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saw dd's teacher yesterday, at the time I thought it was fine, but now not sure?

(41 Posts)
paddingtonbear1 Sat 20-Sep-08 09:06:27

dd has been having problems settling into yr 1. (I did have another thread earlier). She also had problems in reception, but started getting going in the last term - then came the summer hols, and now she's gone backwards again. Basically her problem is poor concentration, and lack of confidence. She's gone right back to level 1 (Ginn) with reading, and in school when she's asked to do anything (eg copying down words), she goes 'away with the fairies' (as her teacher puts it) and does nothing until she's badgered. The teacher ends up sitting her on her own until she does it. Teacher showed me one of her books yesterday, where dd had written a full page of words during the lesson - in joined up writing too - the teacher was shock. dd had to be sat on her own to do it though. I had no idea either that dd could do that much writing at all!! Getting her to do it here is like pulling teeth, she would rather play, is unimpressed with the sit down and work aspect of yr 1. She is immature for age and summer birthday.
Anyway, in a nutshell her teacher says I should use 'tough love' and train her into doing it, make her focus and repeat any instructions back to me. At the time I thought this sounded OK, sounds fairly sensible. I am too lax at home and tend to let dd play.
she gets a fair bit of homework too... apart from reading this week we have english writing, maths worksheet and also spellings to learn. argh! not sure what to make of it all. dd is my only one, I am sure the teacher thinks I am clueless!!

smartiejakethepeg Sat 20-Sep-08 09:22:59

You are not being lax

Let her play. She is just 5 FGS! She is obviously not ready for the formal stuff yet and neither should she be at this tender age.

She is tied to a desk at school by the sounds of it. If you force her she will just be put off.

Children can concentrate for their age +2. e.g. 7 mins for a 5 year old. Homework at this age should take no longer than that.

The best you can do is play with her, cook, take her out for walks, talk to her, read to her. She will learn much more through these informal ways than from a farkin worksheet.

This makes me so angry

Learning is supposed to be fun!

smartiejakethepeg Sat 20-Sep-08 09:23:47

When I say cook I mean with her not for her

Bumperlicious Sat 20-Sep-08 09:26:29

I have no experience with this age but that sounds like a lot of homework, and when you said "I am too lax at home and tend to let dd play" I was shock as what else would you do at this age, have her going up chimneys grin.

Maybe you could just be a bit stricter when it comes to normal everyday instructions, e.g. putting toys away, getting dressed etc. make sure she does as she's told, as a way of 'training' her to concentrate more.

Maybe you could just set aside half an hour each day at home, get a kitchen timer for her and sit down together to do her homework.

Sorry, that seems like a random mix of advice, I have no idea really whether or not this is normal for her age. Hope you get some more advice.

OooWowOooArr Sat 20-Sep-08 09:31:58

Can see both sides here.

Bless her, of course it's hard to concentrate and she lacks confidence - she's only little!

Sad fact of matter is now she's a 'big girl' she'll have to start getting used to the world of school/work, however boring it may be.

Good luck. Every day i try to get my 2 yr old to tidy up. (and partially fail) Yes, it's tough and soooo boring but he's got to learn sooner or later!!

LostGirl Sat 20-Sep-08 09:36:16

That is a huge amount of homework. My dd sounds alot like yours, 'away with the fairies' 99% of the time and I agree with what the teacher said about asking her to repeat the instructions back etc. I have found that breaking instructions down into shorter points helps, as her attention just drifts off after I've said three words (mind you, so does dh, maybe the problem is me?grin). However, I don't think she should have to sit there and do everything. Surely fifteen mintues is enough homework at this age, once a week and a bit of reading everyday. Dd is in year one and she has one piece of homework once a week either numeracy or literacy, sounds like your school is alot tougher.

paddingtonbear1 Sat 20-Sep-08 09:47:55

thanks all, your replies are great. I thought I wasn't too bad before but the teacher made me feel like I was a bit lax!
Being stricter with everyday instructions does make sense. The teacher said plenty but I think in the end this was one of her main points. she said dd 'had a lot of growing up to do', yes but she is only just 5, I do think they make them grow up too soon these days.
I was a bit shock at the homework she gets, my friend's kids get nowhere near the same but I wasn't sure which was more normal!

