Does anyone use anything to encourage homework/revision? I’m worried ds is not doing as well as he could. Parents evening was overall not too bad a report although he’s still failing most of his class tests. Ds will not get involved any time I try and go hover this and how we need to help him. He keeps saying it’s up to him, he knows what to do, if he doesn’t pass it’s because he hasn’t worked for it or tried... but is it? I don’t want him being a statistic of not doing well so I really want to work out ways to help him prepare better. We don’t tell him we want to see 100% on his marks but a pass would be better for him to get where he wants to be
Treetop, I totally get you want the best outcome for your child. However, he has got his whole life to try and make something of it. Education does not become unavailable because you may or may not have passed any GCSEs. My priorities for my birth children lay somewhere completely different because they had a different start. With Butterfly, all I want is for her to be able to have meaningful relationships by the time she is an adult. Anything else will be a bonus.
What I am trying to say is that your relationship with your son is far more important than attainment and is tricky to navigate throughout the teenage years at the best of times. I know there is a lot of pressure for kids to do well at school. But it's a smoke screen. No child can do well, if they cannot do relationships. And our children are often emotionally behind by many years. Maybe he is not ready to do all that is required of him. He can do courses later when he is.
Give yourself permission not to worry,for all you know this may even encourage him to do more as he feels you trust him to make his own decisions.
Married to Bumblebear, 3 1/2 kids, a mix of adopted and home-made.
I know how hard it is when you feel you can offer your child support with homework etc and they won't take it on. Our eldest resisted working on anything from early primary onwards. I did insist she did her hw then but often we did more of it than she did. But at least then I knew what she had to do.
At secondary it was hopeless as we rarely knew what she was meant to do. Initially we still helped her at times when she admitted to having work to do, but by the later years we did more or less give up. By then she had an EHCP and would say a TA had helped her do it at school, but I suspect that was mostly untrue.
Dd had several IQ tests over her school years showing she had average intelligence, but she also has ADHD and very poor executive functioning skills.
Basically she passed no GSCEs though came close in English, Maths and Drama. She then went to college and did two different courses, neither of which she showed much interest in. She re-took E and M in the first year and still didnt pass either, though improved her English mark quite a bit. For maths, we had kept on the lovely tutor we had had for her since year 10 - her score improved by 3 marks! We realised that she manipulated the tutor to solve the questions for her, and wasn't interested in actually learning. The second year at college she passed her English but refused to retake the maths. She also only passed both college courses- no merit or distinction.
So, all our efforts came to nought really, though we are pleased she did get the English. However, things are looking up. Since leaving college she's been doing voluntary work at a charity shop and at my school (I'm a teacher). She's learnt a lot of life skills and had lots of opportunities to practice making a wide range of relationships- which she desperately needed, her time at school was dominated by poor relationships with peers and difficult behaviours. A few years back I wouldn't have believed I'd allow her to work in my school through fear of what upset she might cause.
So I'd say, encourage but no you cant force them. It's awful to see them waste opportunities but maybe they do need to work on relationships and other skills first. I feel sure my dd will work it out in the end. The best part is she is actually becoming quite interested in helping at school and wanting to do more, so there is a possible career she could pursue.
School can be a bit of a ‘one-size fits very few’ system... and there are other ways... was a teacher saw many kids ‘fail’ at GCSEs level and went on to forge interesting and meaningful lives for themselves.
What does your child want to do? You only need 5/6 passes for most colleges. If your child can cope academically, but is struggling with work load/ motivation/ fear of failure/ peer distraction/ overwhelm. You could always make a deal and prioritise the subjects they need and let the others go.
There’s w lot of school pressure (because the children’s results are how they are judged) and it makes it seem like this is the most important year of their life... it’s not.
I’m already thinking (knowing my kids... and what they can and can’t cope with) that we might go up to year 10, and home school year 11 concentrating on less exams, really exploring what they love and are good at and letting them work out for themselves a bit what’s important for them and what they want to aim for.
There’s not a lot of room in the overcrammed education system for kids to work out for themselves what’s important and what they need to do to get there.
One idea for motivation is getting your child involved in what they want after their exams... look at how many exam results they’d need to get into their chosen / college//apprenticeship/ job or an example job that would provide the income for the lifestyle they want to live... have them identify what’s important and how to get there Have them identify rewards that would motivate them not one big one that can be lost, but a series of rewards, that reward effort rather than results. ( mine are littler, but the girls have been fighting a lot, so they’ve designed a reward... joint cinema trip, how many Boxes of kindness they have to fill in, how many ticks of non arguing days... it’s quite complex, but because they’ve designed it, they are invested in it) Mini rewards along the way... also identify what help they need from you... and put it in place...
Also... very hard, sometimes all children learn more from failing than succeeding and sometimes our job isn’t to prevent all failure, it’s to support how they come back from it.
Hope some of this helps xx
Mummy to DD Squirrel Monkey (9), DD Howler Monkey (8), DS Curious George (7), DS Silverback (not quite 1)
We have often found the hard way that homework is an ineffective use of free time. The school they attend doesn't set homework often and no consequences for not doing the little that is set. The head said it wasted too much teaching time following up! We respectfully disagreed and decided not to waste family time following up either. rather we have put our efforts into enriching their experience with a wide range of structured and spontaneous activities while reinforce learning in a more creative way - far more fun and tailored to their passions! It's paid off for both of them as there 'soft' CV and skills really stand out. The academic stuff gets done by school. It works for us. do whatever works best for your family in the long term.