|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Sloppy Schoolwork

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

Q: This will be my son's second year with his teacher. He's going into second grade. My husband and I feel that he is not doing his best work in class, but his teacher has continued to let whatever he does be okay. When we work with him at home, we require him to do his best, but are disappointed by the sloppy, incomplete work he does in class. We have communicated with his teacher our desire that she request that he do his best, but she seems to feel that if the work gets done, that's enough. How do we make it clearer to her that this is not acceptable to us, especially since we know that he is capable of doing better? We are not trying to be too hard on him, but just feel that her standard is too low.

A: You are right about some teachers not expecting quality work from their students. And you definitely do not want your son to get into the habit of doing sloppy work. However, he is only in the second grade. Have you visited the classroom and seen the work of the other second-graders? How does your son's work compare? You might also like to look at some of his papers from last year and compare them to his present work. If you did not save any papers, check and see if his school has a portfolio of his work.

Something else that you should consider about your son's efforts is that working at home with you either beside him or close by is a totally different environment than working at school sitting next to his peers. You are working one-on-one with him while the teacher is dealing with many other students. Plus, there are more distractions in his classroom.

Have you shared with the teacher what his work is like at home? But more importantly, instead of communicating with the teacher your desires and expectations for your son, have you talked to your son? Sit down with him and show him two pieces of his work: one piece that he completed at home and one that he did in school. Then have him compare the two pieces of work by asking him some of the following questions:

Which paper is neater?
Why is it neater?
What did you do differently on it?
Which paper took you longer to finish?
Which paper are you prouder of?

Share with your son which paper you like best, and tell him your expectations for his work. Point out that it is always important for him to try to do his best work on any paper he does.

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 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

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!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.