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  1. #1
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    Default Parenting Question- School- stay back, Move ahead?

    I have a parenting question for you all, I would love any and all input, (even blame if need be).

    I have a child in the 5th grade. He is very bright, yet chooses to do the absolute BARE minimum when it comes to school work. This child takes NO pride in his work what-so-ever. DH and I have set down with him nearly Every single night of the week to force him to complete his homework, we've had to make him rewrite assignments that are atrocious.
    He will lie to our faces that his homework is complete and when I ask him specifically, are you sure ALL your homework is done, he'll say "yes". I'll say, "What about your Spelling", oh gee he forgot. I just went over every subject with him and he had 3 items of homework that he conveniently "forgot" about.
    Although he has the ability to handle the work and the is very bright, he chooses to do NOTHING every chance he gets. We are exhausted from this year- it's the 4th quarter and we have spent every single night asking, re-asking. I'm tired of it, I've had enough. We've sat him down and explained how important it is to have a decent education. He could care less.

    We have tried an "earn rewards" program, for every "A" he gets $5, for every "B" - $2.50, etc, but that didn't seem to work. We tried giving him a later bedtime and more privileges if he gets decent grades, that didn't seem to matter.

    At this point, we are considering asking the school to keep him back a year to give him a little time to Mature and maybe get a grip that he has to get off his rear and DO something! (Actually, we wouldn't have to ask, if we dont call his teachers and ask them to send his school books home he "forgets" them anyway.)

    I've even contacted the teachers and made him get his daily planner signed each day by his teachers to show that he's actually written down homework assignments, although this didn't work well, because his teachers say that he is in 5th grade (which is Middle School here) and they dont have time to babysit.


    Homeschooling is NOT an option for us, I cannot motivate this child to DO something & I do NOT have the patience. I'm ready to jump off a building just trying to get him to do a little homework each night.

    Suggestions? Thoughts? Ideas? Anyone?
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Parenting Question- School- stay back, Move ahead?

    Tutoring?

    Is there a different school that he could attend? Change of environment may do him some good.

    Holding him back for another year with the same environment and expecting a different result does not seem to be the answer.

    Can he change teachers? Does he not understand?

    Herlean
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Parenting Question- School- stay back, Move ahead?

    Have you tested him for learning disabilities? I understand that he is very bright and capable, but perhaps he has problems transfering the work back into his assignments? Every fiber of my being is screaming that this is not just a contrary kid. Its such a strong vibe, I really urge you to look into it further.

    My best friend's 14yr old son scored college level on his tests when given verbally but couldn't focus and follow through on written assignments and bombed the test horribly when it was written. He did everything he could to get out of doing his school work and did the bare minimum he could get away with, much like your son.He also struggled so hard to write (the actual mechanics of writing, although he has no physical problems) that he hated to do it because his hand would literally hurt as he was clutching the pencil so tight to form the words. Once he could type his papers, that barrier was removed. Once he was tested and they learned the best ways to work with his learning styles he began to excel.

    He really sounds like he doesn't want to do the work and there has to be an underlying cause that he, himself, truly might not understand. There is a book called "A Mind at a Time" by Mel Levine, MD that discusses this kind of disconnect in children otherwise bright, capable children.

    Dr. Levine also has a website http://www.allkindsofminds.org and there is a mini checklist that has several of the traits you've mentioned about your son listed: http://www.allkindsofminds.org/ssc/ic_intro.aspx

    Might be worth looking into.

    BTW, you have the right to insist that teachers sign that homework notebook and you need to go to the principal and even the school board if necessary to make it happen. Teachers are required to do whatever is necessary to help your child learn and if it takes a homework notebook and an initial from the teacher (which takes about 5 seconds btw) they should be doing it. If they don't like it - tough. Our school REQUIRES a homework notebook beginning in 3rd grade through high school and I need to sign it to show that I know what work my kid has.

    Good luck
    Monica
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Parenting Question- School- stay back, Move ahead?

    I have children 6, 10, 14, and 21. your son sounds like my 21 year old was in
    the fifith grade. Hind site, if I could go back, I would only allow video games
    on special occasions like when report cards come out with all A's and B's. I
    would have him tested for allergies to foods, like milk. He was diagnosed with
    ADHD when he was 17. I didn't want to put him on a stimulant, so i ignored the
    forgetting and lack of caring about doing a good job. I also would check to see
    if he was depressed. he was, only I thought he was just lazy.I just found out
    about two months ago my son was molested by his best friends stepfather around
    that time and he never told me. He may have trouble making friends which can
    also cause depression. A strong father figure helps alot.
    Sylvan learning center helped my nephew.
    Hope any of these suggesstions help.

    My mother in- law is a teacher, and she suggests, to make the child spend a half
    an hour in each subject even if there is no homework.. usually if there is any
    homework they will do it if they know they have to spend time in the subject
    anyway.
    Debbie
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Parenting Question- School- stay back, Move ahead?

    Mom, I agree with you.... logical concensquences.... you do not do the work, you fail
    You make the choice to do the work, you pass Education is his responsibility and doing the work is his job... I had the same problem with my son about the same age as yours.... when I put it back in his lap and made it his responsibility he buckled down, after repeating a year....

    alana
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Parenting Question- School- stay back, Move ahead?

    Re: Budget101.com : Parenting Question- School- stay back, Move ahead?