TeacherSaysSo Sat 20-Sep-08 09:55:11

My dd gets the same amount of homework but is at a private school, not sure if that's helpful.

If they are not concentrating that is often a type of learning difficulty that needs some extra help. They don't so much as grow out of it, as learn to overcome their natural tendencies! You do need to repeat instructions, and get the child to focus on what you are saying. Look them in the eye and make them repeat it back to you.

This is relatively common but v. frustrating...Good luck.

juuule Sat 20-Sep-08 10:25:48

Does your dd concentrate for any length of time on anything? What about things that she is interested in?
Do you think she has a problem concentrating on things? If you give her an instruction to do something does she ever listen and take note. If you tell her to get her shoes as you are both going somewhere nice, do you think she'd take notice.
Sounds like a lot of homework for a 5yo to me. I'd let her play if that's what she wants. I'd try the homework but I wouldn't force it.

I agree with Smartiejake. Especially this bit.
"The best you can do is play with her, cook, take her out for walks, talk to her, read to her. She will learn much more through these informal ways than from a farkin worksheet."

Teachersayso "If they are not concentrating that is often a type of learning difficulty that needs some extra help."
What? at 5yo?

Quattrocento Sat 20-Sep-08 10:39:01

Mine had the same amount of homework too - if that is any help to you.

Do you lie down in bed with her and read with/to her every night? That makes a huge difference IMO.

themildmannneredjanitor Sat 20-Sep-08 10:46:40

this just sounds awful. really awful.
and all this homework i'm reading about in year one! it's ridiculous!!!!

our school is much more sensible.

even in year one-and in year two! most of the work is play based.

we have a colour wheel and each group is working on an activity at a time.
one will be asitting with the teacher on a writing task or a reading task or a maths task.

one group will be with a t.a doing another task-for eg. this week we have ; made a list of ingredients for soup, done some art work, made words with cubes that have letters on.

one group will be playing with lego and building toys.
one group on the computer.
anmd another group playing with stuff of their own choice.

the only homework they are getting is reading books.

and our sats are above the national average.

wheresthehamster Sat 20-Sep-08 10:46:43

Just a thought - is the homework the work that she hasn't done during the day?

Otherwise sounds quite a lot this early in the year

themildmannneredjanitor Sat 20-Sep-08 10:49:28

i would be moving schools. seriously. she is five! i have t shirts older than that. it is not good for kids to be so pressured at such a youg age.

paddingtonbear1 Sat 20-Sep-08 10:54:22

juuule yes she does - if it's something creative eg drawing, which she loves, or a game on the computer (eg her yr 1 program), she can be there for ages working on it.
we've just done her english homework - she had to write 4 sentences with full stops. This is where I have to keep at her or she'd write one word then nothing else for ages!
dh is about to take her for a walk, so I asked her to get dressed. She did it, she thinks dh will buy her a treat when out (he might)

dh or I read to her every night in bed. She loves this, she'd have us there all evening if she could

deanychip Sat 20-Sep-08 10:58:09

ok, you could have written this about my ds....WORD FOR WORD.

My boy was 5 in July, so has completed his reception year by day dreaming, not concentrating, showing no interest and having "a complete lack of comitment to his school work" (teachers words in his report.)

SO, i went in to see his teacher who assured me that there is "absolutely nothing wrong with him, he is normal for a child who was born in the summer and who has started school"

So there, we have normal, happy children who have had a year in school instead of an extra year at home or at play school playing, like some of their peers.

Homework, i too am lax, we have his spelling words stuck on the wall going up the stairs so he spells them each time we go up and down, BUT apat from that i dont sit down with him because it is literally agonisingly painful for us both!

He cant write, can barely write his name, certainly cant write sentences....BUT this will come, i am not in the least bit worried, he has been 5 for 2 months ffs.
He has got years and years to practice and get this right.

