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Mother Worried About Son's Workload

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q: My son will be going into sixth grade next year and because he qualified for all subjects when he was put into the gifted and talented class two years ago, he will automatically be put into all level one classes. Currently, he makes A's and B's in all his classes, but I'm afraid the new load will be too much. He loves science and social studies, but is not that crazy about math and language arts. Do you think I should let him be in all of the level one classes, or should I just put him in the ones he really likes and put him in regular classes for the other ones? He is in Boy Scouts and religious education classes along with school, and also plays soccer. I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

A: You are right in thinking that it might be too much for him as a transitioning sixth grader. On the other hand, all level one classes might be very stimulating for him. It is easy to see why you are concerned, but have you talked with him about his concerns? Definitely say something to him. Be honest. Tell him your fears. Listen to his concerns -- he may not have any. Explore all the possibilities. Could he enroll in all level one classes and then drop one or more at the quarter if they are too much for him? Talk the situation over with him and the school counselor and then make your decision.

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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.


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