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How would your child feel about this?

(13 Posts)
BertrandRussell Sun 26-Feb-17 13:25:29

My year 11 ds is very good at English. It's his subject, loves books and words, predicted 8/9.

His friend at another school is really struggling. Doesn't get Literary analysis and has been pretty resistant to any attempts to help/threats/bribes from school/parents. He has suddenly realized that he won't get into 6th form without a 5 in English. And he is well away from that.

DS thinks he can help. He says that he understands how friend's mind works. He is wondering whether he should offer. He says that lit crit is a technique you can learn and he is pretty sure he can teach his friend how to do it.

If your ds was the friend would he be OK with this? Or would he feel patronized/think ds was showing off/some other issue we haven't thought of?

They have been friends since nursery, and are very solid.

Gruach Sun 26-Feb-17 13:33:22

I would suggest a swap.

Is there anything the friend is arguably better at than your DS? Not necessarily academic - some enviable skill. Might be better if your DS appeared to be the one seeking advice/help/a favour ...

Completely understand the hesitation - egos are such fragile things underneath all the bravado.

Danglingmod Sun 26-Feb-17 13:39:57

I can't see why the friend would be offended with a casual offer, if he knows your Ds well enough to know he's not a show off and the friend now really does want to do well.

My ds helped his friend out a little with English in year 9 and said friend is now doing better than ds!

Danglingmod Sun 26-Feb-17 13:47:58

The other thing I was going to say is: does the friend need to get the 5 in lit or in Lang? If it's in Lang, there are some crossover of skills, but half the marks are for writing - creative on one paper and non-fiction/argumentative on the other, so the friend could do with spending quite a bit of time on improving marks in that area, too, if it's a weakness.

BertrandRussell Sun 26-Feb-17 14:44:43

Thank you. Yes, he needs to work on both papers, but it's the critical analysis stuff that he really can't do. He one of the "but if he meant that he was really talking about his mother why didn't he just say so- it's just silly" types!

SoulAccount Sun 26-Feb-17 15:22:24

My Yr 11 DS often does joint revision and preparation with friends. So yes, suggest he works on it with his friend.

How lovely of your DS.

Bensyster Sun 26-Feb-17 15:30:29

I used to help my friends with Maths - they were very grateful. A friend helped me with English. Me and some other students set up an informal tutorial to help fellow students at Uni with calculus because the course the Uni provided just skimmed over the theory and they were completely lost. Teaching benefits the novice teacher too as your understanding deepens when you have to explain it to other people.

Somerville Sun 26-Feb-17 15:37:52

My year 10 DD wouldn't be offended or upset at an offer like that.
A 'swap' is a good idea though, if he's worried about offering.
DD1 has a yr 11 friend in our lounge right now, teaching her a new song on the guitar, after she spent all morning helping him with his French revision. (I'm pretty sure this is all an excuse for some flirting, however, so many be not analogous.)

WandaBack Sun 26-Feb-17 15:45:27

DS did this with a friend in Maths. He did his Maths GCSE in Y10 and got A* and his friend just didn't get it. Spent a few sessions with him and I think both of them benefited. The friend improved his Maths and DS discovered he was good at teaching.
Even though it was unpaid casual arrangement the friends mum was so impressed with DS she gave him a reference for a job.

DS2 was very good at "playing the game" as far as English was concerned. It sucks the joy out of Literature for sure but there is certainly a skill to literary analysis.

AtiaoftheJulii Sun 26-Feb-17 17:34:22

My ds and his friends seem to quite often swap skills - e.g. my ds gets asked about maths problems, and he got his friend who is bilingual in German to record himself reading my ds's German speaking assessment so my ds could work on the pronunciation. So if your ds could frame it as a mutually beneficial (doesn't even have to be equally weighted) revision session, then it sounds like it could be useful.

BertrandRussell Sun 26-Feb-17 18:55:46

Oh well, he's offered, and the friend has said no. I've talked to the friend's mum (she's my friend) and she's said he's just being resolutely pig headed about it. So. She's asked whether she can borrow ds's notes so she can see what's required (ds's school is very good at helping them make their own notes). We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed.

Somerville Sun 26-Feb-17 19:03:49

Your DS sounds really sweet Bert.

His friend still has a bit of time to take him up on it - maybe he will as panic sets in.

gillybeanz Sun 26-Feb-17 20:57:18

Hi Bert

My dd was this girl, and her best friend offered to help her.
It was lovely and dd tried really hard, really appreciating her friends help.
In the end it didn't work because dd needed specialist help, as your ds friend might.
it's the thought that counts and it just reinforced their friendship.
I think he should offer, is he tactful enough to never utter the words it's easy?

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