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DS age 8, Y4 in number 4 out of 5 maths sets.How to improve?

(10 Posts)
faraday Wed 16-Sep-09 18:13:52

I am under no illusions. DS2 is no maths genius awaiting discovery! He has just this past week started at a new school and was 'set' today with no prior knowledge of his past 'performance'. He was in group 3 out of 4 before in a VERY similar school.

What can and should I do to improve his performance? I would like him to be in group 3, Mr Middling is fine! I am confident that he is capable of 'average'.

Should I go out and buy Letts style maths books? Or similar? Which ones? Should I fork out for tuition til he's up to speed?

He's sort of OK on tables in that we drum one in, then test it relentlessly- then find he's forgotten the previous! Argh!

I don't feel it's an issue of not understanding the basics, but I admit I am a bit reluctant to go barging into the school again (though I will if necessary!) as I did only yesterday to ask why DS hadn't had a single reading book home, let alone a diary as yet, to find (as didn't surprise me..) that all were in his tray! The teacher is a good bloke and approachable but I am keen not to come across as 'Pushy Mummy' BUT I would like for his teacher to recognise that WE are 'working on it' re DS2's maths and to rewards success with 'promotion'.

BUT what should we do to get DS2 up to speed?

faraday Wed 16-Sep-09 18:14:49

Sorry, group 3 out of FIVE in his previous school! In other words, he's been demoted at this school!

lljkk Wed 16-Sep-09 18:21:53

Are you sure that average is the same at both schools?
What about Kumon? No first hand experience, though.

faraday Wed 16-Sep-09 18:35:36

Yes, I am pretty confident that both schools draw from the same pool. With DS2, I feel that the advantage he had at his previous school is that the teachers knew him and had managed to 'draw him out' sufficiently to assess him well. He was there for 4 years, whereas he is 'sight unseen' here and has to forge his own path. He's pretty annoyed to BE in 4/5 but I am not sure HE has the maturity to recognise that he has to SHOW that he's 'better' than that! Also, realistically, in a class of 30, I can see how a teacher may not see the subtle nuances that reveal that a DS IS doing better as obviously they'd be loathe to test every 5 minutes.

I don't want to go down the Kumon route as, having had a good mate do that with her DSs, she gave me a pile of the boys old papers and they're ENDLESS 4+5, 7+9, 2+7, etc etc. DS2 may not be SUPER-fast at getting the answers but they're correct! It seems with Kumon that one size fits all: DS2 isn't struggling with the basic premises of maths, imo, but I think I need to either self-teach or employ someone who can lead him on at a faster pace than group 4 will at school, in order to get him into group 3!

What I'd like is perhaps an experienced teacher moonlighting as a tutor!

upamountain Wed 16-Sep-09 22:50:06

I would go in speak to his teacher and ask him for some guidance on the areas your ds is struggling in based on his test result.Ask him what you can do to help.You could do a few workbooks also to gauge where his weak areas are although some children find these a bit dry.Find out the curriculum for the coming term and year from the teacher and then draw up a weekly plan to help him in these areas.You can employ a tutor but similarly you can probably do alot yourself if you have the time.

Here's a few sites to try:

Year 4 maths helping your child
coolmath
mathplayground
mathszone
topmarks
primary resources
Woodlands Junior maths

You need to make it fairly fun if you are going to help him progress and he will stick with you helping him.

I did Kumon with dd for a year when she was struggling when she was in year 1 and we both hated it but there is something about the endless repitition that just grounds their number bonds.
Similarly with rote practice of times tables - if you do nothing else your ds knowing all his times tables in all combinations will help him.Just keep plugging at it (daily!) until it sticks.

clutteredup Wed 16-Sep-09 22:52:52

You have streamed sets in year 4/ Where do you live?

clutteredup Wed 16-Sep-09 22:55:25

Sorry read whole bit - you mean groups in class- with you now. If there's 30 children set into 5 groups it is just possible that the make up of that particular class is different from his previous one - I tutor - where do you live?!

faraday Thu 17-Sep-09 19:35:22

Southampton, cluttered!

Now, I do confess that there ARE 2 boys in the DS's primary school that have their Maths 'A' level... but by and large, they seem a normally attaining bunch of kids.

I will look at those sites and yes, I do believe I need to go into school and get some pointers.

Many thanks everyone

clutteredup Sun 20-Sep-09 12:35:03

shock Maths A level in primary! Sound to me like the school is very pushy ambitious in Mths as your DS is probably only very good at maths rather thasn overly gifted its no surprise he's in a low set!!!
Sorry S'hampton is a little to far for me otherwise I could have got him to degree standard by the end of the year hmm grin

serinBrightside Mon 21-Sep-09 00:19:40

Where are you Cluttered?

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