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Old 10-29-2013, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Gaston, South Carolina
15,704 posts, read 9,409,420 times
Reputation: 17593

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For a minute, I am going to stop and reflect on Report Card Day as a kid for me growing up.... OK, that was pretty bad. Forget that.

Report cards are coming out tomorrow for our kids and through the magic of computers, we already know what they are making and it's not pretty. Our daughter has one D and the rest of As, Bs and Cs. The D is in Math, her worst subject and, really, my worst subject back in the day.

My son has two Fs, including one in an elective where he is not turning in any work. The other F is in ELA which makes no sense given how much he loves to read and write. We try to make sense of his grades and wonder if he's just bored. His reply is, "I don't know." (Pretty much his reply to any question we ask about anything.)

We had parent-teacher conferences with all of their teachers mid way through the quarter and found out their grades were bad. Our daughter actually did pull her grades up from Cs, Ds and Fs. Every little bit counts. But our sons grades actually got worse. We put them on restriction from all electronics with the exception being the computer, which is to be used only for school work.

Our son had a lot of late work that had he turned in, his grades would have come up. The F in elective could have been a B because most of the grade is actually turning it in and then discussing it in class. The F in ELA could have been pulled up, but a lot of that is actually bad grades, not late work. But he didn't turn much late work in and his grades never improved.

Like I said, they are on restriction from just about everything, but that doesn't seem to be helping. They're on so much restriction, it'd almost be hard to put them on anymore restriction.

So, what do we do? What can we do? What are some things you folks do with kids getting bad grades?

(Somewhere there is a seperate thread about their computer usage.)
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:15 AM
 
1,420 posts, read 3,168,742 times
Reputation: 2256
Does your school have something call School Loop (or equivalent)? It's a process which sends an email to you daily showing your kid's grades, homework, progress reports, due dates, test and quiz dates, assignments, everything etc. Daily. Our kids have it in middle school and high school. We know exactly what they are supposed to be doing.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:16 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
20,098 posts, read 16,015,663 times
Reputation: 28265
You might want to stick this in the education forum too. You don't say what grades they are in, and that matters. I taught middle school and when we had kids with chronic "I don't turn in work" issues we often put them on signed daily academic logs. They were responsible for getting their teachers to sign a sheet each day that said a) what work is due and b) that everything required that day had been completed and turned in. They, and only they, had the responsibility of doing all the writing and seeking the signature. It was very effective provided two things: 1) the parents actually checked and there were consequences, and b) the teachers actually checked what was written instead of blindly signing. It does no good whatsoever if the parent does not do daily follow through.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:18 AM
 
11,642 posts, read 23,803,648 times
Reputation: 12270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
For a minute, I am going to stop and reflect on Report Card Day as a kid for me growing up.... OK, that was pretty bad. Forget that.

Report cards are coming out tomorrow for our kids and through the magic of computers, we already know what they are making and it's not pretty. Our daughter has one D and the rest of As, Bs and Cs. The D is in Math, her worst subject and, really, my worst subject back in the day.

My son has two Fs, including one in an elective where he is not turning in any work. The other F is in ELA which makes no sense given how much he loves to read and write. We try to make sense of his grades and wonder if he's just bored. His reply is, "I don't know." (Pretty much his reply to any question we ask about anything.)

We had parent-teacher conferences with all of their teachers mid way through the quarter and found out their grades were bad. Our daughter actually did pull her grades up from Cs, Ds and Fs. Every little bit counts. But our sons grades actually got worse. We put them on restriction from all electronics with the exception being the computer, which is to be used only for school work.

Our son had a lot of late work that had he turned in, his grades would have come up. The F in elective could have been a B because most of the grade is actually turning it in and then discussing it in class. The F in ELA could have been pulled up, but a lot of that is actually bad grades, not late work. But he didn't turn much late work in and his grades never improved.

Like I said, they are on restriction from just about everything, but that doesn't seem to be helping. They're on so much restriction, it'd almost be hard to put them on anymore restriction.

So, what do we do? What can we do? What are some things you folks do with kids getting bad grades?

