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would like to learn from mothers - what was mot important in secondary education years...
34

keyboardwithpaper · 30/04/2020 06:43

I realise how many mistakes I have done in primary school eductaion - tutors, nagging, not enough time for reading together ( work commitments). Most importantly me being stressed - through work, high expectations, little attention to personality development...I would really like to learn from experienced mothers who had children through secondary education - what is the most important do you think in growing their personalities as well as academic side? Thank you

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Decorhate · 30/04/2020 08:11

Every child is different & has different needs. I take a very hands off approach with mine. Eg Their homework is their responsibility & they are the ones who will have to deal with any consequences of not doing it so I leave it to them. But that won’t work for everyone. Some parents still proof read their children’s work right up to uni stage! Personally I would have hated that as a teenager.

But I help them with things like university applications by doing my own research & then we can have conversations where I can throw out helpful suggestions. I also look up dates for open days so we can book those in time.
The main thing is to keep communicating. Sometimes this is easier when you are driving them somewhere than when you are sitting round the dining table.

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GCAcademic · 30/04/2020 08:11

This board is for university level education - you'd be best reporting your post and asking MNHQ to move it to the secondary education board.

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Seeline · 30/04/2020 08:40

I think as a parent you are needed even more in the secondary years than in the primary years. It's different needs, and harder too as DCs want independence, and have hormones surging. But generally they still need to know you are there for them, supporting them and in their corner when troubles come along. They just don't want to ask for help 😁Add mind-reading to your list of essential parenting skills.

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MiddlewoodWay · 30/04/2020 09:46

@Seeline describes my experience!

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OutwiththeOutCrowd · 30/04/2020 10:00

What I've learnt along the way.

Don't try too hard to turn parenthood into a profession. It's not about diligent planning, expertise and taking control of outcomes.

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ReluctantHillCrester · 30/04/2020 10:49

If you report your thread and get it moved to secondary education it may help with responses. Higher Education is university level and Further Education is 16-18 so sixth forms and colleges.

But what I have learned about secondary age children is you need to teach them about where to get information from, what sources you can trust (Britannica) and what sources to not trust implicitly due to editing (Wikipedia) how many sources to check and don't always click the top link.

Plus just a general wider reading of subjects so when Ds2 had stuff about the Grand Canyon we watched YouTube videos by the National Parks service about the Grand Canyon.

I found it helpful to ask about what they had done in each subject each day rather than a generic have you had a good day. Ds1 wanted help in year 7 for me to just sit with him for some subjects, English, Drama, History, Geography, Ethics, Religion and Philosophy but was fine with maths, science, music, art. This was more to guide than do the work.

I helped with layout for posters to teach him the skills needed, worked out which method worked best for revision and he built on that. Ds2 has always been a very independent learner until now when he is covering GCSE stuff in year 9. Factual maths, science, all fine, English poetry and what the hell is that supposed to mean, I help with, we discuss it.

At the end you hope you have helped your child enough to understand the importance of education, to help them to become independent and manage their time well.

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Pebbles574 · 30/04/2020 16:00

I would add personal organisation skills to this list.

Secondary often involves a move away from one class/ few teachers at primary, where work is done in exercise books to a much more overwhelming combination of different teachers, different classes, with LOADS and LOADS of paperwork - print outs/ past papers/exercises/ reading material. You need to help them get into good habits early on, or they will get to their first year exams and stare at a pile of unsorted notes for 8 different subjects!
Good organisation is key, as is a space to work and file things. Get them used to sorting out/ filing/ sticking in schoolwork on a weekly basis. A4 binders with sub-dividers are good. Also planning work, as it will no longer simply be 'do it for tomorrow' - they will need to learn to juggle and plan out deadlines/extra curricular etc.

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Xenia · 30/04/2020 18:00

Buy a peer group (if your child is bright enough) in a very selective school were 100% go to top universities (as their friends not their parents matter most as teens).

