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How do I get my DD to change her attitude ?

(24 Posts)
HuwEdwards Mon 15-Sep-08 20:27:34

She is a v.lively Yr3, 8 in a couple of months time. She's outgoing, gregarious and fairly confident. BUT she has such a bad-ass attitude toward homework and anything remotely academic. She's very bright, did well in her sats (if that's a measure) but just coasts through school.

She did her homework tonight which comprised copying out a sentence and filling in the blanks with adjectives.

"The _ cat sat on the _ mat."

She used 'fat' in both places out of sheer laziness. In 2 out of 4 sentences she'd used the same adjective in the 2 gaps in the sentences.

There were other more complex sentences and she'd copied one out with 3 spelling mistakes - not the adjectives, but the words which were printed clearly in front of her. Oh and there were, in 10 sentences at least 15 crossings out.

I twittered on about pride in her work, showing the teacher she cared etc. but I could clearly see her glazing over.

She just doesn't give a fig.

HuwEdwards Mon 15-Sep-08 20:34:51


herbietea Mon 15-Sep-08 20:39:21

Message withdrawn

kittybrown Mon 15-Sep-08 20:40:08

I've no idea, but if you find out let me know! I've been battling with my son about this since yr1. I mentioned in another post today that our school has stopped weekly homework except spellings and times tables and everyone in our house breathed a sigh of relief. The last thing my children wanted to do when they got home was more work.
Prehaps have a quiet word with the teacher to see if she tries hard in the classroom.

Twiglett Mon 15-Sep-08 20:43:17

make her do each one again until it's right

just put a cross by it and say try again

Trafficcone Mon 15-Sep-08 20:43:54

I'd make her do it again and if she didn't a punishment would ensue such as lack of Tv for the next few days. Let her do it now and God knows what you're in for when she's 13! My kids have learned that doing homework without fuss and doing it well gets a treat like a late night or a family DVD from Blockbusters, and not doing it means privileges withdrawn AND the homework still has to be done properly. It's not a hard choice really when you think about it!

Twiglett Mon 15-Sep-08 20:44:09

but do some playing with loads of different adjectives first

thisisyesterday Mon 15-Sep-08 20:46:39

ahh I don't know if I can offer any advice but I was exactly the same a child.
I found the work very easy, and I couldn't be arsed to make an effort because I knew that it wasn't worth my time.

actually, in hindsight perhaps if they had given me more interesting/challenging work I would have been more into it? I don't know.

if she is coasting through school and doing well despite not really giving a fig then it might be worth having a chat to the teacher to see if she can make things a bit more interesting for her?

GrimmaTheNome Mon 15-Sep-08 20:47:38

Maybe you need to have a quiet word with the teacher and ask her to get a bit tough on your DD about the quality of her homework? A playtime or two spent redoing it might be salutary and not too harsh for an 8 year old.

thisisyesterday Mon 15-Sep-08 20:47:39

I wouldn't push her over the homework btw. I would just let her hand it in as it is

she's 8. she shouldn't be being punished over homework at that age. that's just going to put her off even more

CarofromWton Mon 15-Sep-08 21:03:21

I could have written the OP about my DD1! She's nearly 10 and very bright. From what the teachers say, she is keen and hard-working at school, but she seems to just turn off when it comes to homework.

Only half an hour ago, I finished checking her literacy homework (which BTW she has had since last Thursday to do and has to hand it in tomorrow.) It was ok on the whole but there were quite a few silly mistakes, which, when I tested her, she already knew!

I do sympathize - it's so frustrating and you can't explain to a child how they may regret this slap-dash attitude in years to come (makes me sound about 90 anyway). It's difficult to know which approach to take. At the moment I'm coming down quite hard on her - no TV until homework is completed and checked. I feel like a horrid mom though and I think I'm coming over v. critical and disappointed, which I don't want to. sad

Hope you find the solution, and if you do, can you let me know????wink

juuule Mon 15-Sep-08 21:13:07

Caro, Your dd is very bright and her teachers say she is keen and hard-working at school, why are you on her back about her homework?

Huw your dd is bright, outgoing, gregarious and fairly confident. She doing well at school. Why are you stressing about homework?

Sounds to me like your dds are doing what is asked of them in school and are enjoying school. Plenty of time to put pressure on (if you think it's needed) when they get older. Why make schoolwork a bind now when they are only 8 and 9?

stealthsquiggle Mon 15-Sep-08 21:38:02

I would leave it, personally - tell her that you both know she could do better, but that it is her choice.

If she does well in school then the teachers presumably know that this is not all she is capable of, and will give her feedback accordingly, which she will take a whole lot more notice of than she would of anything a mere parent says or does.

My only caveat on that would be to check what she does actually do at school. If she is achieving well only against very low standards and working well below her capability there as well then I would be more concerned - IMHO if a DC gets turned off learning at this age it will be hard for anyone to relight that enthusiasm later when results really do matter.

HuwEdwards Mon 15-Sep-08 21:45:45

Thanks for all your responses and I swerve drunkenly (figuratively speaking!) between them.

