brick in the wall

What do you do when school’s not really working for your child?

We’ve just been to parents’ evening for smallest child, and her teacher* confirmed what I thought, that she’s making no progress, produces “bland” work, and added that she “often looks sad…”

We’re home now, and I’m watching and listening, and she doesn’t look sad at all. She looks enthused and animated. She’s entirely focused on the task in hand (tormenting her brother with a string of fluent, witty and not remotely bland invective), and striving to improve her performance. She’s planning baking, and putting together a series of persuasive arguments for why she needs more chocolate.

But I feel sad, sad that she’s stuck in an education system that’s not working for her. Five weeks and four days until we’re set free again…

*Just so’s we’re clear, he’s a very nice teacher. Her second best ever, apparently, in case you were wondering…

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9 Comments

Filed under insanity of the offspring

9 responses to “brick in the wall

  1. That is sad but I don’t know what you do about it 😦 xx

  2. It’s such a shame we incarcerate children in a one size fits all or is it none system for most of the year. I don’t know what the solution is though. Aside from give her the right opportunities at home which I know you do.

  3. Is another school an option? We”re heading down that route at the moment.

    • Mostly, it is an issue with the school system, not with that particular school. She had an unhappy year with a previous teacher, which didn’t help, but I have great faith in both her current teacher, and the Y6 teacher. And her friends… friends are the most important thing if you’re 9!

  4. Rosy-Jess

    But she’s bright and witty and cheeky, and by the sounds of it, not challenged or interested by school? Like Nell, I have no idea how you fix that. What does she think?

  5. katherinea

    Dunno.
    If she’s anything like eldest (she being the one I have experience of) then talk to her about what is and isn’t working. And then apologise because she still has to do it. But when you have to do stupid things knowing your parents are on your side is valuable. Help her to see why some of it has to be that way. Engage her on the true meaning of education; what she thinks it should be.
    Back off when needed.
    Simple!
    I assume the problem isn’t the school but the system? So there’s little point even considering moving? I don’t envy her; at that age I escaped a great deal of the crap in the National Curriculum. I’m thinking she’s not so lucky.

    • Frankly, I reckon current education policies are tantamount to institutionalised child abuse. The school undeniably has issues, but I do have faith in the current Y5 and Y6 teachers, and no reason to think forcible separation from all her mates would make things better…

  6. Oh so hard. I can see how upsetting it is, but how you also want her to stay close to her friends. I can see how little alternative there may be. I can see how she is so different at school to away from it. I ache for you.

    On a practical note, what are the school thinking of doing about it? I know you say her teachers this year and next are good, and it is good that this has been noticed, but they also have a part to play in looking for the solution. If you want to keep her there and not try alternative education, would the school be open to part time schooling, with her being home educated for the other part of the time (if that would help, you had the time and could agree a workable split time/curric wise with the school etc)

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