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Old 11-28-2022, 04:47 PM
 
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I'm in the middle of an argument with my high school son. . . . . .

My son is a bright kid, but he is lazy and has no motivation for anything other than video games.
Last semester (spring semester of junior year) he failed every single class. . and I'm not talking about getting 59%. . . .No. . . he got 25% in most classes. Our state pulls kids drivers permits if they fail 3/4 of their classes, so he is no longer driving. I have to drive him to and from work.

I want him to get his driver's license back, and I want him to get his diploma, so I told him that this year (his senior year) I would be more active in his classes. I want to make sure he is turning in homework and I want to review his work before it is turned in.

Tonight he had a homework assignment about a Jane Goodall documentary. He was supposed to watch the documentary in class, and answer questions on a worksheet handed out by the teacher. I checked his answers and a few were left blank. He also failed to answer the second part of some multi-part questions. It was obvious that he did not pay attention while the class watched the video. I asked him to redo the questions that he did not complete. I did not ask him to redo questions that I felt his answers were incorrect or inadequately stated.

He blew up and yelled that I am a terrible parent and that NOBODY has parents that check or review their kid's homework before they turn it in. He said that I am following arcane practices from the 80s and that I am being unreasonable.

So, my question is. . . . to what extent do you participate in your high-schooler's homework?

a) Even if my kid was failing every class I would not get involved
b) I make sure that they turn in their homework
c) I review their homework and ask them to redo questions that I know are incorrect, incomplete, or missing.
d) I practically do my kid's homework for them.
e) I don't need to be involved. My kids are able to keep on top of their homework and get good grades all on their own.

Last edited by NewUser; 11-28-2022 at 05:30 PM..
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:06 PM
 
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I was on top of what my kids were doing from elementary through middle school. I checked their grades and looked to see if they were turning in assignments. If they were doing poorly in a class I would talk to my kid first and then to their teacher and find out what needed to be done to improve the grade - extra study time at home, tutor, etc.

By the time they were in HS they were responsible for getting their work done. I didn't check their grades electronically, myself, but I would ask them how things were going. They both would take it upon themselves to stay late for tutoring if they needed it.

So I guess my main question to you would be how on top of things were you when your son was in elementary school and middle school? How were his grades then?

If bad grades are a new thing for him, what do you think might be the cause of his troubles? Depression? Substance abuse? Social problems? Difficulty with class rigor? What is going on with him?

How is he doing with his job? Does he like working? Does he miss driving?
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
By the time they were in HS they were responsible for getting their work done. I didn't check their grades electronically, myself, but I would ask them how things were going. They both would take it upon themselves to stay late for tutoring if they needed it.
Thank you. I have edited my original post to add a response "e", which is "I don't need to be involved. My kids are able to keep on top of their homework and get good grades all on their own"
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewUser View Post
Thank you. I have edited my original post to add a response "e", which is "I don't need to be involved. My kids are able to keep on top of their homework and get good grades all on their own"
I can't really answer the question. I can say that if my once studious, hard working, honor roll kid was suddenly not giving a crap and flunking every class at the very minimum I would be taking his car keys away and I would be seeking the help that my kid needed - mental health? substance abuse?

If none of this is really all that new for him then I might talk to his guidance counselor, see if there was a way for him to earn his GED and go to work full time.

Would he be interested in joining the military?
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Old 11-28-2022, 06:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
I can't really answer the question. I can say that if my once studious, hard working, honor roll kid was suddenly not giving a crap and flunking every class at the very minimum I would be taking his car keys away and I would be seeking the help that my kid needed - mental health? substance abuse?

If none of this is really all that new for him then I might talk to his guidance counselor, see if there was a way for him to earn his GED and go to work full time.

Would he be interested in joining the military?
Thank you, but the intent of my post is only to survey parents of high schoolers to determine to what degree they are active in their kid's homework.
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Old 11-28-2022, 06:31 PM
 
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O.k. then I will answer E.
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Old 11-28-2022, 06:43 PM
 
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I have three kids. For my older two kids, who are now in college, I would have answered E. They were both totally responsible in high school and got excellent grades.

My son is a senior in high school and he sounds exactly like your son. Well, not quite, because last year the only class he actually failed was Precalculus. He scraped through Physics with a couple of points to spare. But this is still not good.

My current answer to your question is B. I make sure he does his homework (to the best of my ability) and at the end of every week, I incentivise that by giving him a small amount of money for every day that week that he did NOT fail to do any assignments. (He doesn't currently have a job, and I don't give him money otherwise).

