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ChristineL
ChristineL , Parent asks:
Q:

My 11 year old son is in IEP classes in 6th grade but is still failing 2 classes. Should I consider private tutoring?

My son has always been below grade level with his reading but the IEP classes seemed to help. He struggled with the transition to Middle School and now is having trouble in Geography and Science.

His teachers tell me his writing is hard to read and he rushes through assignments and classwork. He does this with his homework too.

My husband and I are working with his teachers and the school to help him bring up his grades but we are frustrated that nothing seems to be helping.

Should we consider getting outside help such as a private tutor or other resources?
In Topics: Working with my child's teacher(s), Learning disabilities
> 60 days ago

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Expert

KidAngel
Feb 27, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hi Christine,
I would suggest you look into getting your son "supplemental education" assistance. This is a process that most certified learning centers adhere to. The reason most children struggle on their current grade level is because they have missed foundational skills in past grades and school keeps "moving forward". Knowing that you son has an IEP assures me that this his main reason for being behind in his subjects. By what you state it would appear that one of his main academic issues is reading comprehension. Both geography and science need a good base for reading comp. Also his math skills may be behind as both of these subject require a bit of math logic. Pick up the phone and call some of your local accredited learning centers and see what they can offer you. He needs to be pretested in order to figure out which skills from past grade levels are not in his foundational base. School only get harder and more reading comp is required as he moves up the academic ladder. Sooner rather than later would be the correct logic for your issue.
Best to you and your son. Thank you for being an invested parent.
Barbara Antinoro
Educational Counselor
Kid Angel Foundation
Education.com Team

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Additional Answers (5)

kellysfinn
kellysfinn , Parent writes:
Hi Christine,

I am a former middle school reading tutor.  I found that often the transition to middle school can be really tough,  with a huge increase in homework and higher expectations making it hard for many students to succeed.

That is great that the IEP classes are helpful.  You might want to sit down with his IEP teachers and see which aspects seem to work- is it the one on one time, or maybe the time planning and organizing?

I think if it is possible to get a private tutor, it can be a really valuable experience.  Things like rushing through homework can be addressed through taking time planning out the week, learning how to use tools (such as doing homework on the computer rather than handwriting assignments), organizing schedules and study habits, etc.  Also, forming a personal relationship outside of school and home I found was really effective working with middle school students.  Often there is a lot of pressure and frustration at school and home and the same habits are reinforced, a tutor usually works with students in a "neutral" setting one on one and introduces new skills.

Hang in there, middle school has it's challenges, but working on forming solid study habits and organization skills now will really go a long way for your son.

Best,
Kelly
> 60 days ago

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ilovechefwilliam
ilovechefwi... , Teacher, Caregiver writes:
Before looking into private tutoring you might want to sit down with his IEP teachers.  It sounds like his current IEP might not be appropriate to help him succeed.  The school is probably not going to recommend outside tutoring, only because that is a fine line that schools have to talk about outside help.  Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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KaleighsMom
KaleighsMom writes:
If your child has an IEP then he should not be failing. His work can be modified so that it is not so hard for him to complete. It does not have to be the same as everybody elses. That is the whole purpose of an IEP anyway!!! You need to call your childs teachers whose classes he is having problems in and set up a meeting with them. Express to them that you feel that the work is getting to be too difficult for him to complete on his own and that you feel that his work should be modified so that he can at least get a passing grade. If he is not passing and he has an IEP, then that means that childs teacher is not doing their job. If his handwriting is so bad then maybe he needs to be receiving occupational therapy services to help him with his fine motor skills. This too, if pressed hard enough, must be provided by the school district free of charge. Look into it, but I would definitely request or demand that his work be modified.
> 60 days ago

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dunbarpass
dunbarpass writes:
The reason why your son may be struggling in geography and science may relate to his struggle with reading.  Learning the vocabulary and understanding the concepts for different subjects can be challenging. It may be helpful to go over the chapter and identify the vocabulary words and their meanings. Once he understands the definitions he can gain a greater understanding of the concepts taught in the chapter. You may request that the special education teacher revise some of the IEP goals to include comprehension strategies such as: word recognition, decoding, word comprehension, passage comprehension and graphic organizers. I hope this helps!
> 60 days ago

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nicolla
nicolla writes:
A PRIVATE TUTOR MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA, BUT HAVE YOU LOOK AT HIS CLASS SIZE, AND DO HE GET ANY ONE ON ONE WITH THE TEACHER
> 60 days ago

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