(Somewhere there is a seperate thread about their computer usage.)
I think you need to figure out what is causing the poor grades. Simply punishing the for bad grades is not going to do anything to magically improve the grades. If the kids won't tell you maybe the teachers will. You need to get to the cause of the problem. You cannot attack the problem with punishments alone. If your daughter is doing better you should acknowledge her better grades in some way. Perhaps you should hire a tutor for math if she is trying and just not doing well. If your son is not handing in assignments you need to find out why. Is he overwhelmed by the assignments? Is he having trouble reading? Is he just lazy? Does he need help organizing his work? You need to make yourself a part of the solution.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:19 AM
 
1,420 posts, read 3,168,742 times
Reputation: 2256
Another thing to consider: Rewarding your kids for achievement. Replicate the real world. Slightly controversial but maybe $10 for an A, $5 for a B or whatever you think is right. Or it doesn't have to be money, maybe a trip to an amusement park or something, whatever....just connect a reward with achievement.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:32 AM
 
13,975 posts, read 25,820,403 times
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I'm not sure what ages the OP is dealing with. Does the school offer before or after school tutoring? I'd make attendance for that mandatory until grades improve.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Gaston, South Carolina
15,704 posts, read 9,409,420 times
Reputation: 17593
We put them on the rewards system against our better judgement. 10 dollars for As, 5 dollars for Bs, nothing for Cs. But if they make Ds or Fs, it starts balancing out the money for the As and Bs. Not going to reward them for making bad grades. They are in the 7th and 8th grade respectively.

We can't afford tutors, but over the last few years, where we live has brought in college students in the teaching program to help one day a week. We made the kids go, but they complained because it was "boring." (They still had to go.) With my daughter, we thought we had got over the hump in Math last year. After years of saying she wasn't good at Math, she had a very good last two quarters of the year. But this year we are back at Square 1.

Both kids have tested above their grade level in core subjects, except for the daughter in math. Our son reads above his grade level. Both kids constantly have their noses in books lately, for which we are grateful. They love the percy Jackson series.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:04 AM
 
6,720 posts, read 8,332,231 times
Reputation: 10409
You must punish your son for his F's. The reason he got them is because he was unorganized or lazy and didn't turn in his work. He is capable of earning better grades. If he doesn't learn how to be responsible now, high school will be a struggle for both of you. I would let the D in math slide, because your daughter is struggling with the concepts. Can you tutor her at home? Does her teacher tutor before or after school? You could try an online program or ap.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:09 AM
 
32,516 posts, read 36,991,174 times
Reputation: 32571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
We try to make sense of his grades and wonder if he's just bored. His reply is, "I don't know." (Pretty much his reply to any question we ask about anything.)
That would never fly in my house.

What do you say to him after he says, "I don't know."? How are you expecting to make sense of his grades if you can't get an answer out of him? He knows. He knows what he does in class. He knows how he feels about the coursework. He knows his relationship with his teacher.

He also knows if he can get a better grade.

If anyone said, "I don't know" to me I said, "Sure you do!" Kids get away with saying "I don't know" because parents let them get away with it.

So what's he doing when he's NOT doing his elective work? He's piddling away that time doing something. Find out what. Honestly, a lot of this sounds like you're just not connected enough. That's easily corrected. Even really great, smart kids like to sit and do a whole lot of nothing. Usually with their friends. You have to stay on them enough that they know that's not how life works when F's are on the report card. Especially on an elective.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Denver
4,564 posts, read 10,924,354 times
Reputation: 3946
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
That would never fly in my house.

What do you say to him after he says, "I don't know."? How are you expecting to make sense of his grades if you can't get an answer out of him? He knows. He knows what he does in class. He knows how he feels about the coursework. He knows his relationship with his teacher.

He also knows if he can get a better grade.

If anyone said, "I don't know" to me I said, "Sure you do!" Kids get away with saying "I don't know" because parents let them get away with it.
Agree. We'd be sitting there until we came up with an answer.

I also at that age wouldn't care if they were bored or not. That's not an excuse at that age. He needs to get things together before high school or you will REALLY have bigger issues on your hands.

As for the daughter, talk to the teacher and see what extra help might be available to her. She seems to be putting in the effort but needs more help.
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