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Spelling

Family, children, advice, schooling, finance for children, all things kids.
Loup321
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Spelling

#258492

Postby Loup321 » October 17th, 2019, 2:27 pm

The small one is 8 years old, and was homeschooled until just after her 8th birthday. She went into Year 3 just after the May half term. She's just had her first parents' consultation, after 5 weeks in Year 3 and 7 weeks in Year 4, and she has a problem with spelling.
We got a chance to look through her workbooks, and there is a definite problem with "thay" instead of "they" and using the wrong "there". Most of the problems are that she just hasn't learnt the word and tries to spell it phonetically, but the "stupid English language" (as we came to call it when she was still homeschooled) has too many irregular words. The teacher sometimes highlights the incorrectly spelt words and sometimes doesn't (children mark their own work a lot, it seems), but she never corrects the spellings, so I don't know how the small one is to improve. If I can get a list of the problem words, I have the time to look for patterns and do some work over the weekends, but I don't know whether the teacher (or the small one for that matter) would have time to write out a list of problem words each week.

My initial plan is to revisit the phonics workbook we had over this half term (we get 2 weeks, and a couple of long train journeys are planned), and make some posters on "there/they're/their" among others. I also intend checking she knows the first 100 words and the next 200 words I printed off when she was small. Her reading is fine (well, proper nouns in Edward Lear or the Bible cause problems), so I don't think there is a problem there.

Any other suggestions?

Cheers!

bungeejumper
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Re: Spelling

#259286

Postby bungeejumper » October 21st, 2019, 3:50 pm

A former English teacher writes:

The majority of averagely intelligent, non-dyslexic children will have completely 'got' spelling by the time they reach 13 or thereabouts - partly through immersion, partly through peer pressure, and partly because their growing teenage brains have developed in ways that begin to facilitate this kind of absorption of rules. (There are similar brain developmental stages that make other subjects like history or mathematics suddenly "turn on the lights" for a child, and they don't usually look back after that.) I taught kids who couldn't spell at all at age 12, but who shifted up a couple of gears very quickly as they caught up. A big relief for their parents!

That's the good news. The bad news is that a child who can't spell as well as his/her peers is more likely to suffer socially in the intervening years, and will probably also miss out on some learning opportunities as the curriculum becomes more focused, because his teachers simply can't afford to spend all day helping the late achievers with their basics - although they invariably do their best!

Not only that, but other children can be rather cruel to the kid who makes them giggle by messing up spellings all the time. So you're doing absolutely the right thing to take the matter seriously. At age eight, my own granddaughter's teacher was saying that her (ahem) "joyful" spellings were "plausible" :lol: , but by nine the pressure was being applied to nail things like there/their or its/it's, and "creative" spelling was suddenly no longer welcome. Spelling is, first and foremost, an essential means of communication, and as an adult it's unreasonable to expect the world to accommodate your spellings if you can't accommodate its own.

This is not the place to ask whether your daughter has fully got hold of the full importance of conformity in the matter of written language - if you were home-schooling her so as to develop an untrammelled sense of creativity, as some parents do, then perhaps it may not have been high in your agenda until now? But either way, consult with her teacher and get a plan drawn up. There's plenty of time, IME.

Spelling lists work for some children, and not for others. Every bit of parental help you can give her will encourage her. And whatever you do, encourage her to read everything she can lay her hands on. Whether it's Harry Potter or the Beano, it all helps toward the lightbulb moment that will eventually make the connections seem suddenly obvious. Good luck!

BJ

Bouleversee
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Re: Spelling

#259751

Postby Bouleversee » October 23rd, 2019, 10:45 pm

bungeejumper wrote:A former English teacher writes:

The majority of averagely intelligent, non-dyslexic children will have completely 'got' spelling by the time they reach 13 or thereabouts - partly through immersion, partly through peer pressure, and partly because their growing teenage brains have developed in ways that begin to facilitate this kind of absorption of rules. (There are similar brain developmental stages that make other subjects like history or mathematics suddenly "turn on the lights" for a child, and they don't usually look back after that.) I taught kids who couldn't spell at all at age 12, but who shifted up a couple of gears very quickly as they caught up. A big relief for their parents!

