|

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

12 Pumpkin Activities and Crafts for Kids
Pumpkins and gourds are perfect for fall fun and games with the kids. Find the best pumpkin activities, crafts, printables, and recipes to enjoy with your children this Halloween season.

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!

15 Best Slow Cooker Meals
Too busy to cook? Try one of these deliciously easy slow cooker meals and have dinner waiting when you get home!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!