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Did you pass your children’s O’ levels/GCSE’s or did they?

(62 Posts)
Missfoodlove Thu 04-Mar-21 08:59:43

A comment on another thread reminded me of a girls night out I had when two of my children were still at school.
One of my friends said she has emailed her daughters French GCSE course work to her sister, an English teacher who lived in France.
Her sister would correct and return.

I was amazed and said naively that I felt that was cheating.
The other two friends defended the action and admitted that they and their spouses did a lot of their children’s course work.

They then turned on me saying that every parent did it and I would be a liar if I said we had not.

I had never done any course work for my children.
We provided them with the tools they needed but that was as far as it went.

Thoughts please.

Calendargirl Thu 04-Mar-21 09:04:51

My children did their GCSE’s 30 odd years ago, when it was more about the actual exams.

Of course what you are describing is wrong, but I suspect a lot of it goes on.

But one day ‘they’ (the children) will have to manage on their own, which is why so many struggle when older, when Mum and Dad are still having to sort everything out for them, at an age when they shouldn’t need to.

Hetty58 Thu 04-Mar-21 09:07:00

I've heard of it - but I'm sure it's not common. Yes, it's cheating and doesn't help learning.

When I was teaching teenagers, I found that kids of horrid, pushy parents were quite often negative and turned off learning.

After all, they didn't really own their work - so couldn't take pride in their achievements.

Ellianne Thu 04-Mar-21 09:09:45

Is this where course work is flawed?

I would have loved to "help" my children but they were fiercely independent and told me my teaching wasn't the same as that at their school! In other words, keep out!

I was in terrible trouble with our eldest son once for throwing away all his GCSE Geography coursework in the middle of a house move. He managed to reproduce it all in next to no time and still achieved top grade! Phew!

Artsandcraftsnanny Thu 04-Mar-21 09:11:00

My children worked hard, no help from me, and definitely not from their dad! Honestly I believe I would have hindered more than I could have helped, they're far more academic than me. They all did really well, went on to A levels, university, and two have post graduate qualifications. If they hadn't learned to do the work independently, they would have struggled at uni.

Grandmabatty Thu 04-Mar-21 09:11:26

I would look over my son's English essays for him, however he invariably left it to the last minute so any help was technical ie sort punctuation etc. I tutored my daughter in English. She was capable but lacked confidence. I was an English teacher at the time and tutored so I knew how to approach it. I definitely didn't do the work for them. Where their other subjects were concerned, I wasn't mathematical nor scientific, so wasn't much use there. I see nothing wrong in supporting their learning but definitely not in doing it for them

GrandmaKT Thu 04-Mar-21 09:14:32

I must admit I helped one of my DC by doing a piece of French coursework once. He was in such a state with it and I said "I will do it, but your teacher will query it because it is so obviously different to the other work you have submitted". Needless to say, it was accepted without query.

vampirequeen Thu 04-Mar-21 09:14:59

I didn't do their work for them. My girls academic achievements as due to their own very hard work.

Puzzler61 Thu 04-Mar-21 09:19:10

Our children had a bedroom each to study quietly in (although one liked music playing in the background) and they got on with it themselves.
They were, and still are, self motivated.
We offered the funds for going on to University, one took that route, while one tried Uni. but it wasn’t for her and she didn’t complete the course but got a job immediately.
This was 20 years ago. I wasn’t aware of other parents doing part of their children’s studies for them, but they may have done.
Some were so keen for their kids to get good exam results they offered money as an incentive. (We didn’t do that either).

Witzend Thu 04-Mar-21 09:21:43

IMO this has been rife ever since coursework counted towards results. It surely disadvantages those children whose parents are unable or unwilling to help.

Mind you I have to confess that a dd helped a neighbour’s dd who was struggling with some NVQ coursework, and I did once spend much of the night typing out whatever it was that dd had to submit for her AS psychology - left to the last minute, as usual....

What shocked me most was hearing that a dd’s friend at university, who’d done the same degree as her father, also submitted his high-scoring final year dissertation, almost word for word.

And of course there was the time when I knitted a lemon for a dd’s friend who had to submit a knitted basket of fruit and veg for her GCSE Home Economics, and time was running out. (‘Could your mum please knit me a lemon, because my mum can’t knit!) 😂
I didn’t feel too bad about it, though, given that she’d already made a much more tricky cauliflower, among other things.

harrigran Thu 04-Mar-21 09:36:25

I would never interfere with DC's course work, they were way more intelligent than me anyway.
When my much younger sister was at school she had to knit a scarf in the school colours, it was nearly the end of term and was not progressing at all so I knit quite a lot of it. When the work was marked the teacher pinned a note to the scarf with fail on it but an A+ for your sister who clearly did the lion's share. I was already married with children and used to knit all the time.

