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Making careless mistakes in school

My 8 yr old has been bringing home papers week after week with low grades on them for careless mistakes. Like not putting his name on his papers or capitalizing or punctuation (especially on a paper about punctuation!). How do I get him to slow down and check his work and be more responsible? He doesn't seem to care very much at this point. I already make him redo the work if the grade is lower than 85 but should I be doing more?

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Asked by gdaymom at 5:02 PM on Sep. 23, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (7)
  • Maybe seeing if there is some kind of tutoring program the school has and make sure that you aren't just nagging at him about his homework but also taking the time to let him know that he's done a good job. And when he does bring home a good paper make sure to take just as much time you do nagging and congradulation him on his good work

    Answer by JJzMaMa87 at 5:16 PM on Sep. 23, 2008

  • Does he have the time to check?I know students have a certain amount of time to do work, What does his teacher say about this? And what grade?

    Answer by Kat122 at 5:21 PM on Sep. 23, 2008

  • When I was teaching, I would make my students stay in during recess if need be to do their assignment correctly. It would only take a time or two to realize they didn't like this, especially when they half the time they were hurrying to be done to go out and play with friends.

    Does the teacher have any charts up in the classroom, or emphasize what they need to have on their papers before they turn in? When I taught 4th and 5th, we'd have a spot on the board with what we wanted on the top of the paper, and somewhere, a chart with a checklist of what to proofread for. You can always make one for your son on a sticky note and he can put it on his desk if the teacher is okay with that.

    Answer by dimplz125 at 6:35 PM on Sep. 23, 2008

  • He's in 3rd grade. There is a lot more expected of the kids this year. I am encouraging him and complimenting him on good papers. For the past 3 years he's gotten excellent grades. That's why I'm more concerned now that he's making so many careless mistakes. I feel like I'm becoming a nag and that certainly won't help matters. Some of the material he doesn't understand and I'm ok with making a poor grade because he doesn't comprehend a subject (there's tutoring available for that if necessary). It's just little things. I'm telling myself to relax about it since school just started but this just isn't typical of his usualy work habits. Am I overreacting?

    Answer by gdaymom at 7:54 PM on Sep. 23, 2008

  • I just met with my son's teacher yesterday, and found he's got the same problem. One thing I discovered was that when he is doing his homework, I tell him when he's got something wrong. I don't say WHAT is wrong, but I tell him, "There's something wrong there". B/c I would tell him, he didn't bother to check. So last night, I didn't do that. I watched, and noted in my own head any problems, and then told him to doublecheck his work.
    I also talked to him, and told him that he was too smart to get bad grades for careless mistakes like this. I told him that if he didn't start taking more time to check his work, he would end up doing more work at home to try to make the grades better, and did he really want to lose out on playtime at home when he could just take that 5 extra minutes, if that much, in class to doublecheck his work?
    Now I just have to see if this all works.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 8:33 AM on Sep. 24, 2008

  • My DD came home with some not so great grades last week. We told her if she would work really hard this next week and recheck her work, we would buy her a small model to put together. My DH's purpose in this is to teach her that if she misses just one step it can throw her entire math problem off leaving her with a wrong answer. We will see Friday if it worked.

    Answer by TWINS609 at 12:33 PM on Sep. 24, 2008

  • have you spoke to the teacher? My daughter just went through this. and as i suspected, she's distracted b/c she talks, or her friends talk to her and she won't just ignore them. i talked to her a few times, then her teacher sent a note home because one day it was particularly bad. i ended up taking away her nintendo until her classwork came home consistently complete, on time, and neat. since then the papers have improved. i still have the nintendo because i want there to be a sustained change, not just, i'll do it a few days and get back my toy.

    Answer by thelifeilead at 11:05 AM on Sep. 26, 2008

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