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(9 Posts)
Jackal Tue 26-Apr-05 14:22:59

Looking for advice with GCSE's.
DS is 16 and due to sit GCSE's in May. Have got to the stage where if I say anything about doing work I get the shouting and don't nag me stuff.He has done all coursework I think - though all last minute.Now the revision should start and he just can't be bothered. I have to sit him down (when in the right mood) and make him revise with me asking him questions from revision guides etc. Not the end of the world but I have two other kids - one who's doing final A2's this year and has never asked for a minutes help from us and is doing really well.So if I pay too much attention she wont be happy.
He's on study leave in a couple of weeks and I'm out at work so won't see what he's doing!
OK,any tips or advice as we're just at the daggers drawn stage now.

chenin Tue 26-Apr-05 15:14:04

I can sympathise! My DD is sitting GCSEs this May also. The coursework, I know is up to date and I think you would know from the teachers by now if your DSs wasn't. She tells me "I don't know how to revise!" Does anyone?! To be honest, I can understand what she means. If she does revise, she does it with music full blast and whilst on MSN with about 6 conversations going at once - so it isn't going to be easy, is it?! She tells me that anything she has already revised, she has forgotten so what is the point - and she would prefer to do it the night before the exam. Oh, and also the social life has kicked in all of a sudden and that seems to be more important. TBH I think they have to find the way that suits them the best and I know my DD has worked hard up until now and I am hoping that it will all fall in to place. She really wants to do well so she knows it is down to her and there is not a lot I can say!! Good luck!

JanH Tue 26-Apr-05 16:00:42

It's a boy thing, mostly, Jackal - girls generally tend to be much better organised than boys, hence the difference between his attitude and hers. (I have 2 DDs who have both left school now, they were different from each other in ability and techniques but both sorted themselves out and got decent grades. DS1 who did his GCSEs last year was nothing like that! He didn't do much work and his grades were much lower than he could have had if he'd revised harder.)

What does your DS want to do next year and subsequently? Only it's basically his problem, not yours. If he wants to go on to study something else he will need reasonable grades and if he doesn't get them he'll have to resit. If he's at a stage where he couldn't care less, tell him he will get very bored in a deadend job after a few months. It's his problem really and you shouldn't have to help him revise; tell him his options and that its up to him, back off and leave him to it (but you have to mean it!)

Jackal Tue 26-Apr-05 18:20:00

OOh Jan I wish I could back off and leave him to it but something in me says that if I do and he doesn't do well, I might regret it and won't have done 'my bit'. I guess that says more about me than him!
Hellie sounds as though you're DD will be ok as she's worked hard up to now. Not sure that he has though. I guess you're right though it is his problem not mine, I know that but just can't back off!

bargainhunter Thu 28-Apr-05 22:36:48

My DS1 left school last year and both myself and DH found it extremely difficult to motivate him to revise for his GCSEs. He was under the impression that the revision he did during school lessons was sufficient to get him a pass, not thinking that any extra work could gain him extra marks above his classmates and get him a better grade.
Study leave was a disastrous attempt by the school to get a 15-16 year old to self police him/herself and revise for the duration of the leave. DS1 saw this as the start of his summer holiday.
Fortunately, this year the school has cancelled study leave (thankfully) as they realised that there were too many kids walking the streets. Sending kids home to revise when possibly both parents are working is ludicrous. Only a select percentage of pupils who realsie they are at the first hurdle of their future careers will knuckle down and work. It would be far more useful to keep them in the classroom where they can be monitored in a controlled environment away from TV, computers, games consoles etc which is a far more desirable activity for a 15-16 year old.

Jackal Fri 29-Apr-05 09:49:37

You didn't say how your son did in GCSE's?
I do worry though that as you say he will see study leave as the start of the summer hols! I can only hope now that he will put the effort in.
The plan is for him to stay in 6th form next yr and he has chosen his subjects. What is your son doing now?

fisil Fri 29-Apr-05 10:03:36

What do you do in the evenings? Is there a time when you are sitting working? That might motivate him.

Also, what about starting from the positive. I know that I find it hard to settle to work when it just seems too much. So what about sitting down with him to make a timetable, but start by listing his leisure/relaxation activities in two lists major (going out with mates, footie, swimming) and minor (listening to a favourite track/checking e-mails). Then split each day into three sections (morning/afternoon/evening). Before you even thing about revision, insist that he choses for each individual day one leisure slot. So on Thursday he might pick the evening cos he always goes out with his mates, and on Friday he might pick the morning cos he needs a lie in!). Even specify what leisure activity he will do during that session. He must not work during that time.

Then list his subjects in two lists: ones he likes, ones he doesn't. In each of the remaining sessions put two subjects, one from each list. Try to break them down too if possible - so don't just put maths, put maths-transformations (2 or 3 topics per session). He should be able to get the info for what to study from school or revision guides. Then when he puts his finished timetable up on his wall next to where he'll be working, he needs to put a poster next to it that says "Remember, never do more than 20 minutes without a break ... break ideas ..." and put down the list of minor leisure activities.

By focusing on the positive, and remembering that revision is very hard, he may well feel more able to cope with it.

As to how to revise ... there are lots of methods. Do you have the kind of family in which you could all discuss what does and doesn't work for you? Might help him to find his method. My favourite is the list and tick method - I write list after list of what to revise, look each thing up and write it in my own words on recipe cards, and then tick it off on the list. I got so good at this method that by my finals I was spending more time ticking than anything else (and therefore felt very good about myself!)

Jackal Fri 29-Apr-05 14:17:39

Wow, thanks so much. I'm digesting all your ideas, sounds really good.
He did do a revision planner, just the basic one brought home from school, but hasn't stuck to it I'm afraid. I really will give your ideas a go though, thanks again.

bargainhunter Fri 29-Apr-05 21:31:31

He got two C+s, one each in maths & science. The rest were Cs, Ds & an F in french. His teacher said he could not get higher than a C+ due to the set he was in. He didn't get his expected grades in some subjects which he was capable of but didn't put the hours in.
He is now working for a large haulage firm as an apprentice maintenance mechanic. Surprisingly this is very far from his chosen career path at his option choices when he wanted to follow law/solicitors etc.
Unfortunately, it seems to be peer pressure which influences the lads behaviour as DS2 is moulding himself into DS1. The thought of being deemed a swot by your mates puts them off working hard. We seemed to be repeating ourselves like a stuck record trying to explain that 1-2 months of extra effort (not very much in a lifetime) will pay dividends in the long run.

Good Luck with your efforts to influence his revision technique & I hope he does as well as expected.

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