View Poll Results: Which do you think is the best path?
Keep with public school 12 36.36%
Pull him and start home schooling 16 48.48%
other 5 15.15%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-21-2014, 05:32 PM   #31
beet1e
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Re: ds failing school what is the next turn?

It is an unusual situation, but since every kid is unique, it is what it is.

Since he is upset about his grades, he obviously cares. Did the teachers see his reaction? My son had huge problems in middle school after doing great in elementary and his teachers kept telling me he didn't care. Meanwhile, he would walk in the door and break into tears. It can really devastate a child.

I would wonder about the differences between homework time and testing time. At homework time, do the kids get to move around? He is already stressing about his grades and he may be getting some not so very helpful, help. Reading is such an important skill and if they won't give him the help he needs, you might have to do something differently.

School districts are desperate to cut costs. Some of the testing is subjective. I know in my district, they really hesitate to identify any problem unless there is no way to deny it. They don't have the staff they need as it is, identifying more kids means hiring more staff. I took my son to be privately evaluated. They picked up a processing issue and he got tutoring. Testing and tutoring was on my dime, school said they didn't offer tutoring for processing issues. It was hard, but it was worth every penny. He also started seeing a therapist to help him deal with the issues coming about because of the school difficulties.

Hugs, mama. It is so hard to watch them when they are going through something like this.

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Old 02-21-2014, 09:08 PM   #32
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Re: ds failing school what is the next turn?

I would leave him in school the whole year, then work on it this summer to bring him back up.

If you want him to stay in public school after this year, have him tested to see if he can get some extra help. I don't think teachers are going to do this for him without a diagnosis though, so you guys need to do that part.

It sounds like he just isn't in the best learning environment for him. It might be great for most of the kids, but it's not a one size fits all type thing.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:13 PM   #33
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Re: ds failing school what is the next turn?

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Originally Posted by missydawn View Post
Homework is not done at home it is done at school 90% of the time in the classroom. I guess I should just call it school work not homework since I never see it. Now I am sure there is test anxiety there but I have no clue what is the reason for the big difference in scores.
If he can get the homework done in school, can he bring it home instead, and take the test while the other kids are doing homework? Perhaps he can stay after school just once or twice to take the test with the teacher helping him comprehend it, and see how that goes.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:25 PM   #34
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Re: ds failing school what is the next turn?

When my kid needed special services, and the school didn't want to pay for it, I had testing done privately, and recommend from his doctor, and forced their hand. Once I had enough documentation (and didn't trust them for documentation, as it was financially beneficial for them to make him look better than he was) they legally couldn't say no.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:57 PM   #35
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I am sorry mama - it sounds like schools have really failed your son. If he can do the homework but not the tests something is wrong.MIT could be lots of things... Dyslexia, anxiety, something else.

I think what I would do would depend on my kid. If I felt like the whole experience was damaging him emotionally I would pull him out now and hs while also exploring options. If he generally likes being there I would camp out at the school and demand services or retesting - if he is failing they are not meeting his needs. He is not being lazy. There is clearly a problem and they are obligated to address it.

Fwiw our dd really suffered in ps. She is now in a Montessori charter - it's like night and day, just not having to constantly compare herself to the other kids and the working with objects really helps.

I don't know where you live but there may be alternative schools, charter schools, online schools.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:25 PM   #36
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Re: ds failing school what is the next turn?

I think it's truly time for private testing regardless of what you do . The home schooling education didn't really solve the problem either although it was no doubt easier on his self esteem. But either way, he should be able to get semi decent grades at school if he is trying. Clearly there is a something more at work there and you can't solve it until you know exactly what the problem is.

Once you know what the problem is you can make a better decision about the best place for him to be educated.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:29 PM   #37
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Re: ds failing school what is the next turn?

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I think it's truly time for private testing regardless of what you do . The home schooling education didn't really solve the problem either although it was no doubt easier on his self esteem. But either way, he should be able to get semi decent grades at school if he is trying. Clearly there is a something more at work there and you can't solve it until you know exactly what the problem is.

