|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Sudden Drop in Grades

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q: My 12-year-old may be failing sixth grade. He doesn't complete his class work or his homework and has low test scores. He was a straight-A student until the fifth grade. He didn't like his fifth-grade teacher and has two teachers this year he doesn't like. I'm at my wits' end. Any suggestions?

A: I'm presuming that your son is using the excuse that he doesn't like his teachers to avoid completing his work. I'm also sure that you have told him that it doesn't matter whether he likes his teachers or not. What will be, and what has been, the consequences for not doing his work? Have there been conferences with the teachers and the school counselor? Has your son been present at those conferences? If not, make him go every time.

Family and school need to work as a team. What is the plan to check on him? What are the consequences for completing or not completing his work? Will he get to go on vacation with you or will he be in summer school? Get creative! Give him a choice: This is what will happen if you choose to do all your work. This will be the result if you choose not to do your work. Emphasize the choice and his responsibility. Then do the hardest thing in the world for a parent: Let him choose.

This is basically your son's problem, but you as parents can set the boundaries for him. Encourage him to succeed, then follow through on the consequences you have set.

More on: Expert Advice

Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!