Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Giving Up on School

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: I have a fourth grade son who has completely given up on school. The first nine-week's grades have come home, and he has all F's. He won't do his classwork or his tests. On his tests, he might write an answer or two, but he is just not doing anything. Homework is a struggle, also. He does not want to do it and is up late most nights until it's done. Then he might or might not turn it in. We have had parent/teacher conferences concerning my son's situation. I am just about ready to give up on him, which I really don't want to. What can I do?

A: Your son is only in fourth grade -- you can't give up on him. He needs someone to help him turn things around. Children, his age, do not refuse to do all schoolwork without very good reasons. Is the work impossibly difficult for him? Is he very unhappy at school and/or home? How were his standardized test scores in previous grades? What was said at the parent/teacher conference last year about his performance in school? The answers to these questions may give you insight into his school problems.

Since his teacher did not offer suggestions at the conference, bring your son's very serious problems to the principal's attention. Request that your child be studied as soon as possible by a team of educators to determine why he is refusing to do any schoolwork and how he can be helped. Some testing as well as classroom observation will be necessary.

Beyond having the school start working on your son's problems, think about how things are going for him at home. Has something radically changed at home? Look hard and carefully to see if you can pinpoint any problems. Things that affect parents can seriously affect their children.

Have you tried talking to your son? Was he at the parent/teacher conference? Has anyone even asked him why he does not do classwork, answer questions on tests, or turn in homework? Is he a behavior problem in school? Does he get up every morning and go to school willingly? There are so many different questions that you need answered. A school counselor or psychologist may be able to help both you and your son get him on the right path.

Don't worry about grades, homework, and tests now. Concentrate on getting to the root of your son's problems, and the other things will come around.

More on: Expert Advice

Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.


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

Handwriting Headquarters
We've got handwriting practice worksheets, handwriting tips, and answers to your child's writing struggles, just in time for back to school. Brought to you by BIC.

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

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!

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!