One one hand, I think, I never had homework from primary school, so no big deal - and I think if she just didn't have the ability, I would be fine. BUT then I think like Twig and Traffic that I should be supportive of the school's efforts and frankly blew a gasket with her tonight - and there was no TV until she'd completed it (albeit pretty poorly).

HuwEdwards Mon 15-Sep-08 21:49:02

But think I err on the side of Stealth & Herbie and letting her hand it in, in the state it is....I did say to her that if it was going to cause an almighty row every week, then I would ask the teacher to keep her in at lunchtime so she could do her homework there (obv would not do this and would fully expect the teacher to flick the Vs at me if I did!)

undercovercat Mon 15-Sep-08 21:49:07

My dd is 10 and is the same, coasts through school and refused all through the summer to do any practice for the 11+.
I am hoping secondary school will float her boat as primary school definetly hasnthmm
I will probably still be waiting for her to take it seriously when shes 44grin

HuwEdwards Mon 15-Sep-08 21:55:57

UCoverCat, does your DD like school? Mine does, oddly enough, but I think more for the socialising and acting the goat, than the work.

She is a love though...

jollydo Mon 15-Sep-08 22:29:40

I wouldn't put too much pressure on a child of 8 or 9. They might end up doing the homework more like the way you think it should be done, but they won't have learned much in the process except that homework/learning is a big chore. Like you say, we didn't get homework when we were at primary school and I think it's really unnecessary at that age (I know some primary teachers agree but have to set it.)
To me, that homework sounds quite boring for a bright 8 year old. Maybe to encourage a bit more effort you could try to make it more fun - find a thesaurus and together find the most unusual adjectives to describe cat and mat etc. Looking through the thesaurus (even one online if you don't have a book) could throw up all sorts of funny adjectives which she might not have heard. (Obviously I don't know if that would work at all... and you might have tried something to help like that... maybe she's just tired out after a day at school and needs a good rest and to do something completely different.)

cory Tue 16-Sep-08 09:44:38

Agree with jolly. I don't think a slapdash attitude towards homework at age 8 is necessarily any indicator of how you are going to perform later on in life.

Dd had to be bullied into doing it at that age, but is now (Year 7) very keen and seems perfectly organised.

She always was very keen on learning as such, so I wasn't worried by the thought that school might turn her off; if a child has a stimulating learning environment at home, they're not just going to associate learning with school, are they?

undercovercat Tue 16-Sep-08 16:33:44

Huw, no dd says its boring. And doesnt get enthusiastic about anything they do. Other than school trips, away from the classroom.
But it CANT be so boring shes switching off as she is still sitting in the top sets. I dunno...

HonoriaGlossop Tue 16-Sep-08 18:09:22

Do you sit with her when she does the homework?

she is only seven - I think many kids of that age would struggle to produce something on their own, so if you don't sit with her when she does it I would do that from now on, make it more fun for her.

Other than that I would really not worry about it - homework for 7 yr olds is crazy anyway.

pointydog Tue 16-Sep-08 18:23:46

hmm. I'd make her do it but I wouldn't start battles about the quality. Let the school know you';r eon their side but I wouldn't have rucks over homework. Not worth it.

cluttered Tue 16-Sep-08 22:49:50

My DS1 (year 4) is the same, has had " a pleasure to teach" on last two reports but practically throws a tantrum when asked to do his homework. His explanation is that he knows he has to work at school but resents having to work in what he perceives as "his time".

Last year I let him put minimal effort in and homework was mainly copying words to learn spellings which he copied and handed in without attempting to learn. His year 3 report highlighted that his spelling needed working on and his year 4 teacher has said not to hand in the sheets with copied words but just LEARN the words. So far it has been very stressful trying to get him to do this and I'm not sure if I can take a year of it.

So, I don't know what the answer is to OP dilemma. Probably if I thought it wasn't teaching anything would leave it up to them but make sure they handed in whatever they had (poorly) achieved. But what about if it is challenging for them like my DS1 and his spellings. Don't know if I should I force him to knuckle down and learn spellings (and times tables) if the school requests he learn these at home? Is it too early to learn that sometimes things are boring but just need to be done, or has anyone really found some way to make learning spelling fun? What do those of you think who say that 8 and 9 year olds shouldn't be put under pressure with homework (juule, thisis yesterday, anyone?)

juuule Thu 18-Sep-08 10:45:17

Cluttered - I've never pushed the homework since my dc1. I ask if they want me to go through anything with them. I ask if they want me to listen and help with spellings. If they do, I do. If they don't, then I leave them to it.
This approach hasn't held them back in any way and is a lot less stressful than the early days when I used to try to get dc1 to do homework that he really didn't want to do. I've since come to the conclusion that they do enough during the day at primary school and shouldn't be made to do more once they get home - unless they want to.
That doesn't mean that we don't do other things.
Does your ds like reading? Find books, comics, whatever he likes to read. Reading helps with spelling.
Find games that he likes. Crosswords, cut up words and mix up the letters. Let him stick them in a book.
And if you find that he's not interested in anything related at the moment, leave it alone for a while.

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