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question...not exactly homeschooling, but about helping with homework


Forum: Homeschooling

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  #1  
April 23rd, 2010, 06:11 PM
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i have a stepson in 3rd grade in public school. he's only with us part time, but when he is here i am trying so very hard to help with school work. this school year, his grades have been dropping and now, at least a third of his grades are failing, and a good many more not far behind that. i have looked at the resources subforum here and printed off some math worksheets of things he's having trouble with (although most of the problem is that he will not pay attention, and the teacher has pointed that out on almost every test/worksheet)

anyway, i've asked him to do these few problem on several different sheets, he saw something he didn't understand and throws a fit before i can explain it to him, then refuses to listen to me try to explain it. i am at the very end of my rope with this. how do you ladies handle this type of situation?
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  #2  
April 23rd, 2010, 09:36 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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I may be totally off base here, but it sounds like there's something much deeper than academics going on. There's a lack of trust, a learning disability, a bully at school, or *something* that is being manifest as an academic problem.

If that's not the case, I'd say that whatever he's being expected to do is way above or way below his actual capability. When's the last time he took a placement type of test (if ever)?
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  #3  
April 23rd, 2010, 11:29 PM
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When we run into that issue we stop, talk to him about using his words and explain to him we can't help him if we don't know whats wrong, but we can tell somethings wrong (the fit) but we can't tell what unless he uses words. We fix whatever is wrong before continuing. If he doesn't know usually it means he needs a nap. Miguel's not able to listen when he is stressed (I'd get further talking to the wall) so most thing I have to prove to him that it's easy for him before even trying. What particular things is he not understanding maybe we can help? He may not want an adult to teach him. If that's the case look into time4learning.
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  #4  
April 25th, 2010, 10:43 PM
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i finally got him to calm down and quit complaining enough to listen to me explain it as simply as i could, after that he got every problem right. we were working on adding and subtracting fractions, i see how it can be confusing at first, but after he listened to it explained it was very easy for him. but like i said in my first post, most of the problem with grades is that he will not pay attention to anything. we know it's not add/adhd, and we know he doesn't have a problem reading and comprehending simple directions
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  #5  
April 26th, 2010, 06:50 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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I definitely think something is holding him back, then. Something is bothering him a lot.
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  #6  
April 26th, 2010, 01:46 PM
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i'm gonna talk to DH about it some more this week and see if he can figure out what's going on because my stepson will not talk to me about anything.
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  #7  
April 27th, 2010, 08:29 AM
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Just my 2 cents... maybe he feels too much pressure (especially now that his bad grades are bringing even more attention to him & his performance).

Some kids are VERY sensitive to pressure. I know I was, when I was in school. I hated being compared to all the other kids and was so worried that I wouldn't understand as quickly as everyone else did that I was totally distracted by my worry and couldn't even pay attention to what was said when someone was explaining to me. So my worry about not understanding definitely became a self-fulfilling prophecy. After a while, my worry became total disinterest and almost anger at having to do the work that I hated so much. I shed many tears over math, specifically, even in high school!

To prove the point further: I ended up in "special reading" (for slow kids), and "special math" in elementary school because of my poor test performance. My husband is astonished at this because I am a better than average reader and am not "slow" at all. I'm certain it was because I was a creative kid who didn't have enough outlet for creativity, plus I was VERY sensitive to the pressure of being compared with my peers, getting grades, forced to learn thing I wasn't interested in, and forced to ignore topics that I found very interesting, etc. It totally sucked my joy for learning until college (which it's a miracle I even went to).

That long story to say that this could be what is going on with your stepson. Maybe you could talk to him about his feelings and how he really feels about school? You said he doesn't open up, though, so that may not happen. Maybe you could ask him what he wishes school WAS like, and that may tell you something about what he hates about school currently without him realizing he's giving you that info.

Otherwise, he sounds like a prime candidate for homeschooling to me! I would think he just needs to be taken out of the classroom and needs a fresh start with a LOT less pressure, letting him explore topics that he finds very interesting so he can realize that learning CAN be fun... and then work up to working on the math and stuff that he needs to know. Is homeschooling a possibility? If in a year or so it doesn't help at all, he can always go back to public school.

I hope something I've said is helpful. I feel so bad for lil kids who have such a hard time with school. I know personally how it can be an everyday inner nightmare. Ugh.
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Last edited by TaraJo29; April 27th, 2010 at 08:33 AM.
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  #8  
April 27th, 2010, 08:37 AM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Maybe his parents' break-up has devastated and confused him emotionally, as well, and perhaps that comes out with regard to school. He does sound emotionally troubled to me in one way or another (or both).
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  #9  
April 27th, 2010, 07:37 PM
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unfortunately, homeschooling him is not an option for us. his mom has custody and he only stays with us less than half the time. i know things are tough for him for several reasons. DH has a job where he's gone for 28 days at a time then home for 14, he's a captain on a riverboat pushing barges. we are going to try to talk to my stepson tomorrow about what's going on, DH has to go back to work late thursday night, so it may be a while if we cant do/figure out anything this week.
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  #10  
April 27th, 2010, 08:53 PM
dalynnrmc's Avatar pronounced (day-lynn)
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My middle son has only a short period of time, usually about 30 minutes after he wakes up, when he is open to learning. He's great, behaves better during that time, and is not only able but WILLING to work and learn. After that? Forget it. He's not ADD either but I'm quite sure if we were to put him in school, they'd want him medicated.

Part of it for him, we suspect, is a blood sugar issue. Try making sure he has a snack before putting him to work, and let him have something with a little sugar in it - fruit or juice, milk - a bowl of cereal would be good. Then give it about 10 minutes and try homework then.


Also, a possibility would be to have the teacher(s) at school swap around when they do each subject. So, if language arts is usually in the morning and math in the afternoon, maybe it would help him in math to switch them around. Does that make sense?


Do you know his learning style? If he is a kinesthetic learner, the abstract concept of math might just be overwhelming for him and he might need a more concrete learning format. Time to afterschool with a manipulatives based curriculum.


Just some thoughts.
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  #11  
April 28th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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we've tried the snack thing, but it doesn't seem to make a difference either way. as far as learning style, i'm really not exactly sure what else to do. i've tried showing what i'm talking about on paper in pictures and we've tried with objects and all.
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