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Yr 7 dd has lost/misplaced so many things

(27 Posts)
Notsuretoday Wed 19-Nov-14 09:15:20

I'm at the end of my tether. She has also missed instrument lessons and been generally disorganised.

What on earth can I do to get her to improve? At home I check she has packed her bag etc, but while she's at school...


Notsuretoday Wed 19-Nov-14 09:25:14


Seeline Wed 19-Nov-14 09:25:25

I think there is a huge step up for kids when they start secondary - there is so much to do/remember. My Ds is Y8 now and still needs reminders. I find writing notes in his planner helps with remembering music lessons/clubs etc.
I make sure everything is labelled/named as the school seem to have a pretty good lost property system set up (by parents).
I encourage him to write notes to help remind him if homework has to be handed in at unusual times etc.

whatadrain Wed 19-Nov-14 09:27:28

Contact the pastoral team and share your concerns about her organisational skills. They might be able to give her an equipment check and arrange for her to be reminded to go to instrument lessons. They might also let her teachers know that she needs her planner checked regularly to make sure she has recorded her homework, when assemblies are etc. As a secondary school teacher I can assure you that she won't be the only one!

Notsuretoday Wed 19-Nov-14 09:41:06

This morning she left the house, all pleased with herself for remembering her instrument... 45 mins later yet another tearful phone call: she left it on the bus shock

HolgerDanske Wed 19-Nov-14 09:42:49

Oh bless her, poor thing!

Notsuretoday Wed 19-Nov-14 09:43:32

I must admit I am beyond exasperated

FiveHoursSleep Wed 19-Nov-14 10:22:34

Are the school not helpful? DD2 is very scatty but is coping as the school is looking out for her.
They have helped her write a list of the things she needs to bring in each day and we keep a copy by the door and run through it before we leave for the bus stop. That's helped a lot. She also has a 6th form mentor who goes through stuff with her when she's feeling confuddled.
Although last night I got a call from Matron telling me they had her PE kit in the office. When I asked DD2 if she'd lost anything she mentioned her RE book ( missing for 3 weeks apparently and we are now being asked to pay for another one), her pencil case ( MIA during German!) but swore blind her PE kit was safely in her locker!
We have since found her RE book at the back of her file in her room.

Riverland Wed 19-Nov-14 10:28:26

DS was exactly the same in y7. Drove me nutty. He grew out of it eventually.
I sympathise! We have to just not add to te stress of transition to big school.

Seeline Wed 19-Nov-14 10:33:34

I had a plaintive phone call yesterday to bring in DSs PE kit. He had packed it all before school, and left it in the hall by the front door to take with him. Both he and DH had managed to walk straight past it on the way to the station hmm

Noellefielding Wed 19-Nov-14 10:52:47

Much empathy.
The transition from primary to secondary is too much for some children. They go from a small place where most things are remembered for them to a massive place where they are nervous (sometimes terrified) overwhelmed and often lost.
It comes as hormones are also scrambling their minds and bodies.
I think the timing of secondary sucks.
In an ideal world you'd have schools that go from 5 - 18.
But that would be too intelligent and compassionate. We have to carry on with what we have don't we.
Lots of private schools go all the way through which I think suits young people much better.
Usually by the end of this term things settle.
notsuretoday my ds tried music lessons at school and it was such a disaster he now has his lessons in non school time. So much easier.
Have you contacted the form tutor and said that she might need some extra support and encouragement? That might help.
I wish they had better mentoring systems in secondary but the teachers are so so so busy.

TeenAndTween Wed 19-Nov-14 10:55:23

My y11 DD has poor memory and organisational skills. Here are the kind of things we have found have helped:

DD1's bag is right by the front door. Very hard to open the front door without first picking up the bag. As it is taken every day, unlikely to be forgotten anyway.

Extra stuff to be taken in is physically tied to her rucksack, so to pick up her rucksack she also needs to pick up PE kit, dance shoes or whatever. If there is stuff in fridge e.g. lunch or food tech then physical notes by front door and at breakfast place. If necessary a big red tag tied to school bag.

Rules for on the bus - instrument case either physically linked to school bag, or must be kept on lap at all times.

Always check where you have been sitting when you leave: good for classroom, canteen, bus, and generally when out shopping.

Make sure random things like music lessons are written in planner, preferably in a different colour.

All messages to always be written in planner. Planner to be checked after school, before school, at school - constantly.

2 sets of stationery - one in school bag for school, the other where homework is done so school set lives in the bag.

Generally make sure everything has a home and it always always goes back there.

skylark2 Wed 19-Nov-14 11:17:49

DS has a webbing strap sewn to his rucksack which he can clip through the handles of all other bags/instrument cases so nothing gets left on the bus.

For music lessons, we asked permission for him to set his watch alarm, but the arrangement was that he was supposed to leave before it went off and disturbed the class, it was an emergency backup.

We also had a stage of homework meltdown where he didn't seem capable of writing it down - I think he had a lot of friends who didn't need to bother, but they remembered and he didn't. School put him on a system where the teacher enforced that it was written down and we signed off that it had been done every single day. This was for a month and was intended as a sanction/punishment, but he was so much happier on it that we kept it going for several more!

FWIW, he is now 15 and disasters are extremely rare.