That's the good news. The bad news is that a child who can't spell as well as his/her peers is more likely to suffer socially in the intervening years, and will probably also miss out on some learning opportunities as the curriculum becomes more focused, because his teachers simply can't afford to spend all day helping the late achievers with their basics - although they invariably do their best!

Not only that, but other children can be rather cruel to the kid who makes them giggle by messing up spellings all the time. So you're doing absolutely the right thing to take the matter seriously. At age eight, my own granddaughter's teacher was saying that her (ahem) "joyful" spellings were "plausible" :lol: , but by nine the pressure was being applied to nail things like there/their or its/it's, and "creative" spelling was suddenly no longer welcome. Spelling is, first and foremost, an essential means of communication, and as an adult it's unreasonable to expect the world to accommodate your spellings if you can't accommodate its own.

This is not the place to ask whether your daughter has fully got hold of the full importance of conformity in the matter of written language - if you were home-schooling her so as to develop an untrammelled sense of creativity, as some parents do, then perhaps it may not have been high in your agenda until now? But either way, consult with her teacher and get a plan drawn up. There's plenty of time, IME.

Spelling lists work for some children, and not for others. Every bit of parental help you can give her will encourage her. And whatever you do, encourage her to read everything she can lay her hands on. Whether it's Harry Potter or the Beano, it all helps toward the lightbulb moment that will eventually make the connections seem suddenly obvious. Good luck!

BJ


I presume the majority of people who contribute to forums (excluding this one, of course) are not averagely intelligent, then. I never cease to be amazed at the low standard of literacy displayed in the various posts, whatever the topic.

AsleepInYorkshire
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Re: Spelling

#259754

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » October 23rd, 2019, 11:52 pm

Loup321 wrote:The small one is 8 years old, and was homeschooled until just after her 8th birthday. She went into Year 3 just after the May half term. She's just had her first parents' consultation, after 5 weeks in Year 3 and 7 weeks in Year 4, and she has a problem with spelling.
We got a chance to look through her workbooks, and there is a definite problem with "thay" instead of "they" and using the wrong "there". Most of the problems are that she just hasn't learnt the word and tries to spell it phonetically, but the "stupid English language" (as we came to call it when she was still homeschooled) has too many irregular words. The teacher sometimes highlights the incorrectly spelt words and sometimes doesn't (children mark their own work a lot, it seems), but she never corrects the spellings, so I don't know how the small one is to improve. If I can get a list of the problem words, I have the time to look for patterns and do some work over the weekends, but I don't know whether the teacher (or the small one for that matter) would have time to write out a list of problem words each week.

My initial plan is to revisit the phonics workbook we had over this half term (we get 2 weeks, and a couple of long train journeys are planned), and make some posters on "there/they're/their" among others. I also intend checking she knows the first 100 words and the next 200 words I printed off when she was small. Her reading is fine (well, proper nouns in Edward Lear or the Bible cause problems), so I don't think there is a problem there.

Any other suggestions?

Cheers!

I'm looking from a really peculiar angle. Imagine you are interviewing for the new position in your company. Skill shortage is hampering your company growth and also the number of applicants of which there are two. You interview both. The applicants are twins. They are married to twins and both have two children born on the same dates. Both drive the same car and work for the same company in the same position. They live in opposite sides of the same semi detached homes. They both have exactly the same qualifications. The same GCSE's grades, A level grades and a top of the range degree all in the same subjects. Indeed the harder you look for any difference the less you find any. Except one glaring difference. One was educated at Oxford University whilst the other went to Hull University.

It's a simple question ... who do you employ and more importantly, why?

The average response is to employ the twin who went to Oxford and in support answers range from she's had a better education to she will have better social skills.

Hmm ... the answer that most business's would want to hear is that you would employ the one that went to Hull University. Why? With less resources available to them at Hull they achieved the same results as their twin. A reflection of the world we live in is that most of us have to cope with limited resources.

We have one child ... so our lot is easy. We don't push her. Although she is well incentivised. And for reasons that genuinely escape me we see her competing. I often find myself stressing to her that she should only compete with herself. Set her own standards. No glass ceilings, no false bottoms.

As a parent I "worry". Lots. But that doesn't seem to benefit my daughter. She seems to do her best when she gets praise for good work. And I have never asked her how her friends have done in tests. I don't compare her to the others. I take the view that she will learn in her own time and at her own speed. She's highly intelligent. Enough to deliver "just enough". Which I know will become a weakness if left un-challenged.

