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Year 7 - please tell me it gets better.

(30 Posts)
drzeus Thu 26-Sep-13 22:19:23

Struggling with the change from primary to secondary school. So far DS has lost a door key, forgotten home-learning, lost lunch money, lost pupil journal and generally been dis-organised.

To top it off this evening, he told me that he's lost his entire new PE and sports kit including new trainers, rugby boots, shorts, rugby shirt and holdall etc. Oh, and he needs it for PE next Monday. I could cry. He says he's looked for it at school but can't find it. It's all labelled but I wonder if we'll get it back. I can't really afford to replace it all so soon. He doesn't seem particularly bothered.

I've offered to help him prioritise his homework but he just will not sit down and do it (until its due). Complains of tiredness, but then won't go to bed and settle down. We've got a checklist of items to take to school posted on the fridge to help but it doesn't seem to be working.

I am at the end of my tether and it's not yet half term! Anyone got any top tips to getting through this nightmare!

BellaVita Thu 26-Sep-13 22:25:01

Yes! Let him take the consequences.

I have teens. I also work in a secondary school.

Took a call today from a yr7 parent asking me to contact the form tutor to advise her son couldn't find his planner but not to give him a detention. Honestly, let them learn the hard way, don't mollycoddle, it will not do any good!

With regards to the pe kit, been there done that. I replaced it once and I told them that is all I would do, if they lost it again then they would have to cobble stuff together from the pe lost property bin (which they did).

Ruprekt Thu 26-Sep-13 22:25:27

My ds has also just started in Y7.

So far, he is organised and everything is fine.

However, I have started with him as I mean to go on.

NO SCREENS or tv or anything fun til all homework is done. He knows he is responsible for everything and has to check off his planner when he has done HW, get me to sign the planner etc

Get him to pack his bag the night before, key attached to wallet in zipped pocket in blazer, lunch money in wallet too.

Would this work for him? smile

((Biggest prob I have is that ds's peer group talk about raping women and girls, paedos, perverts horrified!, spoke to his tutor yesterday.))shockshockshock

Ruprekt Thu 26-Sep-13 22:27:30

Threaten to go in and help him look for his PE kit!!gringrin

ancientbuchanan Thu 26-Sep-13 22:28:33

Everyone finds the same, I'm afraid, esp with boys. 11 is too young for such a change for many of them, IME, they just don't have the skills.

He is exhausted. Don't do anything at half term, he will just need to chill.

Put the list on the front door. Fridge gets ignored. Be firm about bed time unless there is a true homework crisis.

Give him vitamin pills with iron.

Ring the school to find out about lost property. I think we lost 4 jumpers that first half term. How can you lose 4 ? All with the school badge.

He's prob also struggling socially. They are all trying out the pecking order.

Not much practical help there and it dies take time, but you are not alone.


To be honest, they are so tired and confused they would be v sweet if they weren't so stroppy. You have to pretend they are little again and just overwhelm them with love and cuddles.

ancientbuchanan Thu 26-Sep-13 22:31:53

Yes to limited screens and preparation the night before. If nec go for packed lunches.

But some, like Ds, are just natural born scruffs who lose things at school.

ancientbuchanan Thu 26-Sep-13 22:31:54

Yes to limited screens and preparation the night before. If nec go for packed lunches.

But some, like Ds, are just natural born scruffs who lose things at school.

teacherwith2kids Thu 26-Sep-13 22:34:53

Am a tough love parent. If he's lost it, he has to
- Go to lost property.
- Go to everywhere he visited the day he had it with him
- Explain to the games teacher that it is lost and
- Pay for the replacement (if after a week of the above it is still absent).

We have recovered almost everything (bar a £4.99 watch) lost during Y7 using this method.

Equally, homework is his problem. If he fails to do it, or does it badly, he takes the consequences. I leave home over an hour before he does, so anything he forgets is his problem.

It is tempting to do the 'only little' line, i know - but 11 is 11, and the transition to secondary is a useful 'line in the sand' to start being responsible for yourself.

PlotTwist Thu 26-Sep-13 22:35:06

My dd2 was like this last year (year 7) losing stuff, forgetting things, not doing homework. She had various detentions for not doing her homework and I supported the school, she has time after tea to do homework, it's her fault if she decides to watch crap on tv instead. I found allowing her to experience the sanctions for herself was more effective than nagging. This year she's a lot more grown up, homework is done without me even asking, PE kit is dumped in front of the washer when it should be. It's all a lot easier.

She once rang me up last year and told me in a really cheerful voice that she'd left her student ID at home. I told her in an equally cheerful voice that I hoped she enjoyed the day in isolation because there was no chance on earth I was walking for two hours (round trip) to drop it in. She was not best pleased and put the phone down. However, she's not forgotten it again. Hang in there, they grow up and it does get better smile

drzeus Thu 26-Sep-13 22:39:40

Screens/TV are a problem, I admit. I am imposing a limit! Luckily cashless catering system is imminent so that's one less problem to deal with. Love the idea of helping him look - that would be seriously uncool!

He's already had detention for forgotten homework, and gone hungry when I got the text about dinner money (the first time we did run some money into school - just the once tho')!

Thanks for all the replies, I really appreciate it. I needed to vent as DH is working abroad at the moment and incommunicado - typical!