Noellefielding Wed 19-Nov-14 11:27:34

TeenandTween that is a brilliant post.

I have a friend with three boys and she has a list at the front door of each day and each boy and what they need to have, she checks it every day and one lad always has to run back for something.

I could put my ds's lunch on his head and he would still leave it behind if I didn't triple check.

Also ds's school gives detention for any equipment not brought, or homework etc. they are brutal but it has whipped ds into shape, I still have to double check PE kit and lunch isn't forgotten and god help us he will never remember to take a FORM in, heaven forfend that he could remember that. And if I ask him to take something to Reception he cries out in horror as if I'd asked him to go to school in a pink tut and leotard..... sigh.

SonorousBip Wed 19-Nov-14 12:59:51

I really empathise with this as keeping hold of your possessions is not something that comes naturally to DS and Y7 was a very bumpy ride at times. He does get upset when he loses things and I know he is not just being reckless. It has really helped me to understand it is not that he is just not caring/trying.

I second what someone said upthread about labelling everything and getting to know the "system". We have found that in the end pretty much everything (bar a games top and one shoe hmm) have made their way back, but it does take a bit of time. Wherever possible, we have cheap back up - I don't throw out old shoes or trainers that are "just" one size too small, eg, in case they need to be pressed into service for a couple of days, plus I have a couple of spare mouthguards in the cupboard, cheap from Sports Direct. I find that when I can take the angst (to me) out of it (eg needing shoes or a mouthguard at 8pm on a Sunday hmm), the shriekiness level goes down and everyone is more focussed on a practical solution to the problem.

We run a system whereby the first replacement of an item per year is paid for by me, the second Ds contributes to half and the third time he pays the lot. This has worked quite well, actually.

If it is any consolation, he is significantly better now he is in Y8. Yesterday evening he could not find his bus pass and said "well, it must be in the house somewhere". DH pointed out that techniclly it could be anywhere since last used getting onto the bus and Ds said "well, duh, I check I have my phone and pass when I get off the bus and when I get home. Its my SYSTEM". We didn't know whether to laugh or cry!

Notsuretoday Wed 19-Nov-14 13:38:31

Thank you for giving me hope that it will get better, and for the great tips!

TheFirstOfHerName Wed 19-Nov-14 13:49:07

With DS1 (Y10) and DS2 (Y8) I trained them to write reminders in their planner, but what really worked were financial consequences. If they lose something or forget to attend a music lesson, there is a financial cost, which needs to affect them as well as me.

You can miss one instrument lesson without being fined, then after that you have to pay for half of the cost of each lesson you miss.

You have seven days to look in lost property for any missing items, then you have to pay a percentage of the cost of replacement (5% for each school year, so Y7 is 35%).

In Y7 they only get £11 or £12 a month, so these are serious consequences for them.

TheFirstOfHerName Wed 19-Nov-14 13:56:06

DD is starting Y7 in September. She is easily distracted and has difficulties with self-organisation. I am seriously considering moving her to out-of-school flute lessons at the end of Y6 because I don't think she'll cope with having a flute lesson at a different time each week, let alone the organisation required in finding out what work she missed each time.

Partydilemmas Wed 19-Nov-14 14:01:32

This is a brilliant thread. I have a child with ADHD who forgets to check the list to check he hasn't forgotten anything! hmm confused

I was/am panicking about secondary and this thread has given me tips we can put in place now too!

sunnyrosegarden Wed 19-Nov-14 14:09:47

Brilliant suggestions on this thread. My year 6 DS loses/forgets everything, and also has a fear of being told off. Am going to trial run these suggestions before next year.

PastSellByDate Wed 19-Nov-14 15:59:26

With instrument lessons by a digital watch with an alarm which isn't too irritating - then just make sure it's set for that days lesson.

Don't know what to suggest for the rest - DD1 was hopeless in Year 6 and forgot everything - but she's so paranoid about detentions in Y7 - she takes a lot of time ensuring she's got everything night before & double checking in the morning.

So far no major mis-haps - just minor stuff - like forgetting lunch money (which I think fell out of her bag). Our solution was an emergency £5 tucked in her bag in a small pocket - which came in handy that day.


Noellefielding Wed 19-Nov-14 17:11:28

there are some seriously great parents on here! Fines! I am in AWE!!!

Notsuretoday Wed 19-Nov-14 17:14:29

I am evil - we have made a list of all the mishaps so far - 17 and I'm sure we forgot some

BeattieBow Wed 19-Nov-14 17:23:41

oh my dd is the same. I've had phone calls from school because she keeps missing her singing lesson. She's lost her oyster card already. I had a call from her teacher about homework and she forgets her planner every week (which usually leads to her texting me in panic to drop it off, which I can't as I'm at work).

Her coat is currently left at a friends house (which is good - she thought she'd lost it).

I'm hoping she'll improve with age.

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 20-Nov-14 12:58:00

My boys are usually very good at not forgetting or losing things, but since I posted so smugly on this thread, it has all gone downhill!

DS1 got an afterschool detention (his first) for forgetting to go to a lunchtime detention, and then today he didn't take his games kit to school, so that'll probably be another detention.

DS2 lost the family hockey stick yesterday and then went to school this morning having forgotten to take his medicine.

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