I hope I've broken the ice a little. Because I wanted to be a little more brave than I already have been. Have you asked your daughter how she feels about this? Have you reassured her that she hasn't failed? And have you asked her how she would like to learn to fill this "small" breach? Perhaps she may give you a clue as to how she learns and you could tailor something to suit her? I hasten to add I realise you have more than one child and will be busy too.

I know I sound like a pompous git ... an old wound ... and one I find myself apologising for on many occasions.

If I recall correctly when she was 8 my daughter had weekly spelling tests at school. We practised them with her. And she was incentivised to work hard on them. Sticker books, stars and even on the odd occasion some sweets. We never pushed her. We never set her targets. We never did anything other than praise her, regardless of her marks. Because we were looking for her effort. And she did work hard. I know we all parent in different ways and we all parent in ways which we feel are best suited to us.

Don't worry. Sheesh I can't believe I said that :roll: Don't overthink this - and again I should practice this more ... and try not to pressure yourself or your daughter with timelines. She's got loads of time to pick this up and she will.

I have to fess up that the largest thing I've learned about being a parent is I am the one that has the most learning to do.

AiY

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Re: Spelling

#259809

Postby Urbandreamer » October 24th, 2019, 10:26 am

Bouleversee wrote:I presume the majority of people who contribute to forums (excluding this one, of course) are not averagely intelligent, then. I never cease to be amazed at the low standard of literacy displayed in the various posts, whatever the topic.


I fear that you confuse intelligence with litracy and litracy with an ability to write, assuming that you were not being ironic.

I regard myself as at least averagely intelligent haveing managed to obtain a BSc and am currently taking a course upon reading.
This one in fact.
https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses ... ading.html

Unfortunately the ability to read and the amount that I read does very little to improve my ability to communicate in the written form.

I almost responded to BJ's post, but they did make it clear that they were talking about average non-dyslexic children.

I was repeatedly told that reading would improve my spelling, yet it didn't prove to be the case. I can't however claim that my experiance is the general case.
Reading can improve the vocablary, however the spoken word and the written word are often quite different.
As mentioned spelling and pronounciation can differ. It was a long time before I learned the pronounciation of paradigm.
You also come across artifacts in writing that you would never hear in conversation. Nobody in their right mind would string together houndreds of words in a spoken sentence as some authors have done.

Saddly I can't offer any advice to the OP. As you can imagine, suporting my own children through the process of learning to read and write proved chalanging for me.

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Re: Spelling

#259823

Postby Dod101 » October 24th, 2019, 10:51 am

An ability to write is, I would have thought, the ability to translate one's thoughts to paper, express ideas and so on. I guess that Bouleversee when she mentions the low standard of literacy, means the almost inevitable spelling errors that continuously crop up on these posts. Some of that is probably no more than carelessness, and the thought that it does not really matter as long as the general sense was there.

As for a reading course I must say I have never felt the need. I read at least one book a week in the summer months and two or three in the winter when I cannot get out so much. I read mostly non fiction but some fiction just for fun and a change. When I was young, I haunted our local public library.

For spelling, well I was taught to keep a decent dictionary close by and I still have that (Chambers 20th Century is good because I like the etymology of words as well as just the meaning) A dictionary is great because you learn the meaning and the spelling in one go.

For youngsters I would imagine that reading must be one of the great ways of learning to spell. Grammar is something else of course and needs to be taught.

Just my thoughts. I have no advice on the original topic.

(With apologies for any spelling errors!)

Dod

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Re: Spelling

#259873

Postby PinkDalek » October 24th, 2019, 2:30 pm

Urbandreamer wrote:
Bouleversee wrote:I presume the majority of people who contribute to forums (excluding this one, of course) are not averagely intelligent, then. I never cease to be amazed at the low standard of literacy displayed in the various posts, whatever the topic.


I fear that you confuse intelligence with litracy and litracy with an ability to write, assuming that you were not being ironic. ...


Before anyone takes you to task on the spelling errors in your post, I believe you have previously said you are dyslexic and, if so, hopefully my reminder will stop others from going on the attack.