Thats how i see the whole thing!

themildmannneredjanitor Sat 20-Sep-08 10:59:43

ds was 5 at the end of august and the system our school uses of lots of play has really suited him.

paddingtonbear1 Sat 20-Sep-08 11:04:51

wheresthehamster, no this is actual homework. Once last week dd brought home extra words to write she hadn't finished in class, but the rest is the standard homework.
tmmj I like the sound of your school! You still have a ta in yr 1? dd's class doesn't hardly at all. They never choose what to do themselves, they have a formal timetable.

myredcardigan Sat 20-Sep-08 11:05:39

As a teacher and a parent of a child the sameage I'dsay that's toomuch homework esp for a summer birthday child. Personally I don't agree with homework at all in the infants other than reading at home. It is unnecessary and exhausting. Infant children need to comehome and chill out and relax,and yes play. Please don't ever stop her doing this. smile

Teachersaysso, I'm sorry but your comment is ill-informed nonsense. Lack of concentration in a child that age says no such thing. Only as a child progresses through the juniors would such a trait be cause for concern and even then it could just be that child's nature.

Paddingtonbear1,if it makes you feel any better, I have taught scores of children who couldn't concentrate for toffee in Reception/Y1 but did very well as they got into the juniors and began to mature.
Also, my DH has the concentration of a child. At work he has to get up every 5 to 10mins and wander around. He hates meetings and presentations unless he's the one speaking or they're very interactive. Nobody actually expects us, as adults to sit on the floor and listen to someone else talking for a good half hour so why do we expect a 5yr old to cope with it?

BTW,the suggestion at being consistent and firm about tidying up etc is a good one. Good luck! smile

myredcardigan Sat 20-Sep-08 11:10:33

Oh PB,if I remember correctly your are in St, is that correct? We're in Wilmslow but I visited a school in Bram. with a friend last term as her daughter will be due to start next year. It was amazing there. They have this thing called integrated day and the kids just do small bursts of learning with slots of play in between (until y2) YET there results at Y6 are amazing. Sounds like just the sort of school for a child like your DD. smile

juuule Sat 20-Sep-08 11:12:38

Paddingtonbear, It doesn't sound to me, as though your dd has any problem with concentration or focus for things that interest her.
She sounds perfectly normal.
You are not being lax by leaving her to do her own thing when she gets home after a 6hour school day.
I wouldn't force her to do her homework. Let her do as much or as little as she can. Any that's not done you can explain to the teacher that you don't think she's ready for that much yet.
Forcing her to do homework at this point could put her off for later.

myredcardigan Sat 20-Sep-08 11:14:12

their results hmm

paddingtonbear1 Sat 20-Sep-08 11:19:01

myredcardigan you are right, yes we are. In fact we are between St and Mac, so not that far from Bram. The other day I saw a father with his kids in the park, he said his dw taught at a school in Bram and his son goes there!
dd's school is high achieving state, the thing I don't like is their half term reports - they have this column against the subjects which says whether they are below, on or above 'school standard'. dd is usually below, of course!! Yet she got 6s or above at the end of reception.
I do think dd might improve as she matures. Her teacher finds her frustrating as she can see she has ability, but can't get her to use it yet!

seeker Sat 20-Sep-08 11:28:17

paddingtonbear - I commented on your last thread! I think that your dd's school is completely and utterly WRONG and your dd and you are completely and utterly RIGHT!

She's 5 years old. In a lot of countries (that actually perform significantly better than this one) she wouldn't even be in formal school at all! I seem to remember you were thinking of moving her.....that does seem from what you've said to be the best option!

seeker Sat 20-Sep-08 11:29:57

And I thing that teachers should never say things like "She's got a lot of growning up to do" about 5 year olds. Of course they have - growing up is their job! And given the right conditions, they do it automatically!

Anngeree Sat 20-Sep-08 11:49:13

I'm having similar problem with ds, just started yr1 & having difficulty with the amount of homework (see thread How much homework should yr1 child get?)so your not the only one. Our main problem is reading, since going back to school it's been like pulling teeth due to lack of concentration where previously he was an enthusiastic reader. Ds just started level 5 Ginn books & I was shock to find he now has to answer comprehension questions after reading the book on top of spelling homework & maths homework. Ds also came home last night with work he hadn't finished in class sentences to complete & cutting out to do. We're doing more than 3 hrs homework a wk (reading included) think the government recommendation is an hr a wk for yr1 then this increases by 30mins each yr. I've got a meeting with my sons teacher on 1st Oct so will be speaking to her about this. I'm quite happy to do homework with ds but not if it's making him sad

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