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bright year 9 struggling in school

(61 Posts)
Mmmbacon Sun 18-Jan-15 18:03:07

Dd is quite bright and well capable of a and b's but her Christmas test results are disgracefully all c and ds

She is already doing after school homework and study club but hasn't had the desired effect,

Her maths for exp went from 90's last year to 55 this year, she has no reason not to be getting A's in maths as I do maths grinds as a side line,

Any advice on how to get her to buckle down, really struggling with her as although behaviour is ok when she is not with us she is different child, caught shoplifting once etc,

She had traumatic exp few years back, diagnosed with ptsd, but psychologist recently very happy with her,

She wants to become a teacher so needs to really buckle down now to have a chance

caringdad66 Sun 18-Jan-15 20:31:58

Sorry,but I don't understand parts of your post.

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 18-Jan-15 21:13:35

DS1 had a terrible Y9. He went from being a model student (all GCSE targets A and A*, zero detentions) to being cynical and disengaged from education.

After a series of family tragedies, he had mental health problems for about 18 months (was diagnosed with PTSD but could have just as easily been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or OCD as he met criteria for all).

Looking back, I think he got into a cycle of anxiety causing difficulties with concentration, which caused him to fall behind in some of his subjects, which caused more anxiety (he had a fear of the teacher asking him a question and not knowing the answer). He had many many panic attacks at school and missed lessons due to these and frequent CAMHS appointments, which caused him to fall further behind, which caused more anxiety. All of his GCSE courses started during this time, which didn't help.

Thankfully, he has now been well for 11 weeks, and with my help and the school's support, is going about the tough slog of trying to catch up on the work he missed at the same time as keeping up with the work currently being covered. He is doing extra work at weekends, and still gets exhausted just from doing a full week at school.

We'll be lucky if he gets a B in his weaker subjects, but that seems trivial compared to the importance of his mental health.

I wish I had sought help for him earlier.

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 18-Jan-15 21:18:19

Firstly, I would look at her timetable. Is she exhausted from doing too much outside school? It might be time to review priorities regarding extra-curricular activities.

Secondly I would look at her physical health. Is she eating properly? Is she getting enough sleep? Is she anaemic.

Lastly, I would look at her emotional wellbeing. Is she being bullied? Is she depressed?

cricketballs Sun 18-Jan-15 22:11:42

My first thought on reading the first sentence of your post "disgracefully" was that she is rebelling against the pressures you are putting on her, this given the information you offered given regarding her general behaviour

Mmmbacon Sun 18-Jan-15 22:19:52

Argh had long post and it disappeared,

Ptsd is supposed to be under control, psychologist happy, but that appt was before shoplifting incident and Christmas tests,

Health wise she had a number of viral infections resulting in stupid letter from school 're days Off and Gp has done bloods etc and all ok, reckons her immune system is just weaker/not mature due to never attending nursery / small primary school and now in large school

Afterschool she has homework club to 6, then activities 3 evenings a week and swimming on a Saturday,

We can't understand her results, is she struggling, lazy, or doesn't know how to study, BUT if she were struggling at maths surely she should have asked me for help when one in one tuition in maths is one of the things I do, however I went over her test and it was obvious she just wasn't bothered/ concentrating/ staring at some boy 2 rows over,

I'm at a loss, is she trying to dumb down for "friends" lazy, struggling or all of the above

We don't know to walk on eggshells due to mh or to come down like a ton. Of bricks? Mind grounding due to shoplifting didn't increase her grades much, and neither does promise of treats in form of permission to go to teen disco for good results

poisonedbypen Sun 18-Jan-15 22:25:19

It sounds to me as though you may be putting her under a lot of pressure & she either can't take it or is rebelling. Not many teenagers would want tuition from their mother.

Mmmbacon Sun 18-Jan-15 22:30:31

Cricketballs I thought about rebellion but don't think this is it, it just doesn't have rebellion stamped on it, lazy yes, struggling to concentrate, couldn't be bothered, but not rebellious as such

TheFirstOfHerName Mon 19-Jan-15 07:44:50

If she had a few days off with the viral infections, she may have missed key concepts. It's difficult to do well in Maths if you have missed some of the foundation blocks, as you must know from your work.

Afterschool she has homework club to 6, then activities 3 evenings a week
This strikes me as quite a lot. On three days a week she presumably has a 12-13 hour day, albeit with breaks for lunch and dinner. Are these activities things she loves and looks forward to, or things you are encouraging her to do?

piggychops Mon 19-Jan-15 08:07:28

That timetable sounds totally overwhelming to me. Sounds like she needs a rest!
What exactly are "the maths grinds"?
At her age she should be largely self motivated. Could you be over-organizing her, and she has simply had enough?
Why not give her the choice of what she wants to do after school. There may be something she wants to give up which would ease the pressure.

merlehaggard Mon 19-Jan-15 08:14:55

Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't know what "maths grinds" are!

