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Negligent parent needs advice on resources

Discussion in 'English' started by nipperknowledge, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. nipperknowledge

    nipperknowledge New commenter

    Long story short: taught English for a decade in FE, left 15 years ago for another career. My daughter did well in English at school with no input from me, but my two teenage boys (now 13 and 15) are a disaster and I can't work out where to start to get them on track so they don't bomb at GCSE. They both have hypermobility which affected their handwriting severely; wasn't picked up for ages and the end result is that they've both ended up really avoidant when it comes to writing. I've got a massive stack of GCSE and KS3 workbooks on a shelf in the kitchen but was wondering if anyone could recommend any specific really good resources for this age group where the focus is remedial work - going back to basics in relation to structuring writing, syntax, comprehension etc. Thanks!
  2. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I assume they passed their KS2 Sats ok. SPaG and technical vocabulary is forced down their neck at this stage. I feel this is why so many children disengage with English.
    GCSE is massively different from when you taught it. No more coursework.
    I always nag my GCSE students: reading, reading, reading, reading.
    Those who read regularly tend to have better vocabulary and comprehension. Generally, if they don't read, they can't write. Try to find out what they are reading at school and go over it with them. Read with them as often as possible - Stopping and asking 'What does that word mean?' You will be amazed how often they will answer 'Dunno'.
    Reading newspapers, magazines covering whatever interests they have, watching news and current affairs programmes are also important.
    You will probably need some new KS3 workbooks. There are some excellent ones available which are geared to prepare for GCSE. There are also many excellent resources available both on here and other sites. You may wish to look at Functional Skills resources which tend to focus on the basics. Google skillsworkshops.
    Remember they have to take Lang and Lit. If they fail Lang they will have to retake it ad nauseum. Try to read the GCSE Lit texts with them and discuss in detail. They will need to read them at least 3 times to get a grip.
    Of course, there is a distinct possibility that they may not want to work with their Mum . You may have to employ a tutor.
    Mrsmumbles and blueskydreaming like this.
  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    In addition, BBC Bitesize may be useful for them (and you!), and there are loads of helpful videos on YouTube for the texts they're studying for Literature, as well as guides on how to answer the different questions for different exam boards (e.g. Mr Bruff - he also has books available on Amazon; Wisecrack (may contain mild swearing), but uses humour to engage which may appeal; SparkNotes (YouTube and own website) - also available from SparkNotes is 'No Fear Shakespeare', where the texts are translated into modern English to aid understanding.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  4. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Can you maybe get them an assessment...hopefully eventually leading to extra time allocation? Maybe they can learn touch typing as this may well be easier for them. Takes lads a while to speed up, but Summer is on the way and they could blitz this in an intensive course. I have taught several boys with handwriting difficulties...once an assessment comes through, hopefully laptop use will be suggested as one option? Could make all the difference to lesson, homework and exam engagement across the board at GCSE.
  5. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Yes indeed!
  6. kvjm14

    kvjm14 New commenter

    games- get them to write their own Kahoots....they can do others' to see how it works- it;s free.....film trailers- ask questions to ensure understanding and intro new vocab when discussing......treats ( as opposed to bribes) ask an older child to talk to them about how successful they are because of GCSE English.....get an older child to work with them......Read to them- as a pleasure ......fun fun is the best way....can they read to someone in a retirement home?
  7. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Great advice!
  8. lynne33

    lynne33 New commenter

    Should be able to apply for laptop concession if you can prove it is a normal way of working.

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