Once you know what the problem is you can make a better decision about the best place for him to be educated.
Exactly. And if the testing shows there is a problem, and he needs extra help, the school has to legally provide it for free.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:32 PM   #38
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Re: ds failing school what is the next turn?

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My major concern here is that he is apparently doing well on homework assignments but not on tests. That is a VERY unusual situation unless the child is getting too much help/not the right kind of help at home. Don't get me wrong, plenty of kids have problems taking tests. However, if those kids are doing their homework assignments and do them well, they aren't failing tests they are just not doing as well as they could on them. IDK but something doesn't add up with that.

Asking a teacher to read a test is asking the teacher for a lot of work. Personally, as a teacher I wouldn't mind doing it once just to see what the response is like but after that the child needs to go for SP Ed testing.

I will be the voice of dissent on the whole pull him out to HS thing. I've taught MS and HS grades at a charter school. Our school attracted a lot of kids who were homeschooling 'dropouts'. We also had several families that liked to flip flop between HS and the charter school. IME moving kids around like that always hinders a child's learning. Once at the charter school, if they were struggling, they would get a 'I don't really have to work at this since Mom will just HS me again' attitude. There is something to be said for not quitting at something until you've completed it. Now if the school keeps giving you the run around about SP ED services then I would definitely begin HS'ing again but not until the end of this school year and I would seek the help of a professional on my own.
I don't know how unusual it is but it is what I see with my own son. Here at home he can take his time and get an explanation if he isn't understanding something. At school, as you pointed out, teachers don't have the time to sit down one on one with a student. At school tests only get so much time to be completed so not as much time to work on understanding. I don't have any experience with kids in school but it just makes sense that with time and some one on one help a child, or really anyone, would do better than when timed with no further explanations.

My son has told me they go to fast for him in school. He wants me to tell his teacher he needs the class to slow down so he can catch up. They go to fast he says.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:48 PM   #39
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Re: ds failing school what is the next turn?

I could do my math homework my freshman year of high school. I could take my time, maybe get my dad to explain a concept I totally wasn't getting. Tests were much more difficult. Eventually my teacher (who was AWESOME) said I (and a couple of other kids) could take our time on our tests, come back to finish them during study hall or lunch. Suddenly my grades on tests went up. For me it wasn't anxiety or comprehension but speed of work. So that makes perfect sense to me.

My brother just barely graduated from high school. He's an awesome guy now but man, he had it rough in school, and for years after. He could read, but he couldn't seem to understand what he read. But he was never quite far enough behind to qualify for services. (Sound familiar?) I wish my mom would have really fought harder for him, but she felt hopeless. We all did. Him finishing his homework each evening was like this epic family struggle--we all wanted to help but we couldn't always and he'd get frustrated and there would be yelling--ugh.

Now, he's 28, married, they're expecting their first child, and he and his wife read out loud to each other before bed. No joke. Classics, Jack London and Moby-**** and stuff. I wish his path to this point hadn't been so difficult, but I'm so proud of him.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:54 AM   #40
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Re: ds failing school what is the next turn?

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Originally Posted by qsefthuko View Post
I don't know how unusual it is but it is what I see with my own son. Here at home he can take his time and get an explanation if he isn't understanding something. At school, as you pointed out, teachers don't have the time to sit down one on one with a student. At school tests only get so much time to be completed so not as much time to work on understanding. I don't have any experience with kids in school but it just makes sense that with time and some one on one help a child, or really anyone, would do better than when timed with no further explanations.

My son has told me they go to fast for him in school. He wants me to tell his teacher he needs the class to slow down so he can catch up. They go to fast he says.
It's an unusual situation, though not impossible. A kid should be able to do well on homework without much help. If they need help then they need more practice so that they get it on their own. They really need to be able to do homework standing on their own two feet. If they can't that is a warning sign.
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