“I’m sorry Mum. I just don’t feel very well. I just can’t do my reasoning today. I think that the pain is in my tummy. I just feel shivery and unwell. I think I have the same hay fever that Aunty Isobel has. You never get cross wit her when she is not feeling well. I just keep wanting to sneeze and my eyes are sore.”
“Yes Mum, I know that the last time I felt sick you let me off but this time I really do not feel very well. I think too that I won’t be able to go to school tomorrow. No I don’t think that I need to see the doctor. I’m just feeling miserable.”
“Yes I do know that we have a maths test on Wednesday. But you know that I have been working hard. I think the test will be on fractions and percentages and I really do know how to do them. Uncle Will showed me his `clever’ method so I can do them now. Please let me go to my room. I just don’t feel very well.”
“Well you did tell me to go to my room and revise – but I don’t know what to do. I just stare at the paper and I feel bored. I know you told me to read the questions twice, I know that I am supposed to take my watch off and make sure that I don’t spend too long on a question but I still don’t feel happy about trying to revise.”
So what can you do to try to help your child to do some extra work on those `bad’ days?
Try to be relaxed and confident. You know your child will do the work in the end. There is no need to keep on and on. Discuss various options but don’t try to land up having a set to about work.
Try to take as much interest as possible in what the actual problem is. It may be that the exercise your child is stuck on is simply too hard. If so suggest a change of topic with the promise to return to the hated one on another occasion.
It may not be the work that is worrying your child – it could be that the time that has been selected is simply unattractive. If a certain school day is tiring then why not rearrange the study time?
You certainly don’t want to argue about work. You just want to do the best you can.