Saturday, October 25, 2008


It's been a while since I've felt unsure about how to deal with an issue when it comes to my son.

Ben has always been a very good student. Fifth grade is a big jump at his school. Work becomes more demanding and the adjustment has not been easy for him. Until this year, he never needed to review his work before handing it in and by not doing so, he is not seeing the usual grades he is accustomed to.

Today my husband picked him up at school and Ben burst into tears over a math test result. He was so upset he forgot to bring home some of his school books needed to complete his homework...

I wish I knew exactly what to do. All I can think of is to focus on his skills in terms of keeping organized and reviewing work before handing it in.

How much do you push and how do you know when they are doing the best they can do?


OHN said...

This is sooo tough. My oldest sailed through everything, barely cracking a book and is still like that and on the Deans list at college.

The middle one, well lets just say that we have struggled since about 4th grade with him. It is very hard to know when they truly hit the wall or if they are just not interested.

Do you know if there are any circumstances at school that are stressing him out? Tough teacher, negative feedback, excessive distractions etc.

Each child has their own rhythm. I would take him out for ice cream or something and chat about what HE thinks the problem is. He may not be able to explain it well but you will figure out by listening and hearing between the lines, where the problem might be.

For our middle son it was a matter of routine. When his structure was altered it sent him completely off course and he couldn't manage to get back on track. He was very easily distracted when he was bored with the subject too which led to missed assignments and "I didn't know I had to do that" or "the teacher never told us" yet all of the other kids managed to hear the assignments.

It is very frustrating I know. I would start with your son and let him know how proud you are of him and the person that he is. A call to the teachers might be enlightening too. They may be noticing something that your son hasn't told you about yet.

Most of all let him know how much you love him and that you are in his corner and are willing to help however you can. Even just knowing that you aren't angry but concerned could lighten his worry enough to turn things around.

Sorry about the novel, I just know how hard this type of situation is.

Kranki said...

I have no suggestions as I don't have kids but give the little guy a hug from me. I can relate most days.

ellesu said...

I wish I had some wisdom to offer, but....I don't. All I can say is that I hope things even out soon for Ben (and you).

My daughter hit a bump in the road at about the same age/grade. It was the first time she had been really challenged and she thought something was wrong with her because all of a sudden she was having to actually study and struggle.

Several of her friends had similar problems, especially when they began changing classes and using lockers. One of her classmates becsame so worried that he would be late to class or not remember which books he needed that he didn't use his locker for most of the first semester -- he just lugged everything around.

That was some years ago and to this day I still think the teachers pushed that goup too hard too early. (But, maybe I'm just being a mom.) They were a high achieving group of kids that had been together since testing in kindergarten and they were used to success. Some of us wondered if keeping them together was the best thing to do since they didn't get to see that struggle was the norm.

And, yes, organization and review are good things to stress.

jodi said...

Wish that I could offer you some good advice but after thinking of this for two days I just remember the frustration of dealing with S2. His is more of time management which he has had to get better with at college.

Ohn and Ellesu have said it best. Organization and review are good things to work on. Especially since you know that Ben is a good kid.