Education.com
Try
Brainzy
Try
Plus
jejune
jejune asks:
Q:

How can I help my son improve his math grades without a tutor?

My child has just been accepted in the "special needs" program through Jackson Madison Co. schools. He will be receiving help in math... where someone is supposed to sit there and help him when he needs it. They say due to ADD he is having a hard time, they also say that he has a disability that affects his memory. I know it takes time to see results, but when he keeps bringing home F's I just want to cry. He is really smart and loving. He is also a little over emotional. His heart has been broken all school year and he is just starting to feel worse about himself.
I work with him at home at least two hours a night and it is not getting any better. He is in third grade so the transition is hard enough for him to deal with. I am sick of meetings with no results and I am sick of seeing his self esteem drop. Can someone please give me some ideas here? I cannot afford a tutor.
In Topics: Helping my child with math
> 60 days ago

|

Expert

lkauffman
Mar 6, 2008
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

Sounds like this is a very difficult time for you and your son. You are clearly a very committed mother, and I applaud your efforts to support your son at home and develop solutions with the school for the classroom.

As you have most likely heard, ADHD involves difficulties with attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Some children have more problems with attention than impulsivity while some children have problems in all three areas. Researchers have documented differences in the brains of children with ADHD in comparison to so-called "normal" children. Thus, there is a physiological explanation for the difficulties your son is experiencing.

Teachers, psychologists, and medical doctors have done a lot of work to develop interventions that help children with ADHD, but the majority of the non-pharmacological (no medication) treatments do take quite some time to show benefit. For instance, for children who suffer from problems with impulsivity and hyperactivity, there are a number of parenting strategies that have been shown to help children control their behavior over time. For more on this, take a look at the book, "Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents" by Russell Barkley.

Similarly, there are strategies for helping an ADHD child with homework (e.g., helping them organize their notebook, desk at school, written note card reminders on their desk) that eventually become more second-nature as ADHD children begin to learn new strategies for managing their school work. I suggest that you return to your son's helper at school and ask that he or she focus on helping your son get organized and develop more thoughtful approaches to doing his work. Helping him with individual questions is fine, but he needs to develop good study habits that will take him through high school.

Also, you may want to schedule some time to talk to the special education administrator about including counseling support for your son at school. Given that his self-esteem is being affected, he would likely benefit from some time with a counselor to learn more about his symptoms and talk about how his symptoms are affecting him.

L. Compian, Ph.D.
Education.com Team

Did you find this answer useful?
1
yes
0
no

Additional Answers (2)

rackygrl
rackygrl writes:
I know no one likes to hear drugs help, but....  I had/have the same issues with my 9 year old daughter and had many a crying session and hours of trying to help with failure.  Two things helped: 1.)  One on one tutoring.  Once those smart kids get it they never loose it and eventually it does raise the self esteem.  

2.)  Also, I did a "trial" of ridlin.  My husband was VERY against it.  We did it finally and didn't tell the teacher.  She called me telling me my daughter was paying attention better in school for the first time.  So for some it will work.  The drug decision was last year and her grades and school life have improved.  When I skip a day, the teacher knows.  Some notes they told me:  The kids shouldn't feel any different.  Only observers that know them well will see they will argue less, get less frustrated, focus better and pay more attention.

All the other advice about organization are soooo important too.  The only thing I'm still frustrated at is that I can't teach her myself and have to rely on tutors or other peer one-on-one.  I think it's a parent/kid thing.

Finally, in our school there is no "special" program so we as parents have to take the lead.  We have to dog the teacher to help her with organizing, be kinder and not critical and have LOTS of parent/teacher conversations.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
rackygrl
rackygrl writes:
I just noticed you said you can't afford tutors, but kids will listen to other kids.  So if you can find a willing middleschool kid or smart kid in the class that'll help you might get some success.  Talk to the parents or teachers at your school or look around the neighborhood.  I have a girl across the street that is willing.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
Answer this question