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Relutance to learn in Yr1

(33 Posts)
MollieO Thu 17-Sep-09 13:50:01

I'm loathe to start another 'my child is struggling' thread but I don't want to hijack other threads and I really could do with some advice.

Ds started in Yr1 last week. He has been looking forward to going back to school so I didn't envisage any particular problems.

Homework started this week, would take 5 mins to do. He refuses to do it. I have tried everything but to no avail. I found out today that he isn't engaging in class either. He bit another child today (have never had behavourial issues at school before) and was sent to see a senior teacher (head in meeting or else it would have been the head). Apparently he came back and did more than double the work in his maths class than he has managed all the other days combined.

He is the sort of child that always asks detailed questions about everything and is usually very sociable and confident and keen to please. The child I currently seem to be parenting bears no relation to this.

I have tried everything I can to try and engage him, even reverse psychology - 'it doesn't matter if you don't bother to do your homework as someone has to come bottom and it may as well be you' (he is very competitive so that was my last shot).

What can I do to get him to engage in his learning? His teacher is strict but very nice but has yet to see what he can do. I know she was surprised at how much work he did after his talking to but it shouldn't take a visit to the head to get his arse in gear everytime.

I know it is early in the school year but I have a sense of seeing the year slip by with ds not finding that spark to learn and then the problems will just multiply.

Cakesandale Thu 17-Sep-09 13:55:26

Oh I do sympathise, it is hard to find the thing that motivates rather than turning them off even more, isn;t it? I have limited experience, but on the occasions when my dd declines to do work I usually say - OK. I'll just write in the homework book that you did not want to do it.

That usually gets her going as she LURVES her teacher and is genuinely keen to please, usually just bored with the work. Can this be it, do you think? If he is usually eager to please he may just be finding the work a bit disappointing - whether boring, or easy, or something else.

Cakesandale Thu 17-Sep-09 13:57:18

Mind you the biting would suggest that one or more of the kids is getting him down... is he not sharing anything on this with you?
It is hard. Sympathies xx

MollieO Thu 17-Sep-09 14:00:29

Not sure. We will start a new tactic with homework tonight - he will have one chance to sit down and do it and if he doesn't I will write in his homework book. Rather than the 2 -2.5 hours of threats and cajoling I have had.

What disappoints me most is his seeming relutance even to engage in school. He is a lovely little boy but so far all his teacher has seen is a naughty boy with the concentration span of a gnat. The only times he got sent to the head in reception was to show her his good work. sad

MollieO Thu 17-Sep-09 14:06:22

No idea about why he bit. Teacher couldn't get a reason out of him and other boy didn't appear to do anything. Ds never tells me anything about school, didn't during reception either. I usually find out what they have done via other parents.

Cakesandale Thu 17-Sep-09 14:12:45

I think your tactic for tonight seems a good one. Lighten it up for both of you, otherwise it is torment all round.

if it is any consolation, dd (now Yr 2) sounds very like your ds was in reception. But she found going into Yr 1 a very big change, and quite a struggle. After a few weeks she found her feet again.He may just be finding it hard to adjust. try a light touch and give him a bit of time to adapt.

Good luck

MollieO Thu 17-Sep-09 14:16:32

Thx Cakes. I need to try and be patient and hopefully he will get going.

Cakesandale Thu 17-Sep-09 14:21:49

Later on you'll probably get a few more knowledgeable replies as well. grin

Hope so.

MollieO Thu 17-Sep-09 18:42:25

Bump in the hope of some other views.

plus3 Thu 17-Sep-09 18:55:00

hi my ds is also struggling going into yr1 - and also bit someone this week, which is not normal behaviour for him. We are just getting reading books in the evening which he is happy to read. DH and I are (trying) to ignore the bad stuff and super praise the positives. Today has been a good day at school so for a treat we went to soft play.

From speaking to the other mums at school, all the boys are struggling with the transition from reception to year 1 and I firmly believe that giving him abit of a break at home for a week or so will not hurt!

Will watch for the more knowledgeable replies later too!

MollieO Thu 17-Sep-09 21:52:29

Gosh Cakes, plus3 and I can't be the only ones whose dcs have gone through this, can we?

isittooearlyforgin Thu 17-Sep-09 21:58:00

transistion from reception to yr 1 is huge - from a largely play based curriculum to a sit down,listen and write approach, think kids, especially little boys find this quite tough.

nellie12 Thu 17-Sep-09 21:58:38

n,o ds is also going through it but I dont have any magic answers.

I find it really hard (although I do support the school and him) because I do not agree with homework and so much emphasis being put on class work at 5. Now when he's 8 or 9 I will fully support the school but now - they need to learn through playing more.

mumtoone Thu 17-Sep-09 22:08:12

My ds has just started year 1 and found the first week back really hard. It seemed like one long strop and he really didn't want to go to school on Friday. He loved Reception so I was a bit shocked at the complete change of attitude. This week he has improved loads so with any luck your ds will soon. Like others have said, its a big change moving from Reception to Year 1

MollieO Thu 17-Sep-09 22:26:28

Good to know I'm not one of few but sad that you're all going through it too.

