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School (again!)

(5 Posts)
Claennister Wed 05-Oct-16 15:04:50

So this is a minor niggle in the grand scheme of things, but it's affecting my child's education so that's not minor. DD is undiagnosed and right now they are not giving her any additional support. She doesn't remember things she's told at school, whether lessons or important information. The hours we sirens trying to unpick messages like "The man came and he said red ones next week but only if you are" followed by her crying because she doesn't know. If it's vital, I want a letter, or for DD to have a book she writes the message into and the teacher checks she understood.

Next is the spelling. I'm exasperated with it. DD has appeared at home with the same spelling words that she can definitely spell for over two years. I wrote to the school to ask what the heck and they gave her a new word list. Not 2 days later she comes home saying she was tested on the previous set (let's say they're 4 out of 14) and is now to move up to list 5. She was given list 8 when I wrote to the school. Apparently this is because she forgot to move her rocket on the wall, but surely the teacher should have some alarm bells going if she's back on the list I complained about??! So I asked her if she's meant to move her own rocket and she's no idea. Clearly she doesn't know what's happening and will bring the wrong homework till she's 18 if left to her own devices.

This isn't the hard stuff! They don't need a diagnosis to have a support plan in place, clearly she needs someone else to take charge of these things so she doesn't get left by the wayside. Why does everything so simple have to be so complicated for them? I feel crazy being so upset about it, but she's missed out on years of spelling, and spelling is the one and only area she's almost up to age level on.

zzzzz Wed 05-Oct-16 17:24:11

Do spelling at home while tgeysort their shit out.

List EVERYTHING she messes up on forthe next week and make an appointment to see the teacher in a weeks time.

Present list, any historical muddles, and ask her to be seen by Ed psych. EP will tell the teachers to hand hold her through the muddle.

It will be smoother and she will get her chance.

Be calm, brew, and show them that you expect them to help. DO NOT be surprised or embarrassed if you cry, we ALL do, because we love them so much and it is so important.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 05-Oct-16 18:01:16

I find approaching the school with a firm idea in your head what she needs but asking them what they think and putting bal in their court gets them onside.

List is a great idea. Take it. Ask them what they've noticed re DD, do they have any concerns, is she having any extra support. Then give them your list. Ask them what they can do to support. Then finish with what helps as home.

Email to confirm you've understood DD struggles with X and they are doing y to support.

Not all schools, but some are defensive. You learn how to get them to work with you and realise you want to work with them.

I've cried a million times blush

Claennister Wed 05-Oct-16 20:34:21

And tonight we got a letter home asking us to pick an appointment for parents' evening next week (yes, everything is this last minute with them) so I'm going armed with my list. Zzzzz we have been working some spelling at home, but they also spend time on their words in the classroom and have them set for homework exercises, both of which are an utter waste of her time when they're words she can spell. They could be spending that 20 minute session teaching her words she doesn't already know (shocker)! At least we now have the complete set of spelling lists so we can work the same sequence at home. They move up one list at a time and it's ludicrous if she's going to move from list 4 that she can spell to list 5 that she can spell to list 6 that she can spell... it would be summer term before they're onto words she can't spell. I'm normally pretty compliant, but if these words show up in her homework again she's going to do her spelling homework alright but it won't be their words! If she knows all the words up to list 18 they can get knotted for having her do the next in sequence.

But if they're waiting for her to spell them correctly in context in written work, that's a whole other thing from spelling, that's sequencing, if she's trying to hold a sentence in her head and write it down, she'll miss out letters and whole words, not because she can't spell them but because her brain is busy. When she's using several sentences she'll write (and say) words like "putted" and "goed". And spelling out loud is a nonsense because she can't remember what some of the letters are called, which I suppose looks like hesitation on the letter sequence.

I haven't even met this teacher yet, so well get a chance to see how switched on she is next week. You'd like to think she'd notice that DD wouldn't say if she's getting repeat work, doesn't understand what's going on, etc. She's highly anxious and will do whatever is required to get out of doing anything hard, but in a non disruptive way. It's easy to see the child who refuses by chatting, horseplay, refusal and such, but the child who will quietly slip back one space in the line repeatedly to avoid her turn, or who will happily do the same page again and not complain she did it yesterday, they take more skill to spot.

Melawati Thu 06-Oct-16 10:33:30

But if they're waiting for her to spell them correctly in context in written work, that's a whole other thing from spelling
This may be the crux of the matter. I'm not sure how old your DD is, but certainly for my DCs and at work (primary school), the key thing now is ability to use the words correctly and spell them in context, rather being able to write them in isolation in a test.
So a DC who consistently mis-spells a word in their work will still get that one to learn, even if they can get it right on a test.
If contextual use is what your DD finds difficult (and what the school is aiming to achieve for each word list in turn), there are lots of ways to support with that, while still allowing her to progress through the lists.

As parents' evenings can be so rushed, perhaps it would be worthwhile you using that meeting to ask for another one, where you could discuss DD's difficulties in full.

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