I don't check the actual work--it's mostly done and turned in on the computer, so I never get the chance anyway--and he refuses to ask me for any assistance even though I offer it.

It doesn't help that some of the assignments are incredibly stupid. One that he simply refused to do was an English assignment to "write a sonnet." Are you kidding me?? Write a poem, maybe, any old poem. But write a sonnet? Kids in a regular high school English class are supposed to compose a credible sonnet with its 14 lines in iambic pentameter and intricate rhyme scheme and ending couplet? I took AP English myself and got a 5 on the test, so I'm good at English, and we analysed a ton of poetry in class, but my teacher was never so naive as to ask us 17-year-olds to write a sonnet. I am not surprised that my son did not turn anything in. But, I digress.

The whole thing is incredibly frustrating. I feel your pain.
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Old 11-28-2022, 07:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by saibot View Post
I don't check the actual work--it's mostly done and turned in on the computer, so I never get the chance anyway.
Our school district uses Google Classroom for assignments, and assignment grades are tracked using Powerschool. That allows me to keep track of what homework is coming due, is past due, or has been completed.

At first I was just making sure that no assignments were in the "missing" bucket, but then I discovered that he was marking assignments as done, even though he didn't do the work -- essentially handing in a blank paper -- so now I also open each assignment in the "completed" bucket to make sure it's got something in it. But, every once in a while, the teacher will hand out a hardcopy assignment in class that is not in Google Classroom. These I do not find out about until a zero shows up for a grade in Powerschool.

And to think that our parents just had to wait until each quarter was over for report cards to come out. Ahh. Ignorance is bliss.
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Old 11-28-2022, 08:14 PM
 
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I feel your pain also.

I would be MUCH less concerned about his driver license than the thought that he might not earn a high school diploma. In fact, driving is a privilege that you can withhold if he's not doing well in school.

I'm a little curious about how, since he failed his spring junior year semester, he seems to be on track to graduate, but it sounds like he is if he can just manage to pull this up?

Here's what I heard from a discussion with a school district Superintendent whose adopted son was facing not graduating. You do everything you can to make them graduate. EVERYTHING you can. Because an adult without even a high school education has no prospects for success, and it takes so little effort to minimally achieve this.

One positive I see, is that he's working. So that's a plus. He's not just sitting around refusing to budge.

Best wishes. I would suggest you say to your son what I said to one of my sons, "I love you more than you love yourself, and that's why I'm going to push with all my might to help you". After difficult years, he's turned out well. ;D
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Old 11-28-2022, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Puna, Hawaii
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Just an observation, but this isn't a homework question. If your kid is failing at school there are many other issues.

A High School kid's primary job is to graduate High School. Your son is failing. Why does he have a second job when he is failing at the first one? Your son needs to quit his job. And you need to keep the video games on a leash. They are a privilege. A reward. They are not a "right".

My daughter graduated a year early and as Valedictorian. We had struggles like you describe and turned them around. She also went to college on a scholarship. These positive outcomes would not have happened without our intervention. And I don't mean a substance abuse intervention, it was entirely a lifestyle intervention.

Just my opinions:

1) He quits his job so he can focus on High School. You give him an allowance to make up some of the difference. It can be performance based, but you'll have to figure that out based on your unique situation.

2) Meet with his school counselor if you haven't already. Request weekly progress reports from his teachers. He's not going to be involved with his schooling unless you are. In many schools the weekly progress reports are collected by the student from each teacher in person. That forces them to talk about what needs to happen to turn things around.

3) No video games until his grades improve. The weekly progress reports will help with that.

4) If you can't tutor him in the subjects he is struggling with, hire one. The HS counselor should be able to make some recommendations. They might even be free through the school somehow.

5) Are there outside influences that need to be addressed? Drugs, bad friend influences, etc? One of the worst things a parent can do is try to be their kid's friend and not set or enforce enough boundaries. I don't recommend people spy on their kids, but they need to monitor them. There are apps for every electronic device that allow parents to do so, but don't install them without telling them what they do. Kids need privacy too, but they don't need to communicate on apps that allow them to send pictures of genitals to each other that automatically erase themselves after they've been viewed.

6) Learn the codes that kids use. They can text right in front of you and you might have no idea what they are really talking about. 10 years ago kids would use "POS" (parent over shoulder) to communicate to others in the chat that they were being watched. "Man that history test was a POS I hate Mr. Berg" had nothing to do with history, with class, or Mr. Berg.

7) Good luck! Parenting is hard. But just like high school is your kid's primary job, parenting is yours. Fixing the situation might at times feel like it's harder for you than the child. That's love.
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