Too Much Pressure?

Charlie is such a lovely little chap. At 6, he is bright, happy and despite the ability to be a bit of a diva at times on the whole he’s a pretty easy kid. He is now in year 1 at school and from what we can gauge from his teachers reports he is really excelling especially in his maths. But with this good progress and sound knowledge brings homework and this is where I’m starting to worry.

Charlie is putting enormous pressure on himself to get things right. I am sat writing this after we had tears when practising his spellings in which he got 3 out of 10. Phonics have worked really well in his reading but when it comes to spellings it’s proving that little bit harder to grasp. But in all fairness if you have been taught to sound out the letters words such as said, treasure, little and injure are proving a bit of a challenge this week. By Wednesday we are starting to get over the hump in the road and he’s clicking with them but today there was a meltdown.

I have never ever put any pressure on his learning in any capacity. Yes we practise spellings, just as we would other subjects, but I’ve never told him he needs to get a certain amount right or been a pushy parent. I would like to think I encourage more than pressurise in all aspects of his learning and hobbies.

My parents never put any weight of expectation on my shoulders and I knew it was OK to make mistakes and it wasn’t the be all to be perfect. But where oh where has this self imposed pressure my little boy is putting on himself come from?

He is only 6. I sometimes wonder if he is actually too young to be having homework at all (we didn’t until at the very earliest year 3) but I have never experienced him get so worked up about getting something wrong. In general he is not a hugely competitive child and never has been which is why it has come as such a surprise and is hard to watch him curl his fists in anger and say he is going to get them all wrong.

I may go and chat to his teacher because I don’t want him worrying about something that really isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things but I worry that nothing is going to change this. I have persistently tried to convey that everyone makes mistakes and he’s not going to get told off for getting one wrong but whilst he nods I don’t think it’s sinking in.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Would love to get any feedback or advice as it’s breaking my heart.

B xx

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  1. 1st May 2015 / 7:09 am

    Oh no! Poor Charlie, I hope you come up with a solution to help him soon.


    • 1st May 2015 / 7:12 am

      Me too. He’s never been like this before which is why it’s such a shock and horrible to see xx

  2. 1st May 2015 / 8:23 am

    Oh no, poor Charlie. I’d definitely speak to his teacher and see what they would advise, I bet they’ve come across it before especially as it’s Year 1 and when they first start the process of homework etc. I hope it al works out for you both xx

  3. 1st May 2015 / 9:24 am

    Aww! Bless him. It might be worth having a word with his teacher before it becomes a bigger problem….I hope you get something sorted x

  4. 1st May 2015 / 9:51 am

    I have spoken to friends who are primary teachers and my mum was a primary teacher who specialised in literacy and they all agree that learning to read phonetically can prove a challenge for some children when it comes to spellings. My daughter, aged 8, still struggles with the odd spelling because of the phonetic way of reading. So I wouldn’t worry too much about that, but maybe help him out with other ways to learn and remember spellings. It will come, he’s still very little.
    And yes, I agree that there is far too much homework for primary children. I don’t think it is necessary at all until they reach Key Stage 2, and even then it should be limited. We have regular meltdowns over homework and I think it detracts from the learning, not enhances it. Of course I’ve never done this, ‘cough’, but I have heard of parents having quiet words with class teachers and reached agreements about homework, which means it isn’t always done, or at least it may be done differently.

  5. 1st May 2015 / 11:25 am

    Oh dear poor little man, I personally think there is far too much pressure nowadays on Little Ones, My eldest is only 4 and they are having spelling tests every week.
    I don’t ever remember that kind of pressure when I was small.
    Perhaps as the other ladies suggested, put your concerns across to the Teacher first and take it from there.
    I really hope you get it all sorted soon. x

  6. 1st May 2015 / 12:00 pm

    Oh, poor Charlie, and you. I agree with the other comments and I’d definitely have a word with his teacher about it. She needs to know that this is happening at home to look our for at school, and she may have some tips, too.
    My daughter’s only in reception, yet has 2 reading books a week, spellings and maths homework. It is a lot, and I’m sure we had nothing like this when we were little.
    Hope you manage to help Charlie x Thanks for joining in again with #WotW

  7. 1st May 2015 / 1:11 pm

    Oh no, poor Charlie – how sad that he feels so under pressure when he is still so little. I really hope you manage to get to the bottom of it all and help take some of that pressure off his shoulders x

  8. 1st May 2015 / 3:58 pm

    I do think that they put too much pressure on children at an early age. Children should be allowed to be children without the pressure at that age. My eldest is 10 and will be doing his sats next year and I am dreading it as he doesn’t deal with stress well at all. I hope things relax for your little one x #WotW

  9. Karen
    1st May 2015 / 4:17 pm

    Oh bless him. I agree, have a word with his teacher. I don’t think my daughter gets that much homework and she’s in Year 3!

  10. 1st May 2015 / 5:19 pm

    Sorry to hear this Beth, it’s just awful. As far as I’m concerned kids gets pushed way too hard way too young these days. My girl is also in year one and although she’s progressing well, I feel it’s too much for her.

    She’s also started coming out with things like ‘I’m really fat mummy’. She’s not even a slightly chubby child, but has a very tall thin girl in her class that teases her. Everything starts so young these days. My daughter isn’t even six until July 🙁

    Hope you get somewhere with Charlie’s teacher hon x #wotw

  11. Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk)
    1st May 2015 / 7:00 pm

    Aww hope things will be better and he will feel less stressed about school.In my country we start school at age 7 so imagine my horror when my son started school at 4! Too young for me but who am I to question the law =( #wotw

  12. 1st May 2015 / 7:56 pm

    Not really any experience of this from a mum’s point of view, but I was like Charlie when I was little. My mum was encouraging but not pushy, very similar to how you have described yourself, but I just felt this need to do well the best I could, sometimes better than I could. I remember a year 4 teacher once being not very nice to me when I asked for more homework. (though I don’t remember getting homework as early as year 1!)
    I think it’s a good idea to have a chat with his teacher to come up with a way you can both support him to nurture his desire to learn, but to help him realise he doesn’t need to be perfect and that his best is always good enough.

  13. 1st May 2015 / 10:46 pm

    oh it’s so hard to see your child in tears and putting undue pressure on himself. It is worth speaking to the teachers who may give you some strategies to help him at home and they’ll also help him in School.
    Best of luck x

  14. 2nd May 2015 / 9:35 am

    I HATE homework for small kids, my daughter (5) is very much like your son, puts pressure on herself to get things right and when she doesn’t it’s tears and tantrums. Personally I don’t think homework for kids in early school should be, when you hear some countries don’t even start schooling till 7 and our kids have homework at 5 it’s kind of shocking.

  15. 2nd May 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Aww bless him. It’s ridiculous the pressure they put on kids these days and it’s worse as they get older. Definitely have a word with his teacher and voice your concerns, hope it helps x #WotW