    I hate to tell you but they will not hold him back even if you ask. The No Child Left Behind act has the upper hand in this. Children can now fail all classes and still be moved on to the next grade. You would have to have a conference with the school board and the teacher and the principal and a lot of other people and convince them that he needs to be held back. Did he do this in Elementary School? Sometimes Middle School is hard for them to adjust to. My son is homeschooled now but will be going to junior high next year for 9th grade and this is not really where I want him. But I just found out they may be doing some redistricting and he may get to go to the High School next year which makes me fell much better. Patti
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Parenting Question- School- stay back, Move ahead?

    Boy you've written my daughter's life story. She has been this way since the
    3rd grade. Bright and unmotivated. She's in the 9th grade now and still doing
    the same old thing. She recently was ineligble to participate in a huge event
    that is held here at the high school each year. Megan has been waiting for her
    chance to participate since she was in kindergarten. She missed the grade cutoff
    by 2 points...she had a 73 overall average and they demand a 75. Her teachers
    all said if she would have just done her homework, she would have passed their
    classes. I think this disappointment is what finally will get Megan moving. She
    has 3 more years left in hs and three more chances to participate in this event.
    She is so devastated this year, that I know she won't let herself miss out next
    year. And, she actually told me she knows that she has only herself to blame.
    So, I think she's matured some from the experience.

    I think what your son needs is definite consequences for his lack of effort.
    Does he participate in sports or extracurricular activities? Bar him from doing
    so unless he maintains a C average, etc. It sounds like he needs organizational
    skills and focus. I've taken computer priveledges away from Megan for months at
    a time if she isn't doing her work. I don't specifically punish or reward for
    grades. I always tell them that if they do their best and do what is required of
    them, good grades will follow.

    As far as holding your son back, I don't know what to tell you. Thats an
    emotional decision. We held my youngest back in the third grade and it was the
    best thing I could have done for her. She was also very young emotionally for
    her age. Plus she was by far, the smallest child in her grade and was babied
    both in and out of school. But the decision to retain her was made mainly
    because she has some issues with learning and needed time to catch her breath
    and catch up. She's in 4th now and doing really well. I never considered
    holding Megan back. For one thing, with an October birthday, she was already
    one of the oldest in her class. And one of the tallest. Plus my middle child in
    in the grade behind Megan and that would have been catastrophic to pair them in
    the same grade. Also, our principal told me once that keeping a child back for
    maturity reasons doesn't always work. After all, you are putting them in with
    even younger children.


    I have a question. Have you had your son tested for ADD or ADHD? That can
    severely affect organizational capabilities. Megan is ADD. She was diagnosed in
    the 6th grade and went she started taking her medicine, the difference was
    immediate. It didn't overcome the maturity issues, however. My other two have
    ADHD, which means they also have hyperactivity. They are harder workers so with
    assistance and their medicine, they do fine. I don't advocate medicating kids to
    make them compliant, but if your son truly needs something, I'd look into it.

    This is getting long, but one more point. His teachers are not there to
    babysit, but they do have an obligation to do whatever they can to assist your
    son in gaining the skills he needs to succeed. 5th grade is middle school? Thats
    so young. We start in 6th grade and I feel even that is young. They are more
    or less thrown to the wolves before many are prepared. My kid's teachers have
    always been willing to sign homework books, but that sort of falls by the
    wayside if your child doesn't do his part. One of the major things I do is keep
    in contact with my kid's teachers. I am notified by phone or email if they are
    slacking off or having difficulty in class. In middle school, I met with the
    school counselor and all of Megan's teachers to discuss her progress or lack of.
    It helps when they know you are interested in working with them as a team. And
    you certainly are obviously an interested parent.

    Sorry for going on for so long, its just that I've walked where you are walking
    for so long. Frustrated is an understatement. Please keep in touch and let me
    know how things are going. Either at my private email or thru the group. Good
    luck to you and don't give up. Your son may learn the hard way, but he will
    finally learn.
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Parenting Question- School- stay back, Move ahead?

    I probably should have added that he has problems all along, was diagnosed with dyslexia- but at the same time I was told it didnt matter because he was "over it. Once they learn to read, everything else just follows naturally".

    Which is crap, I know, but he can read like you wouldn't believe. He simply devours books. He has very little to NO common sense whatsoever, but I just assumed it was the age. For example, we recently took him to a fair that had funnel cakes for sale, the sign looked like this:

    funnel cakes $3.50
    add sugar .50
    add Ice Cream 1.75
    add fruit 1.25

    He didn't have enough money to purchase a funnel cake, so he ordered a funnel cake with ice cream because it was "$1.75". He just lacks common sense.

    >>He's probably bored stiff in school! Since he is very bright, he isn't being challenged! Perhaps you can find a tutor to challenge his intellect.<<

    I think he IS bored, but not because he's too smart, because he only shows interest in certain subjects and could care less about the rest. If it's not Science, Magic or Harry potter, he has ZERO interest in it.

    I have believed he was ADHD for quite some time, and when he was tested for dyslexia he was also diagnosed as "borderline ADHD, with additional testing needed". But for the sake of not medicating him - which neither my husband nor I want, and the schools here PUSH for Constantly, we didn't engage in further testing. I asked what they could do for him and they said, we have Pills for that.

    Last year he had a REALLY great teacher and he did fine, but this year he has half a dozen teachers, switching classes, he's in a new school because they consolidated all the schools and closed the one he was in. They've closed several schools down in this area and now the kids have to be bussed for an hour every morn and hour every night.
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

 

 

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