BackforGood Thu 26-Sep-13 22:39:41

Yes DrZeus - my ds got better

once he got in the 6th form wink grin

NoComet Thu 26-Sep-13 22:40:01

It gets better my dizzy, dyslexic, scatterbrained DD1 (who also managed to loose a full set of PE kit, leaving it on a bus) is now in Y11 and pretty good 90% of the time.

and worse, My painfully organized, at primary, DD2 is being utterly hopeless. Forgetting books and homework, losing one trainer and just being silly.

Having spent two years trying to be a teenager, she now seems to have decided she doesn't want to grow up. I'm sure it will wear off when she has real exams to work towards, but I have a nasty feeling I'm going to get two more years of this with 13 year old cheek thrown in.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 26-Sep-13 22:43:06

>You have to pretend they are little again and just overwhelm them with love and cuddles.

honestly, the first week or so of secondary DD was exactly like a toddler after school, too tired and hungry to do anything coherent. But that was a short phase.

Losing things in year 7 is pretty normal(apparently this year, 6 of the new crop managed to lose horribly expensive bus passes on the first day!) ; so is forgetting homework or leaving it ridiculously late. They take the consequences and learn. One tip - any homework that involves computers and especially VLE type things do early - there will be technical hitches.

BellaVita Thu 26-Sep-13 22:53:15

Oh yes, pe kit left on the bus numerous times.

Another thing I will not do is write notes in his planner explaining why he doesn't have xyz.

drzeus Thu 26-Sep-13 23:09:20

ErrolTheDragon, we had a "technical hitch" with the computer this evening actually. Managed to resolve the issue but it took me over an hour and there was much gnashing of teeth from me! He is under no illusion that he will be looking for the PE kit tomorrow and taking the consequences for forgotten homework.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 26-Sep-13 23:13:17

IME, the bus is the best place to lose something - Stagecoach hereabouts are remarkably good at reuniting kids with their PE kits and passes. Whereas items lost at school may never reappear.

stardusty5 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:18:38

As a year seven teacher i wholeheartedly agree with those posters who insist their DCs take responsibility for their own stuff. It is a massive learning curve for them, but in the main, children whose parents make excuses for them and challenge school sanctions when they turn up with no homework etc. tend to rely on this method!

ErrolTheDragon Thu 26-Sep-13 23:22:27

DDs school had a helpful policy - penalty points (3=detention) accrued in the first half term were discarded - merits earned were kept. So they had a 'running in' period before sanctions bit to adjust.

NoComet Thu 26-Sep-13 23:56:03

"One tip - any homework that involves computers and especially VLE type things do early - there will be technical hitches."

DD1 is threatening to get a stamp made saying "I tried to log into MY Maths" and stamp her book each time to show the teachers just how awful the site is some nights

Also HW gets better for the simple reason they stop being so tired and do a lot of it between 10pm and midnight.

DD1(15) reads until 12pm most nights anyway, so I decline to notice nocturnal HW.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Fri 27-Sep-13 00:03:12

Dd is a nightmare for losing bank cards, oyster cards, purses, bags, homework everything. I have torn my hair out because of it. I have tried to leave her to it but it just means I end up picking up the pieces after and I knew I was exactly the same.
Dd just had a psychologist assessment for dyslexia and apparently it is all to do with her dyslexia that she has the memory of a goldfish with amnesia.

KittiesInsane Fri 27-Sep-13 00:15:24

DD is fine about kit (mostly) but tends to get lost herself.

Her new form tutor said almost in awe, 'She has no sense of direction at all, does she? She turns the wrong way to get to the door inside the classroom!'

drzeus Fri 27-Sep-13 17:47:25

Yay, the PE kit has been found! DS1 found it at school today at Pupil Reception. I am so relieved.

Still got work to do on the organisational skills. We are going to sit down (calmly) this weekend and talk things through.

Thank you for all your words of wisdom. I am really grateful for your replies!

Frazz1ed Fri 27-Sep-13 18:00:45

A little trick I learned early on with my sons was to not sign the planner, unless I had actually seen the homework completed. No sight, no signature and yes detentions followed but they learned pretty quick.

NoComet Sat 28-Sep-13 00:14:36

I refuse to read planners, they are 11, they are old enough to read it themselves.

Anyway DD1 is dyslexic her planner is illegible and so criptic she doesn't know what it means.

Even DD2 doesn't write anything very meaningful.

Honestly does anyone's child actually write anything in their planer other than 6a-11b or Castle thing, or more likely, knowing DD2 "I think we might have Hw - ring Jess". Except of course she doesn't write all that.

I've no idea what she writes, she'd explode if I looked at her planner and rightly so. As far as I'm concerned, as long as they get good marks and keep out of detention it's not my job to micro manage them.

I haven't a clue what they are doing for signatures, probably forging them, Since no one has asked this year.

DD1's tutor probably doesn't look, he doesn't read out messages.

As for detention DD1 has avoided it for four years and DD2 has only ended up in it due to a subject she loathes and will give up ASAP.

mummytime Sat 28-Sep-13 05:33:10

My DC are dyslexic, so school added a helpful card to the planner requiring teachers to write in (or supervise another pupil writing in) the homework. You can't do homework unless you have instructions that at least Mum can interpret (my DC couldn't always comprehend even when the teacher had written it).

I find it does all get better as they get older. DD has just started GCSE and has got ahead in her homework (and even enjoys some of it!).

For DS at one point we organised his books in folders, so he just had one folder for books for one part of the day (before break, after break, after lunch).

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