My son reads non-stop, understands his subject very well, yet he keeps getting punished for not having homework completed. What should I do?
His teacher is taking his free time away in school. Making him stay inside while the others go out and play. She says he is one of the smartest kids in the class but she is considering holding him back and make him repeat 3rd grade. There is completely something missing in this picture that I dont understand. What do I do?
How does your son act at home? Is is hyperactive? Does he lose things easily? Is he impulsive? Does he get distracted easily? If yes, perhaps you should have a discussion with his regular health care provider. Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disease or ADD/ADHD affect concentration and attention leading to missed assignments and lack of academic progression.
Talk to your son. Find out if he knows what makes him miss his assignments. Then, talk with his health care provider.
First of all its terrific news that your child is so bright and so interested in reading. No matter what else is going on, those two things are certainly going to be helpful. The fact remains, however, that being smart is not always the only important factor in success at school. There are many other factors that come into play.
Very broadly we need to consider four areas: learning issues, situational or stress related issues, medical issues, psychiatric issues. More specifically these areas can be broken down as follows:
1. Learning issues: these can be things like specific difficulty with math or written language. Problems processing information through listening or problems with memory etc...These things can be evaluated through psychoeducational testing typically done at the school. Such evaluations can also be done by psychologists or neuropsychologists privately.
2. Situational issues: would include things like stress at home, problems with peers, temporary transitions etc..These can all impact a child's ability to focus and therefore reduce academic performance regardless of ability.
3. medical issues: vision, hearing, illness for obvious reasons these things will all impact academic performance in an otherwise bright child and should be checked
4. psychiatric issues: these can include things like ADHD, depression, anxiety etc... all of these can have a significant impact on a child's ability to concentrate and focus in the classroom resulting in performance far below expected capacity. Additionally motivation often deteriorates causing them to fall further behind. Evaluation by psychologist or child psychiatrist is generally indicated.
Before agreeing to hold your child back you might consider getting a consult with a professional to attempt to sort out what the cause of the problem might be. First sit down with the teacher to obtain more details about the nature of your child's difficulty in class and with homework. Is distraction a problem? Disinterest? How is he relating to peers? Does the teacher see any social problems in class? Interacting too much with other kids? Too little? Getting more information may help guide you to what sort of professional to see.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Psychological Association both have more information for parents. Website for AACAP is below.
This is only my opinion! At his age I think he should have an assignment sheet sent home with him for home-work. Then you as his parent can monitor that he is doing his written work. Some kids like to read... but they may not like to write! My son's best teacher (my opinion) when he was in school held him responsible. He got to go outside but he had to stand by the wall. While all of the other kids played. He complained to me at first. I went in to talk to her about it. She took one look at me and said something to the effect. "I have two sets of twins in my class... I HAVE BEEN A TEACHER FOR YEARS! I know what works! Just let me teach my class, and don't get in my way. I love every one of my students..." I backed off! He came home and complained. I said well I guess you better get your homework done then! From that point on if anyone wanted to do any activity when he got home from school he would look at them quite indignant and say, "I have to get my homework done first or I'll have to stand on the wall during recess!" I heard lots of parents complain about her. My son learned so much that year! I wondered if I had done the right thing until probably 4 or 5 years later. We were in town and he saw her. He ran to her and embraced her openly! After they talked for a moment and we went our separate ways, he told me in fact that she had been his favorite teacher! I knew parents who had their children taken out of her class and placed in a different one. The way I see it now? Their loss!
Maybe this is just a matter of adjusting. I know in my school up to 3rd grade, we (the parents) received weekly assignments on Monday, we took the responsibility of completing the assignments with our child and returned the work on Friday.
Now, 3rd grade, the child is responsible for writing the assignments in their planner, completing the work and returning it the next day. It is good for them to learn to take responsibility for their own work and develop their independence as they will need this in the older grades, but it is a drastic change from what they were used to and it is still early into the school year.
Talk with your child, see what he thinks is the problem. Is he understanding what the homework is? Can he hear and understand what his teacher is saying? Does she write the assignments on a board, that maybe he can't see? Does his teacher make it clear as to what she expects of the students? You may want to arrange a meeting with the teacher to discuss this matter and see what she suggests.
You know your child best and it seems as though he is very bright and it could be just as simple as him not understanding his teacher or just adjusting to the changes yet. Best wishes to you both! I'm sure that this will work out fine!
Talk with him about why he is missing these assignments. Let him know there is balance to everything in life.There is time when he can read all he wants,then there is a time to take responsibility for his school work so he can succeed. Reading is such a great thing and of course you dont want to discourage that , but balance is where its at .