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Re: Spelling

#259879

Postby vrdiver » October 24th, 2019, 2:57 pm

At the age of six I moved from the USA to the UK. At the time, that meant I was way behind my classmates in English.

I remember (vividly) hours of being forced to make words with a pack of lexicon cards or to spot words within a group of said cards. I hated it.

My uncle started to buy me comics (Beano etc.) and would read some of it to me, but left me to read the remainder.

At 16 I achieved two A grades in English Literature and Language.

To the OP, your positive support for your daughter sounds fantastic. I'd just like to add that BJ's advice really worked for me as a kid...
bungeejumper wrote:A former English teacher writes:

... whatever you do, encourage her to read everything she can lay her hands on.


To Bouleversee - my apologies for the many errors I make when typing. When I see them they annoy me too :oops:

VRD

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Re: Spelling

#259896

Postby Bouleversee » October 24th, 2019, 4:03 pm

Urbandreamer said:

"I fear that you confuse intelligence with litracy and litracy with an ability to write, assuming that you were not being ironic. " I was being ironic, finding it difficult to believe the teacher's assertion in the light of what I read every day but I don't think I am confusing literacy with an ability to write. My understanding (confirmed by checking with my dictionary) is that literacy is an ability to write correctly. What does your Chambers dictionary say, Dod? Yes, we can all make typos and careless mistakes when we are in a hurry and don't read things through but my impression is that there are far more people now, including those typing business letters and journalists in respected newspapers, who are not dyslexic but simply don't know how to spell and punctuate than there were in my parents' day. They were totally literate and numerate despite having gone to the local state school and left at 14 and I don't think they were exceptions.

Many of those contributing to forums may be foreigners but there are plenty of people who have had an English education who can't spell but don't seem to be aware of it or don't care. It must make life very difficult if you don't know when you don't know and can't copy what is in front of you. I sympathise but I don't know what the answer is. Perhaps getting the pronunciation right helps. FWIW I was sent to live with my grandparents during the war as Hull was a bomb target and nobody ever read me a story or got involved in my education outside school so I guess it comes down to good luck, good teaching, interest, self-motivation and application in most cases, other than dyslexics and those with other identifiable conditions. I do know a few people who are very intelligent and ambitious who have a problem with spelling and may be dyslexic. However, spellcheck will fortunately now compensate to a large degree and maybe it no longer matters as much as it used to, sad though that is to us pedants.

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Re: Spelling

#259899

Postby Dod101 » October 24th, 2019, 4:19 pm

Literacy:- condition of being literate.

Literate:- learned: able to read and write, an educated person without a university degree, especially a candidate for orders.

Sounds all a bit old fashioned these days but then my dictionary dates from 1977. Anyway it certainly bears out my idea of a literate person although I did not associate it particularly with a candidate for orders, I must say.

Does that help Bouleversee?

Dod

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Re: Spelling

#259903

Postby scottnsilky » October 24th, 2019, 4:40 pm

However, spellcheck will fortunately now compensate to a large degree and maybe it no longer matters as much as it used to, sad though that is to us pedants.[/quote]

Unfortunately for us pedants, Spellcheck will always give us the American spelling.

It seems very common, people, professional writers and others, not to proof read their work. Very often in a lot of articles, in addition to poor spelling, whole words are missing.

dp

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Re: Spelling

#259910

Postby Bouleversee » October 24th, 2019, 5:04 pm

Well, it's not exactly crystal clear, is it, Dod? If you have a university degree are you not literate, then? My Collins dictionary (a prize for winning an FT or Times crossword competition) gives two meanings: 1) the ability to read and write; 2) the ability to use language proficiently, which I took to mean using correct grammar and spelling. I did read elsewhere that spelling is one of the top 5 skills needed for childhood literacy, though it doesn't say what sort of spelling. Perhaps bad spelling is acceptable :lol:

Maybe I am a little confused so I'll leave it there.
Last edited by Bouleversee on October 24th, 2019, 5:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Bouleversee
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Re: Spelling

#259912

Postby Bouleversee » October 24th, 2019, 5:10 pm

scottnsilky wrote:

"It seems very common, people, professional writers and others, not to proof read their work. Very often in a lot of articles, in addition to poor spelling, whole words are missing."