I tried my new approach tonight without any success whatsoever. I hope he does settle down but from what I can glean from other parents he is pretty much on his own in refusing to do homework.

Ds doesn't want to go to school or continue living with me. He tells me that on a daily basis. He has nowhere else he can go and live so we will just have to hope an improvement comes soon.

isittooearlyforgin Thu 17-Sep-09 22:52:10

Don't worry about other parents - rl parents are notorious for telling you everything is fine come hell or highwater. My dd whose just gone into yr 1 hates reading. As a teacher I do all "the right things" but she just isn't up for it (have tried writing clues for treasure hunts which seems to do the trick with the bribery reward sweets.
You are not on your own, its a transistion, its difficult annd really there should be more play in year one, something that is beig recommended at the moment (having role play, sand and water etc in the year one classroom) but it might take a while in coming.

Cakesandale Fri 18-Sep-09 10:06:15

Don't panic, you see everyone is going through it.

Hard though it is when they are being --little gits -- trying, they are struggling and just need love and a cuddle. Soft pedal on the homework. At our school it goes into a folder and is not looked at. It is more about getting them to do a bit on their own than getting a mark.

This too shall pass.


MollieO Fri 18-Sep-09 10:27:32

Ds's homework gets looked at and commented on every day. I am going to have to try and chill and hopefully be able to look back on this episode in a few months and wonder what I was concerned about. At the moment I just feel incredibly sad although I know there is more to life to be concerned about. A lovely little boy that ds knows from nursery started in reception last week lost his mum to cancer in the summer, which does put things in perspective.

alwayslookingforanswers Fri 18-Sep-09 10:31:08

I dont' know what it's like at your DS's school - but I know with the DS's infant school we were told at the end of Reception that a lot of children do find the "jump" from R to YR1 quite hard to start with. Reception tends to be more "play" based learning, whereas year one they start getting down to proper learning.

DS1 struggled immensely with his first half term or so in YR1 - he's now in YR4 up at the Junior school and also found the leap from YR2 (infants) to YR3 (juniors)quite hard.

DS2 has just gone into YR1 and doesn't seem to be having the same problem, but apparently it is quite common.

Cakesandale Fri 18-Sep-09 12:57:44

As you say, just chill for mow. It is ever so common and the important thing is just that you support him.

(Not suggesting you don't, just saying keep going wink ).

There will be a parents evening pretty early this term I am guessing, you can find out the teacher's take on it then. But by then, it may all have settled.

My dd has spent the summer watching me go have chemo treatment, and so what you said about the other little boy strikes a bit of a chord with me. They do all have a lot to go through, one way and another.

MollieO Fri 18-Sep-09 13:05:37

Gosh Cakes, I wish you well and a good recovery. There are more important things, aren't there? smile

smee Fri 18-Sep-09 13:06:50

We get a book every night, but written homework only at weekends, so last weekend was the first lot and we had similar. After an initial round of bickering, I walked away and said well hey, it's up to you. But I also reminded him that if he didn't do it, his teacher might want to know why and also that he may well be the only child who hadn't done it. DS huffed and puffed, but did it five minutes later and was so, so absurdly proud of himself. Tbh what he'd done was useless, but still he did it and that in itself was astounding, so we praised him hugely and had a laugh about how daft it was to make such a big deal of it. Not sure if it'll work long term, but my theory is that they're stressed by the change and want some power maybe..? Can't say I blame them really. Homework at 5 is daft imo.

Cakesandale Fri 18-Sep-09 13:22:47

Thanks. To the best of my belief I am basically Ok, we are just doing a bit of a belt and braces sweep-up following breast cancer op in the spring.

Indeed there are more important things in life than school work, but the effect of these things on our kids is always what bothers us most (or at least, a lot wink )

And Smee is right, homoework at 5 is a bit daft -and yours seem to have a lot compared with mine - we just have reading daily and homework at weekends. The reading is meant to be 10 mins a day but we don't do it every day - sometimes we don't have time, or she doesn't want to, and sometimes she wants to do a lot, It all evens out, and I don't want it to get too regimented, they are still tiny.

In fact our dd is SO serious minded we sometimes have to make her go and have fun...

abra1d Fri 18-Sep-09 13:35:45

I have helped out with Year One for five years now and every year there are children who find it very tough to do the sitting down and concentrating bit. It's quite natural for many children.

Agree about homework being a waste of time at this age.

potplant Fri 18-Sep-09 13:43:32

Just to add my voice, my DS is also going through similar with his transition to Yr1. He doesn't want to go in - in fact the first thing he has said every morning this week is 'is it the weekend today?'

First lot of homework comes tonight so not sure how that will go down but he is very reluctant to even look through his reading books. If he doesn't want to do it then I just leave it till the next day.

I'm trying not to worry too much - its very early days and I'm sure he's not the only one. Hopefully they make allowances for the transition phase.

Makes me wonder though, why they don't start to formalise the classes towards the end of reception so that the transition isn't so abrupt.

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