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Old November 18th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by shawn1224 View Post
My wife recently got a call from our son’s teacher and I found out that my 10 year old son is failing fifth grade. He has not been turning in his homework on time (if at all), he’s scoring miserably on tests and come to find out he has been hiding all his work in his book bag. I work from sun up to sun down so it’s hard for me to spend enough quality time with him, but I always find time to question him about homework and how his progress in school is coming along. He even went so far as to forge a signature on his progress report card which is just unacceptable. My wife is nearly in tears because we expect so much more from him and what really disheartens me, is that this is so out of character for him. He’s normally a soft spoken, well mannered kid who loves doing things for other people. Up until fifth grade he has been a straight A student on the honor roll.

As I’m typing this now, I’m getting ready to head home and my first instinct is to lay into him with the belt but even then I’m still puzzled as to what could be the root of the problem. We have no family issues at home, I always talk to him, and my kids never want for anything. I just can’t fathom how he can be failing fifth grade. I’m wondering if it’s just sheer laziness but then again that’s out of character for him as well.

Any advice from parents that have had similar situations would be so appreciated.

I apologize, wrong lounge. If a mod could move it, thanks.
Here is how I would handle it with my child.

I would tell him (my oldest is almost 9 and a her... but still) that he is going to get the belt for forging my signature.

I don't know what else is going on and I intend to find out, but forging my signature is unacceptable. It prevented me from finding out about the problem earlier and helping my son better.

I would give him the belt (spank wife is terrified of us using a belt... the compromises we make huh?).

Then I would give him an hour to think about WHAT'S going on at school. Chances are, he doesn't really know himself, but this will give him time to come down from being whipped with the belt, so that you can have a calm and honest heart to heart.

during the heart to heart.... I would tell him that you are disappointed in his performance at school. However, it is so out of character for him and such a deviation from his past performance that you believe that there is something bothering him that is effecting his performance. Listen to him and listen to what he says.

Regardless of what he says, implement a system that ensures his homework gets done and back to the teacher. I don't know how that system will work. That depends on you, your son, and your teacher. I don't know any of you well enough to suggest that. However, WE had a daily form sent home that we signed and sent back. It detailed the homework for the day and her daily behavior.

I would talk to his teacher, and if the teacher has no idea what it could be that's affecting his performance, then I would demand (don't ask, because Principals will believe you are required to do what THEY say for as long as you let them) that the principal change your son to a different teacher. If a previously "A" student is failing all of the sudden for no apparent reason, then it's just not working with this teacher. You are not required for your son to STAY with this teacher if they just aren't working out. You CAN have your son moved to a different classroom to see if he will improve under a different teacher.

It's not a reflection on the teacher. If your son just isn't connecting well, don't wait for him to fail and repeat the fifth grade before you make a change.

Plus, if it's the teacher bullying him (it happens), he will likely be removed from that situation. If it's another student in his class, that may also give him some relief from the situation.

This is what I would do if it were MY child.
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Last edited by byteware; November 18th, 2010 at 09:15 AM.
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