In the days when I used to work for The Times, we used to have sub-editors and proof-readers, of course, and I don't remember seeing any such errors.
Sir William Haley must be turning in his grave.

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Re: Spelling

#259918

Postby vrdiver » October 24th, 2019, 5:22 pm

Bouleversee wrote:In the days when I used to work for The Times, we used to have sub-editors and proof-readers, of course, and I don't remember seeing any such errors.
Sir William Haley must be turning in his grave.

In the days when people paid for news, such luxuries* could be afforded. When newspapers started to give their content away for free, proofreading and proper editing went out the window.

VRD

*Luxury might be considered a necessity by some. I wouldn't argue against that view.

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Re: Spelling

#259920

Postby Dod101 » October 24th, 2019, 5:31 pm

Bouleversee wrote:Well, it's not exactly crystal clear, is it, Dod? If you have a university degree are you not literate, then? My Collins dictionary (a prize for winning an FT or Times crossword competition) gives two meanings: 1) the ability to read and write; 2) the ability to use language proficiently, which I took to mean using correct grammar and spelling. I did read elsewhere that spelling is one of the top 5 skills needed for childhood literacy, though it doesn't say what sort of spelling. Perhaps bad spelling is acceptable :lol:

Maybe I am a little confused so I'll leave it there.


If you wish to 'leave it there' no problem but I think they take one with a university degree as an academic and clearly (in their eyes anyway) one must be literate to achieve that status. I think your Collins dictionary is giving as good a definition as any, though.

Dod

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Re: Spelling

#259954

Postby Bouleversee » October 24th, 2019, 7:03 pm

vrdiver wrote:
Bouleversee wrote:In the days when I used to work for The Times, we used to have sub-editors and proof-readers, of course, and I don't remember seeing any such errors.
Sir William Haley must be turning in his grave.

In the days when people paid for news, such luxuries* could be afforded. When newspapers started to give their content away for free, proofreading and proper editing went out the window.

VRD

*Luxury might be considered a necessity by some. I wouldn't argue against that view.


I pay £43.33 per month for my Times and Sunday Times, hardly a give away. In fact, I am debating whether it's worth the money, especially as they tend to accumulate in the house as I don't have time to finish reading them.

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Re: Spelling

#259955

Postby Bouleversee » October 24th, 2019, 7:06 pm

Dod101 wrote:
Bouleversee wrote:Well, it's not exactly crystal clear, is it, Dod? If you have a university degree are you not literate, then? My Collins dictionary (a prize for winning an FT or Times crossword competition) gives two meanings: 1) the ability to read and write; 2) the ability to use language proficiently, which I took to mean using correct grammar and spelling. I did read elsewhere that spelling is one of the top 5 skills needed for childhood literacy, though it doesn't say what sort of spelling. Perhaps bad spelling is acceptable :lol:

Maybe I am a little confused so I'll leave it there.


If you wish to 'leave it there' no problem but I think they take one with a university degree as an academic and clearly (in their eyes anyway) one must be literate to achieve that status. I think your Collins dictionary is giving as good a definition as any, though.

Dod


Maybe clarity of meaning is more important than correct spelling and punctuation and is surely a sine qua non of literacy.

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Re: Spelling

#259965

Postby Dod101 » October 24th, 2019, 8:10 pm

Bouleversee wrote:I pay £43.33 per month for my Times and Sunday Times, hardly a give away. In fact, I am debating whether it's worth the money, especially as they tend to accumulate in the house as I don't have time to finish reading them.


I agree with you about the cost. I do the same though and a bit extra to have them delivered by 8 am each day. The FT on a Saturday though is £4!

Dod

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Re: Spelling

#259997

Postby Bouleversee » October 24th, 2019, 9:46 pm

Dod -

Same here. An awful lot of paper to plough through in order to find the odd nugget. Mine are delivered around 6 a.m. on weekdays.

