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Remove him or let him fail?

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Halfway through the first 9 weeks my son had 1 F and 2 low Ds on his interims.  He is in honors classes.  We took him out of honors classes last year and the fit he threw was disasterous.  He earned the right to get into honors classes again.  I say earned the right because they are very strict on what you have to do to get into them.

He's not failing because he doesn't understand the material.  He's failing because he's not doing the homework because he "doesn't want to."  He knows he needs these classes for the college he wants, he hates the slow pace of the "regular" classes and he knows he doesn't get his license unless he maintains a B average (which he is capable of doing).

HOWEVER he is likely to fail 1-3 classes this 9 weeks even if he straightens up.  Once report cards are issued they will not remove him from the honors classes.  We have 3 weeks left to make a decision.

Would you remove him or let him fail?  For those of you who insist that I sit on him to do his homework, well if he doesn't write it down then I don't know what it is!  He's 16, sophmore.

by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 3:51 PM
Replies (31-40):
by Shauna on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I would let him fail.

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 4:45 PM
1 mom liked this

 I think I would call his school councelor and discuss it with them and see if they will sit down with him and go over the consequences of his choices just so he can't say he wasn't warned.  I know how it goes with it just being mom making a big deal out of nothing.  I would also show him how failing will effect his college money and choices and then tell him it is either regular classes or failure.  Then again with his attitude it's not like he can pass regular classes and not turn in the homework either which may be the path he chooses with that angle. 

My son went through something similar last year during his Junior year.  His consequence has not quit sunk in yet in that he will now be going to community college and finding his own financing.  We will only be helping him with costs if he gets an A or B in his classes in college otherwise he is on his own.  Someday when he is working his ass off to pay those student loans he is going to think back to how stupid his choices really were.

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I would put pressure on him to do a couple extracurriculars, so that at least twice a wk he is staying after school to do something with other students.

I don't think I'd let him sit alone in his room after dinner to do whatever time waster he is doing. I think I'd say: "New rule - if you didn't have a standing B average on last Friday's grade check, this week Sunday thru Thursday after dinner you are hanging out at the kitchen table with your books and we'll stop by to talk about how it's going.  You earn the right to go hang out in your room during homework time by showing us you can handle that independence, through your grades."

I'd encourage him to name at least one person he likes that he could fathom asking to hang out with him a couple times after school to do homework together.

I'd also put pressure on him to do at least one thing per weekend with someone his own age. It's not healthy to be so solitary. (psychologically healthy, which has an impact on long term physical health as well).

Have you had a calm factual talk with him about what happens after high school? As in:  "We aren't supporting your living expenses after high school unless you are a full time student. Your college choices will shrink, possible down to community colleges, depending on your high school grades. But that's ok, it's your choice, and if it turns out that's the case, after a year of good grades at community college you can transfer to a 4 yr university. Your adult life begins in less than 3 yrs. Your life is based on your choices. You can get it together now, or at 18 or at 35. The nice thing about the U.S. is you can go to college at any age. Or you can choose not to go, although your job choices will be fewer and most will pay less. But these are all your choice! How can we help?

My philosophy is I have till age 18 to impact their bad habits, their thought process, their knowledge base, to get them set up as much as I can influence for success in adult life. Through rewards and punishments and lots of dialogue I influence more of the good stuff showing up in them, less of the unhealthy stuff. He doesn't have to get straight A's, he doesn't have to study as much as he should, but I'm not exiting the game in the 3rd quarter. You've got 2.8 more years to help him get over some pretty bad habits here that will impact his success in higher ed, and his success in his work life. I'm not wasting those years. They are like gold. They're mine.

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

We were in the same situation a few years ago and had my son moved to a non honors algabra 2 class, it worked to his advantage by keepin his overall gpa up for college admission. 

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 7:38 PM

fantasticfour, Are you serious?? 16?? Itotally agree w/cindy18.. I wouldn't work this hard at his age, plus, I didn't.. When he fails, he fails.. Whose fault will this be momma?? HIS!! Leave him be/you go on about your business from here on out.. It's all his to own.. Take Care, Donna....

by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Let him fail!!!
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by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 11:47 PM

I would decide which privileges he needs to earn by doing his homework.  If he wants internet, video games, time with his friends (whatever is meaningful to him), then he needs to prove to you that his homework has been completed each day.  Most schools have an option to check online.  If not, then work out a system with his teachers. 

Then schedule some college tours and let him see what he'll be missing out on.  If he likes a campus/school, he will be able to see the freshman profile on the school website.  This way he thoroughly understands the consequences for himself.   If he still continues to lack discipline to do his homework, then I think you should drop him down to regular classes, and let him know you will be sending him to a junior college or expecting him to work and pay rent because you don't want to pay for a 4-year college and have him failing classes and not doing homework while you're paying a very expensive bill.  And once he's 18, you will not be able to get information from the school or college regarding his grades or performance.  I would not pay 4-year college tuition for a kid who hasn't demonstrated the self-discipline required to succeed.

by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 12:49 AM

I also have a 15 yr. old male Sophomore. Are the low grades/not doing homework new since high school or did you also have these issues when in jr. high? I have had neueropsychological testing done on my son - he has diagnosis of ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, and executive function difficulties.

ADHD results in focusing difficulties, forgets to write down assignments, writes them down but forgets/loses the paper or textbook, does them but then forgets to turn them in or can't find them.

Asperger's symptoms for him are tending to be a loner because of difficulties making friends, emotional immaturity, inability to self-monitor/self-discipline, perfectionism, anxiety issues.

Executive function skills when lacking also cause focusing problems, no planning skills especially for handling multiple assignments.

My son is in AP US History this year and is having somewhat of a tough time. Honors classes have a much faster pace and expect a lot more independence both in reading, studying,  and handling assignments. My son also prefers honors classes as he finds them more challenging and the caliber of students to be mature enough to be more accepting of his difficulties.

Has your son been able to verbalize to you why he "doesn't want to do the homework"? How does he do on tests/quizzes? If he's scoring well on the tests maybe he feels the homework is redundant. Have you considered an after-school counselor. My son sees a psychologist usually 2-3 times a month. This has helped him quite a bit.

I know how frustrating your situation is but, at this age, responsibility for homework has to be his. I check on-line grades for missing assignments/low test scores but the day to day is his.

I think I would leave him in the classes he is in - it would probably do more harm to move him now.


by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 8:49 AM

 Well since you have dealt with this issue last year, and did take him out, and then he earned the right to be there again this year. I wouldn't remove him again this year. I'm sure you've talked to him and tried to get him to see how important these classes are. You've said he knows he can't get his license without a B average. So he knows what he needs to do, I think it's time to let him take that responsibility for himself. Maybe he needs to fail for the seriousness of this to sink in. I know it'll be hard on you as a mom to let him fail, but this may be the wake up call he needs. GL

by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 8:57 AM

This was his choice.  Let him deal with the consequences.  It's a good life lesson.

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