Chardy Thu 04-Mar-21 09:55:59

Even though Sir Keith Joseph was keen to modernise exams, Gove (& Cummings?) dumped a lot of coursework when Secretary of State for Ed, even though in many subjects, it was done was done in class.

Ellianne Thu 04-Mar-21 09:59:58

they were way more intelligent than me anyway

maddyone Thu 04-Mar-21 10:01:21

We supported our children but never did their work for them. My husband was a secondary teacher and he disapproved of course work because he knew lots of parents did it for the pupils. Our children all achieved well without us doing their work for them.

Witzend Thu 04-Mar-21 10:05:37

Ha, @Harrigran, I once got a C+ for doing most of dd’s cookery apron - she loathed needlework (still does.). I was reasonably adept at sewing so was amused and a mite put out in roughly equal measure.
The comment read, ‘Neatness and accuracy are 2 skills which you must practice.’ (I resisted the temptation to tell her that it should have been ‘practise’). 😂

annodomini Thu 04-Mar-21 10:20:38

I'd never have done their work for them. It would have been perfectly obvious to their teachers if I had. They had to stand or fall by their own efforts. When DS2, many years later, DS2 decided to do the OU French course. As I had done it some years previously, I vetted his assignments for grammatical errors, but, of course, he had to take the exams without me. He got a better grade than I did! I know that my sons and their partners haven't been doing their children's assignments for them during lockdown. If there's a glitch with English, they ring omniscient Granny!

Tangerine Thu 04-Mar-21 10:26:29

I supported my children but didn't do the work for them.

As it happened, they liked school and could do the required work reasonably easy. I know that sounds boastful but I don't mean to come across like that.

If they asked me to read through something, I did so. I once or twice made a suggestion that some part of it needed looking at again. They looked again and would have worked it out themselves.

Maths and Science - I had no input as I am not strong on such subjects.

Foreign languages - I was able to help with pronouncing things correctly but they had to sit the oral exam by themselves.

With helping with coursework, I agree it is wrong to do it all for your children but I think supportive encouragement with an occasional helpful suggestion is not too bad. It is the degree of help which is given.

Peasblossom Thu 04-Mar-21 10:26:43

Someone I know is currently doing the bulk of the work for her granddaughters degree. I have no doubt she’ll do most of the work for the subsequent MA. Then somebody will employ the granddaughter on the strength of it and wonder why she’s so hopeless.

timetogo2016 Thu 04-Mar-21 10:34:57

I never even gave it a thought tbh.
It is without doubt cheating,and for those parents/g/parents what you are doing is telling the children it`s okay to cheat.

Urmstongran Thu 04-Mar-21 10:38:23

Some parents are very competitive aren’t they? I used to be amazed when our girls were in infant and junior school and saw the entrants for the Easter Bonnet parade!! Creative works worthy of professional milliners.

Lollin Thu 04-Mar-21 10:40:28

I knew of others who did similar and was very surprised at some who did. I couldn’t understand how people thought they would cope when away at university, some sank others swam so who knows about the education system and the way work is marked

trisher Thu 04-Mar-21 10:46:40

This starts amazingly early when children are given homework. I remember a particular teacher at my children's primary school-aged about 8 they were given a poem to write about a mirror. It was obvious from previous assignments that some parents did the work, so my friend and I wondered if we submitted Sylvia Plath's Mirror would the teacher spot it? But we never had the nerve!

Georgesgran Thu 04-Mar-21 10:49:53

I remember a friend’s son actually had a woodwork project done for him by the teacher! His mother never saw the piece until she saw it in an exhibition of coursework.
I thought it wasn’t right at all.

Redhead56 Thu 04-Mar-21 10:55:03

I sat with my children every school night doing my own studies with them very happy times indeed. I bought them every revision guide they needed which were brilliant. My son and daughter both did very well I gently pushed them to follow their natural vocation. I was determined for them to succeed as it was not how I was brought up.

EllanVannin Thu 04-Mar-21 10:57:46

Sounds like the only way to get on in this world is by cheating and bluffing your way through. shock

Unfortunately I was found out when helping my stepson with his homework years ago when he was given a list of wrongly spelled words. I sailed through it but his teacher gave him nil points and had asked who the speller was in the family because when stepson was put to the test at school, he failed.