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Re: Spelling

#260261

Postby Charlottesquare » October 26th, 2019, 2:09 am

AsleepInYorkshire wrote:
Loup321 wrote:The small one is 8 years old, and was homeschooled until just after her 8th birthday. She went into Year 3 just after the May half term. She's just had her first parents' consultation, after 5 weeks in Year 3 and 7 weeks in Year 4, and she has a problem with spelling.
We got a chance to look through her workbooks, and there is a definite problem with "thay" instead of "they" and using the wrong "there". Most of the problems are that she just hasn't learnt the word and tries to spell it phonetically, but the "stupid English language" (as we came to call it when she was still homeschooled) has too many irregular words. The teacher sometimes highlights the incorrectly spelt words and sometimes doesn't (children mark their own work a lot, it seems), but she never corrects the spellings, so I don't know how the small one is to improve. If I can get a list of the problem words, I have the time to look for patterns and do some work over the weekends, but I don't know whether the teacher (or the small one for that matter) would have time to write out a list of problem words each week.

My initial plan is to revisit the phonics workbook we had over this half term (we get 2 weeks, and a couple of long train journeys are planned), and make some posters on "there/they're/their" among others. I also intend checking she knows the first 100 words and the next 200 words I printed off when she was small. Her reading is fine (well, proper nouns in Edward Lear or the Bible cause problems), so I don't think there is a problem there.

Any other suggestions?

Cheers!

I'm looking from a really peculiar angle. Imagine you are interviewing for the new position in your company. Skill shortage is hampering your company growth and also the number of applicants of which there are two. You interview both. The applicants are twins. They are married to twins and both have two children born on the same dates. Both drive the same car and work for the same company in the same position. They live in opposite sides of the same semi detached homes. They both have exactly the same qualifications. The same GCSE's grades, A level grades and a top of the range degree all in the same subjects. Indeed the harder you look for any difference the less you find any. Except one glaring difference. One was educated at Oxford University whilst the other went to Hull University.

It's a simple question ... who do you employ and more importantly, why?

The average response is to employ the twin who went to Oxford and in support answers range from she's had a better education to she will have better social skills.

Hmm ... the answer that most business's would want to hear is that you would employ the one that went to Hull University. Why? With less resources available to them at Hull they achieved the same results as their twin. A reflection of the world we live in is that most of us have to cope with limited resources.


We have one child ... so our lot is easy. We don't push her. Although she is well incentivised. And for reasons that genuinely escape me we see her competing. I often find myself stressing to her that she should only compete with herself. Set her own standards. No glass ceilings, no false bottoms.

As a parent I "worry". Lots. But that doesn't seem to benefit my daughter. She seems to do her best when she gets praise for good work. And I have never asked her how her friends have done in tests. I don't compare her to the others. I take the view that she will learn in her own time and at her own speed. She's highly intelligent. Enough to deliver "just enough". Which I know will become a weakness if left un-challenged.

I hope I've broken the ice a little. Because I wanted to be a little more brave than I already have been. Have you asked your daughter how she feels about this? Have you reassured her that she hasn't failed? And have you asked her how she would like to learn to fill this "small" breach? Perhaps she may give you a clue as to how she learns and you could tailor something to suit her? I hasten to add I realise you have more than one child and will be busy too.

I know I sound like a pompous git ... an old wound ... and one I find myself apologising for on many occasions.

If I recall correctly when she was 8 my daughter had weekly spelling tests at school. We practised them with her. And she was incentivised to work hard on them. Sticker books, stars and even on the odd occasion some sweets. We never pushed her. We never set her targets. We never did anything other than praise her, regardless of her marks. Because we were looking for her effort. And she did work hard. I know we all parent in different ways and we all parent in ways which we feel are best suited to us.

Don't worry. Sheesh I can't believe I said that :roll: Don't overthink this - and again I should practice this more ... and try not to pressure yourself or your daughter with timelines. She's got loads of time to pick this up and she will.

I have to fess up that the largest thing I've learned about being a parent is I am the one that has the most learning to do.

AiY


The slight problem with your mind experiment is that whilst you say they have the same qualifications they likely do not, one has say a 1st from Oxford the other a 1st from Hull, are these the same? They are both labelled firsts but what is required to gain a first from the two different institutions may be different (I have read, for example, that maths paper at Oxford are more difficult than those at most other universities)

So those you might ask who answer Oxford may have a degree of logic within their answer. I do appreciate and accept the similar achievement from lower ranked institution argument though I more accept it at school level (social issues, ethos to succeed, family home with not, say, private study space) but distinctly less so within higher education.

I also think employers do consider where rather than absolute grade, of course they may be wrong in such an approach but experience may have taught them that institution may have an impact on ability.


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