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Olympicfan · 30/04/2020 18:06

I have learnt that children have different ways of organising themselves and working. DD chipped away at all homework tasks and revision, never leaving anything til the last minute. DS was last minute.com. He completed everything to a high level but it was all done at the 11th hour. Both DC got near identical GCSE results. I wish I had not stressed so much over DS.

I also learnt the importance of giving each child individual time, whether that is an evening walk or a day out. Sometimes having that individual time gives you a real insight into their lives as they open up more about school, friendships and how they are feeling.

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NightingalesAtDawn · 30/04/2020 18:18

Set some ground rules with phones right from the beginning. That's my biggest regret. Mine are both completely addicted but it would be too hard to reel back now.

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Pebbles574 · 30/04/2020 18:34

Encourage them to develop a couple of extra-curricular activities - sport, drama, music etc that will help them develop friendships. The secondary kids I see hanging around getting into trouble are the ones that hang around without any interests/hobbies.

Ditto the rules about phones/screens etc - but don't be too punitive, especially in the mid teens onwards, as this is how they communicate.
If your child is a DS - keep an eye out for gaming obssession.

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goodbyestranger · 30/04/2020 18:43

Leave the DC to it - unless they seem to be going massively off the rails (stress on massively. A bit off the rails is fairly standard I'd have thought).

I've never known which DC is doing what in terms of syllabus, homework etc and it doesn't seem to have done any of them any harm. Indeed they agree that my not intervening, while showing a general interest in exam results and uni applications etc, has been far more beneficial than the more interventionist parenting they've seen with some of their peers.

The only thing I ever did with all eight of mine was to teach them to read.

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goodbyestranger · 30/04/2020 18:44

I've also never monitored phone usage/ xbox etc despite having four boys - they work out the balance themselves.

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Ginfordinner · 30/04/2020 20:50

I agree with previous posters that you need to know when to take a back seat, and when not to. I stressed a lot over DD's secondary education. One thing to remember is that all children mature at different rates, and while some just get on with it and self-regulate, like Goodbyestranger’s, some simply aren't emotionally mature enough to study for GCSEs without extra support.

I would absolutely say that once your child reaches year 10 they need to be taking their education seriously, and this is not the time to be hands off if they aren’t coping. Some parents will advise leave them to it, but unfortunately, since the demise of AS levels, and now the uncertain future due to the current crisis, GCSEs will matter more than ever.

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goodbyestranger · 30/04/2020 21:17

Ginfordinner I've had some DC veering way off course - as in nearly expelled - for messing around in Y11 but they all came good in the end. So the idea that they all self-regulated is a bit misleading, in that it suggests no veering, when there's actually been a statistically significant amount of veering (as you'd expect with strong minded DC). I've always remembered a lovely kindergarten teacher with years of experience saying that it was her firm belief that all DC are disruptive at some point in their school career - or should be - so I've only reacted with an occasional low level remonstration or nag.

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ragged · 03/05/2020 11:37

I don't know what OP means by 'growing their personalities'

On the off chance it means resilience, I failed with the first DC, 2nd could conquer the world, 3rd has boundaries he feels comfortable in. 4th is very sensitive but not overall unhappy. I don't see how I made any of them be like that.

I've often let them risk failure & tried to show them that failure is something that folk can overcome.

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keyboardwithpaper · 04/05/2020 07:01

Thank you.

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NunchukNinja · 31/08/2020 13:46

Lovely thread, if belatedly found. Some of the best advice I had was from mum of a teen while ds was just 18 months Olds and I’d only just gone back to work!

She told me that you think they won’t need you as Much as teens but that they do more than ever. Her practical advice was to be around after school as much as you can and pick up From school as often As you possibly can. At a time when they may communicate less, body language as they exit/meet you tells you tons About how they are today and the chance of a magic ten mins side by side in the car is invaluable. I have had two particular moments when I know that if I hadn’t picked,up, life today would not be as it is. Though I’m V aware Lots of people can’t do this, I changed my career to make sure this happened.

