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What else can I do for my son????

I got another email from my son's teacher today stating that he just doesn't seem to care about bringing ANY of his homework home. And believe me, when I say we've tried everything, I mean we have literally tried everything from reward and behavior charts, taking things away, grounding, etc.You name it, we've tried it and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IS WORKING. We are trying to find out what is blocking his motivation because he doesn't even want to try but haven't been able to. I'm so afraid that he will get too far behind and not be able to catch up, therefore, failing and having to repeat the fourth grade. I am not giving up but to be totally honest, I feel like doing so sometimes. Then I feel even worse for feeling THAT WAY. And to top it off, I feel like I'm failing him because as a parent, I should know what to don't anymore. I just don't. Also, he started with a new counselor tonight.

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Asked by LovingParent08 at 9:19 PM on Dec. 11, 2008 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 7 (166 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • OK...a couple of ideas...none of them may be convenient (or you may have already tried) but I want to throw them at you anyway:

    1. Have you tried giving you some an assignment book and asking the teacher to sign it daily? This way, you know what has been assigned.

    2. Maybe contact the teacher on a daily basis to see what homework was given, if any. If the teacher has email, then you might be able to send a quick question each day asking if homework was assigned and what it is.

    3. This is the REALLY inconvenient one. Go to the school each day and get the homework personally. If YOU can;t do it, try to find someone (another parent, brother or sister, neighbor, etc) who can.

    I know you would expect them to be a bit more independent and responsible at that age, but maybe you need to show him that you mean business

    Answer by cristie1276 at 9:59 PM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • ^ she has great ideas. maybe try a learning coach? i was VERY un motivated at that age...i almost failed and just squeaked by. have the teachers email you a copy of the homework assignment in advance (if theres books needed you could pick them up or they even have online books) then if he says he doesnt have any then tel him you know otherwise and do it with him.

    Answer by xhellxfirex495 at 11:05 PM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • He could be gifted and feel fustrated that he is not being challenged at school and feel that his homework is way too boring to be done. Also I found that in that grade the homework is on a pretty tight schedule. Like Mondays are copying spelling words, Tuesdays are writing scentences, Wednesday are definations and Thursdays are studying for Fridays test or some such schedule. Ask your childs teacher if this is the case. If so you could ask the teacher to call or email you on Mondays with the weeks spelling list. Then when he gets home the first thing you do is sit him down at the table and complete that days work. There is really not much you can do if the teacher is not willing to communicate with you on what the homework is.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:36 AM on Dec. 12, 2008

  • Fourth grade has been the hardest year this year!, I work at my sons school and I have seen him excel the past 4 years and then all of a sudden!!!!!!! I forgot my spelling book, sloppier writing then last year, more interested in friends and now "how he dresses and are they brand name"???????? WTH? my son was not raised to pay attention to labels!, Come to hear from ALL the 4th grade teachers that at this age they start putting their social lives in check before their academic life, they eventually get through it if the parents DON'T GIVE UP ON THEM. They feel a little pressured to fit into a click and "decide" if they will be the jokers, jocks, bullies, studious, skaters etc. hang in there, he will "adjust" I am crossing my fingers along with you.

    Answer by Gigi1969 at 12:58 AM on Dec. 12, 2008

  • My oldest girl (just turned 31 today) was a born social butterfly. She was more worried about friends and phone calls then her homework. What we did was find some big thing that was coming up. Going to Mts to stay with Aunt. Girl Scout weekend outing. Slumber parties. Then we made a homework chart. If all the homework as agreed on as homework by the teacher. Was done on time then she got to go. If not, No good stuff. After she missed one event. She never missed the homework again. At least not any that I knew of. And I called the school every Mon and asked. She didn't like it. But it worked.


    Answer by granmaw56 at 7:43 AM on Dec. 12, 2008

  • My son is in 3rd grade and I understand your pain. He has a daily assignment notebook that we must sign and each day that it is completed and signed and each week his homework completed there is a reward for the whole class. Positive peer pressure can help sometimes. My son has severe allergies and when they are in overdrive his behaviors mimic add. Have you had testing done at school to make sure there are no hidden learning problems? I had to change jobs last year so i could be at school daily i would go in the classroom during his hardest subjects and personally help him etc. He still hates homework but is learning that getting it done during classtime makes less homework. He also had a teacher that he had to see at the end of each day to check and make sure he had homework etc. then a personal reward for him at the end of each week.

    Answer by orbitlynn at 8:39 AM on Dec. 12, 2008

  • I can so relate to your son!! And you know what??? I STILL can't tell you what my lack of motivation was...besides a low self-esteem. I hate to say it but you may need to just let him flop on his own so that he can realize that HE alone can determine the consequences!! Let him repeat the fourth grade if you have to!! I know that it goes against everything within you as a mother...but maybe it's best that he learn this lesson now??

    IDK...I'm DEF not a professional but he may just need a MAJOR wake-up call.

    Answer by HeathersBabies at 12:07 PM on Dec. 12, 2008

  • i have 3rd 4th and 6th graders. Let me tell you, they don't want to work in a steel mill!! my ex husband and DH both work in them and that's what's out there (or something similar) if you don't get an education. That's what whips mine into shape when they start slacking. Show them what they have to look forward to if they don't do well now. It doesn't get any easier. DH always tells them, "If you don't have a strong mind, you beter have a strong back."

    Answer by drowninginboys at 9:10 PM on Dec. 12, 2008

  • Last year, my son was doing poorly, too. His teacher told me that some students have a really difficult time in fourth grade, for some unexplained reason. (My son wasn't the only one in the class that was having problems doing homework.) DH and I had to get onto our son about his work. The teacher didn't know what caused it but worked with us to help my son improve. Eventually, his grades improved. (I had the same problems in fourth grade.) I think part of it is that there is more homework as the child progresses. For me, that much homework overwhelmed me. I remember looking at the big picture, not the little things that make up that picture. You are doing your best. I hope that whatever the problem is, it will be figured out and corrected, soon. Good luck.

    Answer by dustbunny at 1:42 AM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • Ah, counselor is a great idea. Has the school done any testing through the school pychologist? it is free to you (not for them) and your right to request it. They must test if you want it done. 4th grade is a super hard year and many students I worked with this was the year that made or breaked them in terms of grades and learning. It could be (and I don't know your son or your situation) that he is experiencing a learning difficulty. Many don't show up until this age because chidlren can compensate in lower grades due to the subject matter and lessons are not as difficult so they are not as taxing. It doesn't mean a child is stupid. What it means is that a learning disability may exist and it would be very common for it to not show up until now.

    Answer by frogdawg at 1:31 AM on Dec. 14, 2008

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