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Y11 GCSE private tutoring

(10 Posts)
mizziemoon Tue 01-Sep-09 18:03:17

This is my first post and I do hope someone out there can advise me.

Our 15 yo DS is severely incapacitated by day dreaming and has been since reception year when his teacher asked me to have his hearing checked, which I did and it was fine.

He attends a grammar school and scores within the top 10% for his year in all verbal / non-verbal/ iq testing and staggeringly well on emotional intelligence. Academically his grades average just below the 50% for his year.This situation means that he is considered lazy and describes himself as such but seems to be unable to anything about it. He has managed an A grade in all subjects at various times; by this I mean he gets a b* for getting a D in chemistry so next term will get an A, but then Geog which he got an A in last term will now be a C etc...He can manage a couple of As a term and this seem to rotate randomly. I am really at the end of my tether with him.

Yet outside of school ( which he definitely doesn't dislike, in fact enjoys a great social life there!) he is a model human being. Needs to be shaken out of his dreamlike state to be reminded to do chores etc but then always does them with good grace and humour and does them thoroughly. He is courteous and polite while being very assertive and has very good circle of nice friends.

A couple of years ago he had once a week tutoring for Spanish which he loved (the tutoring more than the subject possibly) and got consistent As for that year. The effect gradually wore off over the following year (without tuition).

Now I am wondering if I should get a private tutor to help him prepare for his GCSE's - I would be so grateful for advice from experienced parents/teachers. And if you think it is a good idea, when should it start, how much of it, frequency etc... And please also be absolutely blunt if it's jumping off the page that I'm the problem as I seem to be tying myself in knots with this.

I would not be at all anxious about his academic performance if I could envisage any employer being able to cope with his permanent dream state. I'm kinda hoping that this trait may be less of a handicap in a career in academia. Perhaps I'm deluding myself here.

He has no notion what he would like to do after school other than a career in rock music!! Please help.

notanidea Tue 01-Sep-09 23:01:14

bumping for you.Cant helpthough ddis only 8yosmile

IOnlyReadtheDailyMailinCafes Tue 01-Sep-09 23:08:15

He sounds like one of the boys in my tutor group whom I totally adore but often drives me mad. He has weekly meetings with me and I am in regular contact with his teachers for most subjects and his parents. I keep on top of him that way, so tutoring is not needing, instead he has me as a coach. I do that with a select group of my tutees. Have you spoken to someone in the school about doing this before embarking on the tutor route.

But if tuition has been successful with him in the past it may be worth considering , but how will you decide whic subject?

cat64 Tue 01-Sep-09 23:40:12

Message withdrawn

mizziemoon Wed 02-Sep-09 08:50:26

Many thanks for these very good suggestions.

Yes, I think a mentor/coach is something I hadn't considered and sounds like an arrangement that could work very well indeed with him - I will have to give some thought to how I might recruit one.

We have spoken to his head of year at p-t evening who seems to have good insight into the problem and he is someone who DS has high regard for. However I don't know if he would have the capacity to offer the level of support that IOnlyRead offers and I would be far too embarassed to ask for 'special attention'.

I have been reflecting on the nature and dynamic of teachers that DS holds in high regard in the hope that I might stumble upon a new insight. I find these are generally older teachers who are very structured in their approach to classes and I fear that they veer more towards the chalk n talk approach (does this mean that he wants to be spoon fed?)and they are without exception the stricter teachers. The couple of random As he gets each term are always from this category of teacher - he always bombs with the popular teachers who he enjoys but says they're not great teachers.

As I'm writing this now I'm wondering if a retired teacher might have a great deal to offer. I will suggest it to DS this evening. If you have any suggestions on where to start such a quest I would be very grateful.

Thanks again.

IOnlyReadtheDailyMailinCafes Wed 02-Sep-09 10:30:09

Mizzie have you spoken to your son's form tutor? We have houses rather than year groups and I know that my herad of house could not offer that service but as a form tutor it is part of my job description not only to be an listening ear but an academic coach.

But I agree a retired teacher may do a good job, the only problem is that they wont have access to the information that someone in house gets.

mizziemoon Wed 02-Sep-09 21:52:53

Thank you IOnlyRead, you're full of such sound sense.

I haven't met with DS'form tutor and while I don't find being assertive in this particular domain easy I do however understand it's my responsibility to take the inititiave. I do not want to find myself crying into my milk in years to come regretting not having done something.

I will move on it tomorrow.

iamdisappointedinyou Thu 03-Sep-09 10:13:18

Sorry to state the obvious MM but at some stage you have to let him go and let him be responsible for himself and suffer the consequences of his dreaminess. Have you decided when this will be?

Perhaps you should help him get some concrete thoughts about career / Uni / A Level. If he has a goal it might help focus him.

I have heard some posters on here say how their DC suddenly have an epiphany and knuckle down to work. It may happen for yours (it's a typical boy-thing). It never did for mine and I have to come to terms with the fact that this her personality and I have to accept her for what she is.

mizziemoon Thu 03-Sep-09 20:03:46

Well I've chatted with DS who was agreable to me approaching his form tutor and we've now set up a meeting for the 3 of us tomorrow after school.

On the letting him go issue, I struggle with be the letting him go with giving up on him. In all the discussions we have had on the issue he has always expressed frustration with his own lack of control over the daydreaming. I do a fair bit of dreaming myself so have some sympathy with his struggle to battle the demon.

I feel good about fronting the problem with his form tutor who is an older woman so I'm hopeful she will be have been down this road before. I will wait and see what this brings.

On the goals front, he says he definetly wants to go on A levels and the reason he gives is that he is very much looking forward to university life ( the social life I imagine).

Thanks again for all your suggestions

mizziemoon Fri 04-Sep-09 22:00:18

DS and I met with the form tutor today and it was a very worthwhile detailed and lenghty affair. She proposed to meet with DS once a week to help him set goals and review his progress against these.

I am very glad I went along - it was much easier than I had anticipated and DS, at this very early stage at least, is motivated and signed up to the new order. The form tutor has said she will contact me if DS departs significantly from the planned trajectory and that she will tell DS before she does this.

I at least don't feel any longer that DS is solely dependent on me for support and discipline and that is in itself a tremendous relief.

Once again, many thanks

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