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cologne4711 · 31/08/2020 17:56

Don't get an xbox.

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Serin · 31/08/2020 23:28

Enable life skills, get them shopping and cooking.

Encourage them to use public transport so that they can confidently plan a journey. Ours would often catch the train down to London for the day with a bunch of friends. (We live in the North West).

Enrol em in cadets (Army/Air or Sea) brilliant organisations and so cheap.

Encourage sport, especially the niche ones. It is easier to excel at niche ones as not as many people are doing them!

Expect them to keep their rooms half decent.

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IrmaFayLear · 01/09/2020 09:17

I agree with encouraging a bit of independence. My dc are not particularly gung-ho, able types, but from yr 7 I’d be all for their taking local bus and train trips and then later on going up to London for the day etc. Particularly navigating one’s way around is a good skill.

Your dc can be the most academically brilliant young person ever, but if they are a “ninny” then I consider that a parenting fail. There are parents who try to smooth the other of their dc every step of the way: from primary school friends, through forgotten PE kit to university applications to first job. When ds went to his Oxbridge interview the college sent a note saying parents were not allowed to accompany their dc into the college, and certainly not the interview! Can you imagine?!

Anyway, it’s good to be ahead of the game, OP, regarding child raising. On a lighter note, I must admit I have always allowed a fair few duvet days. I say that you’re going to have decades of no duvet days so better take the opportunity to have the odd one while the going’s good...

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SarahAndQuack · 01/09/2020 09:27

Buy a peer group (if your child is bright enough) in a very selective school were 100% go to top universities (as their friends not their parents matter most as teens).

I'm fairly sure this is elaborate parody, but in case there's any doubt - don't do this. Having taught the children who go to 'top' universities and whose parents took the 'buy them friends' attitude, I can tell you it's a rubbish preparation for life and employment (and the poor kids tend to be gutted when they, inevitably, aren't the ones who get into Oxbridge as mummy and daddy always dreamed).

I second the advice on life skills. You can really tell which 18-20 year-olds were taught how to look after themselves and each other.

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Xenia · 01/09/2020 12:15

I never tried Oxbridge and nor did my 5 graduate children actually. However I stand by my words. Most parents try to pick the best school they can eg state grammar, posh comp, church school or fee paying school and if most people in the class are in the top 20% by IQ and your child is they are unlikely to follow a peer into low paid work (my son being the exception of course... laughing as I type...)

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Zandathepanda · 01/09/2020 16:23

tips: communication and being there for them. Which often means being a taxi service.

Also: Buy a big desk and create a space for them to study. Feed them nutritious stuff, particularly leading up to exams.

Try and get them involved in activities outside school - friendship group troubles always happen at school - so they have another set of friends to chat to.

If you can create the right atmosphere for learning and show them that you take it importantly, then the rest is down to them.

I would agree with whoever it was who said something like ‘show me the boy at 7 and I will show you the man’. My two are very different but similar in individual personality/temperament from when they were 7. The few differences in their personalities are due to traumatic bereavements and illnesses we couldn’t avoid.

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bimkom · 01/09/2020 19:40

Give them the space to formulate their own dreams and find their own direction. In primary school, I was much more of "the director" organising where they went, and what they should try, and hoping to broaden their horizons. By high school, particularly by mid high school it was/is much more a case of them setting goals and choosing paths, and you become more of a stage assistant, to help them get to where it is that they want to go. It means you end up learning about all sorts of things that never interested you before. I think also that it is important to acknowledge that part of that parenting is a certain grieving (which you must do privately) for the dreams that you were never entitled to have for them, but which you had anyway, that don't match where they want to go (and I say this as someone whose one child has chosen what would be a lot of parent's dream, but certainly was never mine, and never interested me in the slightest - I was always very squeamish, and not interested in anything biological or out of doors ish, whether human or animal, and I have a DS who is determined to be a doctor, and a DD who wants to go off into the wilds and work with animals).

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