LIZS Mon 19-Jan-15 08:19:12

or exp's . Do remember that you may be mathematical but maybe she isn't. Or maybe something has triggered her ptsd. btw 55 will still pass a GCSE and with sufficient qualifications she can still teach.

ExitPursuedByABear Mon 19-Jan-15 08:22:27

Maths was always a grind to me.

Sounds like she is doing to much.

Talk to her teacher.

unweavedrainbow Mon 19-Jan-15 08:29:51

I think the OP must be in Ireland...

Mmmbacon Mon 19-Jan-15 13:54:43

Liz's dd is more than capable, and tbh pressure in our family Is to try and do your best, rather than unachievable level you must meet, if all she was capapable of On best Day was 60 and she got 55 I would be dancing and singing On rooftops it's the fact that she is not working to her potential,

The afterschool stuff, she does het homework and at most an hour of study or reading Mon to Friday, then she has 2 club activities she loves, completely youth centred, so no training studying or practice required, just Good fun, the other is music which sometimes she likes more times not so much, but she knows she must go to lessons to learn piano to play what she likes not just move up the grades, and I definitely don't push her on practice as she plays without intervention from me.

We'll spotted rainbows I do hail from the rebel county originally

Phoenixfrights Mon 19-Jan-15 19:15:56

I think thay is way too much schoolwork/ formal learning out of school time for a 13/14 year old. An hour every day plus homework on top, plus piano which she only sometimes likes...

Phoenixfrights Mon 19-Jan-15 19:18:34

Also you don't say what the trauma was and I would not even dream of asking for details, but.... she must be in the throes of puberty now. Even if she was fine at the time hormones are tricky blighters and can really muck you up. Work may not be high on her agenda right now.

Hakluyt Mon 19-Jan-15 19:26:09

I would skip the after school things and let her come home- she doesn't appear to have any down time at all in her day! When does she hang out with her friends/watch TV?

Mmmbacon Mon 19-Jan-15 22:12:36

Phoenix, can you tell me how much homework and study you think a year 9 should be doing, I genuinely didn't think 2 hours combined was a lot, esp when she has no homework or study to do at weekend as she has it all done by Friday,
As I said she has 3 activities, but two of these are fun but supervised/
structured hang with friends activities, if it weren't for them she wouldn't see friends afterschool as we live in the back end of no where, she really enjoys them esp the Friday
Night one as its the start of weekend for them, plus she loves going on tour with them, teen table quiz, onesies discos, she would take it as a punishment to be not allowed go to. her activities,

Will look at reducing after school hours once I talk to school councillor to see what they say 're both results and suggested homework time for her year

Hakluyt Mon 19-Jan-15 22:39:54

I don't know how public exams fall iin Ireland but in England 2 hours a night sounds a lot for year 9. Is that all set work?

Mmmbacon Mon 19-Jan-15 23:20:27

Haklyut we are in UK now, she does two hours every evening, about an hour to 90 mins On set homework and the balance is on revision or just reading as she is avid reader, I pick up at before six, I thought this was about normal but maybe I need to be speaking to school for more guidance,

piggychops Mon 19-Jan-15 23:29:35

Is her revision self-directed or do you organise it for her?

StripeyCustard Mon 19-Jan-15 23:35:17

biscuit. Hope it's one of those threads.

Mmmbacon Mon 19-Jan-15 23:37:41

Self directed but directed by teachers coming up to tests,

Think I am going to ask school if they have anyone Could go through different types of study styles aswell ad recommended times

Thehedgehogsong Mon 19-Jan-15 23:40:33

I think this is something I see a lot at work, kids switching off because they don't see the point of trying to reach standards they feel are too high. There's a lot of 'well x and y's parents don't make them do that!'

I believe we should push and challenge our children but when they see others getting away with less it is hard to keep them interested in hard work. Year 8/9 is especially hard for this as they just can't see too far in the future when they're dealing with friendships as well as school and home expectations. It's tough, for them and their teachers and parents. I wish we could just let them take a break from the pressure and take time to find themselves or de-stress but it's a conveyer belt and they have deadlines. I'm sure she's feeling disappointed in her results too. Perhaps this is a good time to tell her the pressure she is under is bound to make her feel stressed and give her some techniques to manage it, as well as reassuring her that her value to you is not tied up in test scores.

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