Home > Mom's Life > Managing Your Home > Getting Organized > Struggling Fifth-Grader
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Struggling Fifth-Grader

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

Q: My son is in fifth grade. The students are hurried a lot between classes and my son often forgets his journal, folder, or book. This causes him to be marked as unprepared for class or to get a zero on work. This is very frustrating. On his last midterm he received two Fs. We were both so upset. I keep trying to get him to bring things home for studying, but he claims to get too busy and then forget what he needs. He is a very smart child, but he thinks he's stupid because of these grades. How can I help him be more responsible?

A: Improving your son's organizational skills should help him handle his academic work better. There's probably more, however, to your son getting Fs than not bringing the right materials to class or taking any work home. He may need some special help in handling the academic work in the classes he is failing.

With so many different teachers, your son may miss the more personal guidance he previously had from an individual teacher. Have him attend a conference with you and each teacher who failed him so you'll get a clearer picture of the situation and he'll understand what he needs to do to improve his grades in these classes.

Teach your son the two big secrets of being an organized student: using a large binder with pockets and carrying a book bag. Organize the binder with him so that there is a special section for each class as well as a pocket for papers he hasn't had time to organize. The front of the binder should have a special zipped pocket for pencils and other classroom supplies.

Set up a time each day for helping him organize all his class journals, folders, and papers in the binder. Work with him until he has learned to keep the binder organized. Be patient -- it may take a while.

Give your son a book bag for all of his books and the binder. Since he is rushed between classes, he should stop at his locker twice during the day: once for his morning class materials and once for the afternoon's. He should keep the binder in the book bag at all times.

Whether your child brings anything home to study or not, he should be sitting down in an area where you can see him and spending 50 minutes each day on school-related work. Ask his teachers to help you select books and other stay-at-home materials so he will always have something to do.

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

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!