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Secondary school teacher please advise

(6 Posts)
Fandabydosey Fri 27-Mar-20 07:11:52

Hi I have a child in Yr 10. He has been really good the first few days of not attending school. He has done his work. Now he has slacked off a bit and not completing the work. I don't want the argument about school and school work when there are far more serious issues going on in the world. Do I let him process the situation and encourage him to do the work in his own time or force the issue? I am classed a vulnerable due to a medical condition and the last thing I want to be sick and then end up having the last few weeks being constant arguing. He is a really bright lad I have no doubt that he will be OK but then a small part of me feels like I am failing him by not making him do school work. Opinions please

OP’s posts: |
astuz Fri 27-Mar-20 08:21:15

All any of us can do in this situation is muddle through as best we can. Encourage him where possible, but don't feel guilty even for a second if he doesn't do it, and don't have an argument over it. It's not worth it.

I'm setting work on-line as per my normal timetabled lessons and it's great when work is handed in - it makes me feel like the effort I'm putting in is worth it, BUT I do understand that everyone has to deal with this in their own way. In some households, people are ill, others have younger children to entertain, or older vulnerable people to get shopping for. Some children have parents who are working or who want to volunteer etc.

My main worry though is Y10 - I don't think there will be time in the system for the Y10s to redo this term that they're missing, hence why I'm hoping to keep teaching on-line. I reckon we'll just have to try to squash in the work from this term into next year, before they sit GCSEs in June 2021.

turtletum Fri 27-Mar-20 08:35:56

Don't be too hard on yourself. Encourage him to do work but don't force the issue. Have a chat about the importance of this work but also give him time and space to adjust to this new and scary version of normal.

If you do want to make a push to get him working, it can be helpful to set up a routine on weekdays but have weekends as total downtime where he can lay in and do what he likes. So get up and dressed by 9am, breakfast, then work?

You could try a reward system, where if he attempts two hours of work in the morning, then he can do what he pleases in the afternoon (tv, Xbox, whatever he's into). But if no work is done, then screen time is limited to one hour?

Or check what work has been set and help him to aim to complete one task a day. It makes the pile of work more manageable and appear less daunting. If you help him prioritise, then he may feel less overwhelmed? For example, focus on the core subjects plus two subjects he enjoys most?

LucyFox Fri 27-Mar-20 10:44:09

Absolutely he needs time to process what’s going on & “school” doesn’t have to be 9-3 ... I would encourage an hour or two in the morning, some free time/exercise/etc, a couple of hours later in the day & then screen time etc
Maths & English are the two most important times so he could do 30 mins of Maths online/however his school does it and the same of English – if he is struggling with the English work set, just reading will be beneficial.
Other subjects he could choose once a week – so maybe on Monday as he does history, on Tuesdays he does French, on Wednesday science …

Maybe being in charge of his own decisions as to when to work, with the expectation of so much per day/week would help?

Fandabydosey Fri 27-Mar-20 20:02:47

Thank you for your advice there are some really helpful suggestions 😁 good luck to you all stay safe and thank the lord for all teachers x

OP’s posts: |
SansaSnark Sun 29-Mar-20 17:10:54

For Y10, I do think he needs to be keeping up as best as he can. As a science teacher, we have picked the bits of the curriculum that will be easiest to learn at home and we'll be setting these for Y10 next term- we won't have time to cover this again in full when school is back on, and bright or not it will be hard to catch up a whole topic next year.

I totally understand all the other stresses going on, and I don't think it's worth getting into an argument about, and I would let him work at his own pace if this is possible with what the teachers are setting. If he needs to take more breaks or doesn't finish everything, then that's fine, but I wouldn't be keen on him not looking at the work at all.

Could you talk to him about the issue without it becoming an argument? Is he feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work? Is he struggling to follow instructions? Is he anxious about other things?

I'd encourage him to contact his teachers to explain any issues he is having- they might be able to break the work set down into smaller chunks, or point out the most important bits to focus on. Maybe if there is a teacher he especially trusts, he could email them about how he is feeling in general?

If he won't do the formal school work set, would he use a site like to at least cover some of the content?

I do think getting into a good routine will really help his mental health, something like:

Up/dressed/breakfast by 9.30
Do some exercise to start the day (youtube workout?) until 10.00.
Schoolwork 10.00-12.
Lunch 12-1.
Schoolwork 1-3.
More exercise 3-3.30

That's a pretty relaxed timetable which would enable him to still get a fair amount of work done each day. You could build in more breaks if needed and make the schoolwork run a little later?

You could perhaps encourage him to bullet journal and prioritise the things he really needs to get done each day?

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