is hard when children are disenchanted, & if you find the answer you could make a fortune marketing it. DS doesn't like a lot of sports (notable exception is swimming), but he's really taken to sailing recently, so that might be something else to consider? Also agree that keyboard might be something quite challenging that he might enjoy. Beauchamp House do a Jazz summer course that might appeal (aside from the theory). I think for their orchestral courses it's more classical & might not be the thing for him if he wants to give up cello (ds also plays cello & enjoyed their advanced string course last year - the teaching & the music & the other fun stuff was all very good).

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