easy child and grades... need advice!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by forkeeps251, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    Everyone here has been so wonderful in helping me not lose it with difficult child... now I just need some good parenting advice regarding my easy child.

    A little bit of background: easy child is in 4th grade. He often gets in trouble for talking, is generally very disorganized, and very distractable. I feel, as a parent, he is probably a little ADHD.. however, NOT to the extent that difficult child is where it is having a major impact on his school life and home life. We haven't sought any sort of therapy or anything for difficult child simply because he really is a good kid, and his grades have always been good and he has avoided any major trouble at school.

    He is in the gifted and talented program, scores very high on the standardized tests, and has made mostly A's, with the occasional B.

    Well, this past 6 weeks, his old teacher left and he got a new teacher. Since then, his grades have dropped. In particular, his social studies grade. It went from a 93 1st six weeks, 95 second six weeks... to a 75 this six weeks!!! :-O
    We have this thing online where we can log on and see his grades.. and there are only THREE grades making the average of that! I called my mom (a former teacher), and she agrees that that is really low, and that in elementary school there should be 6-7 grades making up the average for social studies.

    I'm not a parent that usually gets involved in disputes with teachers.. it has only happened one other time when I felt the need to call the school and talk to the principal on that one (that was more serious though... easy child came home with a 103 degree fever, sick as a dog, and he said he had told his 1st grade teacher several times he didn't feel well and she refused to send him to the nurse! she retired a few weeks later) and I don't plan on doing that with this situation (unless I get no where with the teacher).

    I have the feeling I need to act on this. My mom suggests writting the teacher an email. Any suggestions on what I should say?
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    What does easy child have to say about the grade drop? Seems like the place to start. Hugs DDD
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You called easy child "a little ADHD..."
    Time to re-think.
    Issues that haven't really hit the radar before, often show up about grade 4.
    His organization challenges etc. may be finally getting in the way of his school work.
    Plus... the whole transition from one teacher to another is HUGE for ADHD kids.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think you are right to check with the teacher, and follow the other's advice... this IS the time things change but it is very coincidental that it happened with the new teacher. The other may get boarderline difficult child's much better. I have to wonder if you should bring it up with the principal too because for all you know another parent is having this problem and if the principal does not see the pattern he can't help the teacher improve their skills. You dont have to say it in a way that is confrontational. just share your concern and ask for advice maybe? But this is your child's life here so you need them to know if you can't get to the bottom of it you will need a full evaluation and I suspect they will not want to go that road right away.
  5. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Could it be the teacher has not posted all the grades? I have to tell you, I am so horrid at keeping up with this. I tell my parents this. I ask them to check in with me. I hate the online grading thing and giving grades by percent-each kid is different. Maybe this new teacher is just behind posting grades?

    I agree that sometimes mild ADHD can rear its head and become a bigger issue in the upper grades. I also want to point out that a characteristic of some gifted kids is disorganization and some of the very same issues of ADHD at a different level. Not turning in work is a huge one for many gifted kids. Keep your eyes open and read up on both things. Hang in there.
  6. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    Thanks for the advice.
    I've always considered the possibility of easy child being at least borderline ADHD. I was diagnosed with borderline ADD growing up, and hubby is more like our difficult child and had MAJOR problems. If easy child's problems (mainly not paying attention and disorganization) get to the point where they are impacting school, home life, or both, I will definatly have him tested. At the moment we are still trying to get an official rx for the other child though :).

    And yes, good point.. there is a chance that not all the grades are in. The six weeks is over and it "looks" like the grades are in for everything else. I say that because usually the conduct grades are the last things to be put in, and those are in there now, but there is always a chance she did things backwards... and she is a new teacher so I guess I really don't have anything to base it off of, other than what his other teachers have done. I'm planning on waiting till I get the report card home before I say anything anyway.

    As for right now, I kind of think that maybe with a little more effort on all our parts and working together with his teacher, we can teach him some better organizational skills. Even if his grade turns out better than it looks right now, I may need to consider a conference.
  7. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    Maybe it isn't ADHD at all. Maybe its actually an Auditory Processing Disorders (APD).
    Yes, I'm serious. More likely, its ADHD plus something like Auditory Processing Disorders (APD).
    But I'm picking on Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) specifically because...
    There is a chance that he's had exceptional teachers up to now.
    And these teachers may have had the classroom well under control, AND automatically incorporated techniques that fill the gaps for many students - all instructions written on paper or on the board, for example.

    In which case - he's been informally accommodated up to now, and the problem doesn't show up.

    Why Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)? Because one of those is "auditory figure ground" ... the ability to filter out background noise and focus on what you need to hear.
    I'm guessing the new teacher does NOT have the class under control (even PCs will push the envelope with a new teacher), so it is much noisier, PLUS the new teacher is not using the built-in accommodations he is used to...

    In which case, you need to get him a COMPLETE evaluation by Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) - including ALL areas of processing, and specifically including "auditory figure ground". The accommodations and interventions for APDs can be amazingly effective.
  8. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had the same thought as exhausted . . . maybe the teacher doesn't have all of the grades posted yet. I wouldn't go right to the principal. I think that would be an overreaction. Email or call the teacher and state your concerns politely and see what she says. A conference would be the next step.

  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Check with the teacher first. 4th grade was when my daughter was diagnosis'd with ADHD, though I'd suspected something was up much earlier.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't want to be redundant, lol, but what does he say when asked about the grade drop? With a history of achievement he likely is able to explain what the issue may be. I personally wouldn't reach out to the teacher without hearing his input. It could be a personality conflict or something as simple as a change in seating. I'm betting that his perceptions would be of major importance. Hugs DDD
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with DDD. I would check with easy child first to see what he thinks is causing the drop. Then if you aren't satisfied I would call the teacher. I wouldn't go to the principal right away. I know I always appreciate when a parent has a concern that they speak to me first.

    Fourth grade is a time when a lot of kids who never struggled before begin to struggle. They aren't used to having hw. However, that doesn't sound like what is happening with your easy child since grades are falling mid year. by the way, in 4th grade not being organized is par for the course. I teach 4th and 5th and 4th graders are mostly learning organizational skills for the first time.