Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm so aggravated for Piglet. She is just drowning academically in high school. She does A/A+ work on homework, often with me on her shoulder making her redo it or improve it. But she is failing or getting Ds on her tests -- nearly all of them. There is definitely a learning disability there. I have to try again to get the school to test her.

    I want her to be able to be involved in after school activities but not if her grades are too low. I'm letting her finish the last week of her fall sport but then she'll be with me, at the kitchen table about 4-5 hours/day trying to get her grades up before the end of the quarter. We are both going to hate it but there is no choice if she is going to get acceptable marks.

    We had such high hopes for her high school experience and it is all just unravelling. I'm very sad.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I hurt for her ..... and for you. It's really hard to watch them struggle so much, especially when there is something causing it that they can't control. What math class is she in? I know difficult child 1 is in Algebra and the concept of "unkown variables" is really throwing him for a loop this year. difficult child 2 had no trouble with Algebra last year but is really struggling with Geometry so far. It just really hoovers that their limitations can cost them so much. Do you have any idea what about the work she is struggling with in particular?
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    With most classes, including Algebra, it is her memory issues. When the lesson is taught, she gets it. By the time she gets home, she has forgotten it. Multiple reteachings can eventually get it into her brain, usually.

    In other classes, English, history, she just does not get it. A huge part is her lack of knowledge about life. I have never met a less intellectually curious child. If it isn't taught to her directly, she cannot pick anything up from environmental cues. She can't understand the relationship between WWII and the establishment of the State of Israel because she cannot take knowledge she possesses (holocaust) and apply it to the new facts. Once it is directly spelled out for her several times, she often just learns the new fact but still. Annot draw a conclusion given another new fact.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    My 8 year old nephew is the child I wanted. It is so hard to see him succeed so easily in all of the areas that matter to me and then come home to my kids who do not even understand that those areas exist. At 8, he reads better than all of my kids. He understands the connection between things. He soaks up knowledge.

    I wanted kids because I wanted that --a child to share my love of learning. I'm heartbroken that I do not have even have one smart child and nearly all of my nieces and nephews are not just smart, but gifted.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    That IS hard to swallow. None of us wanted kids with the struggles that have been imposed on them and thru them on us. I do have 1 child that is gifted but in social areas, yea well, that ain't happening. I watch all these "normal" kids and, even though I am grateful for what I DO have, I hurt for what I don't.

  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    JJJ - I don't know about your school, but here... (in the dinosaur of all hinderlands for most forms of help) if a student is pulling marks consistently at least two grades lower on tests than on assignments, they automatically qualify for alternative-format exams. There's a range on these accommodations... from scribe and oral exam, to multiple choice and possible answer list, all the way down to "no exam" (i.e. additional homework in lieu of exams). For Piglet, the gap is just too big. There IS something going on, and yes, she needs help.

    To me, the answer isn't 4-5 hours of homework a night and not having any life at all... but that's our family's take on things. There is a balance necessary for good mental health... but that doesn't mean something going on every single night, either. The most we've done is one music-related and one physical-related scheduled activity per week (per child).
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I'm so sorry!
    I completely understand the frustration with kids who have no curiosity or drive about learning anything. On a good day, my son will ask me, "Why does that truck have such big tires?" but D*g forbid if he has to study for a test.
    His memory is improving, however. He's finally at the point where he can learn Algebra but it's going to be a rough yr. He took pre-algebra twice, and much of that was because he had forgotten his basic times tables. :( He just didn't want to or couldn't focus. I suspect that the new medications he's on will help.

    We all keep trying ...
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Jett excels in anything that requires rote memorization - History, Social Studies - he's got a mind like a steel trap for that stuff.

    Science, since there are so many "labs" and he has to have a "partner" and his social skills - well, they hoover - uuugh. And ask him to extrapolate cause and effect... If he SEES it, he gets it - if not, it makes no sense to him.

    Tell him washing a red blanket with white sheets will make the sheets pink? Nope. Have him DO it? Gotcha. And with stuff like Algebra, if we can get him past "why did they use an X in this one and an N in the other one?", he does fine.
  9. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    My difficult child seems to be a lot like Piglet academically. However, me standing over her to do schoolwork (or sometimes even SUGGESTING she do schoolwork) leads to meltdown mode.

    Technically, she's "supposed" to be a sophomore. She's now on her 2nd year of 8th grade.

    The double-edged sword? My 9-year-old easy child (my first bio child, 4th grade) is unbelievably smart, hard-working, and eager to learn. He can read and write much better than difficult child can. I couldn't be more proud of him, but it does make it hard for difficult child to have her much younger brother outshine her in everything he does.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    GR - You need to find something for difficult child to shine in.
    My difficult child is "out-shone" by a younger sibling too... in academics.
    But... he has his talents, and they are at the "extremely talented" level, AND practical (he can make a living from them)... and when it comes to those kinds of practical things... the younger sibling is pretty much a washout.

    difficult child needs to find "something" to be good at.
    Music. Cooking. Crafts (knitting, crochet, needlepoint...). Art.
    Something, anything, where she can put in a reasonable effort and get a really good result.
    It not only does wonders for their self-esteem, it seems to provide a certain energy that flows over into other areas...
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Thankfully Piglet is my easy child, so no meltdowns.

    We just got her standardized test scores from 8th grade...all in the 65-75 percentile. Her only accommodations were alternate setting and extended time. I'm going to study 1:1 with her for her tests this week and next and see if what she "knows" matches how she does on the test. If she is getting things wrong that I know she knows, then I think I have a solid argument for all testing to be done in the Student Services area.
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Jett and I were discussing this yesterday. He kept complaining he "couldn't" do something (I can't remember what). And I pointed out to him that there were LOTS of things I couldn't do - like play football cause I can't remember the signals - and he jumped in with how good he was at that - and I let it sink in for a moment - and he started listing all the things he CAN do. (Grilling a danged good burger is one... My Dad taught him, and now that kid makes the PERFECT medium rare burger, better than husband even.)

    Everyone has different talents... Both my kids are smart as whips, but Onyxx does much better academically... It's more her thing than Jett's. Sort-of like me and husband - he is great with computer hardware, I'm good with software... Put the two together and we can actually build a computer and make it work!
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I think you're on the right approach. And then... fight for "alternate format" exams.
    Multiple-choice and possible-answer-list formats made a HUGE difference for my difficult child. (working memory issues, made worse by the stress of exam-taking...)
  14. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I hate to think of Piglet having to give up her extracurriculars. :(
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hugs to you both. I know this is so hard.
  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Sorry I wasn't clear. She is still in minor choir at school (once a week rehersal) and her main club sport. I had just hoped she could do more with the school.
  17. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    If she fails her classes will the school re-test her? Or, are they not that smart? Is this one of those schools where you have to get the diagnosis from a ph.d and wave it under their noses before they will do anything?
  18. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JJJ, I think you are doing the right thing. Work closely with her for the next week or two, then see how she is doing on classwork, quizzes, and tests. You will be able to get a better picture of where you think she is. It might be time for some "performance vs knowledge" testing. It's how I finally realized my difficult child had some learning issues.

    Hope she is not struggling too much or feeling too down on herself. It's build up by mom time!

  19. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    She won't actually fail her classes. The school is designed so kids pass unless they flat out refuse to show up for class or do any work. Everyone in the top 75% has a B- average or better. The problem is that the colleges know that there is huge grade inflation. The college that looks to currently be the best fit for her requires a 3.5 for the scholarship that she would need in order to attend and they give preference to those in the top 25% of their class. My estimate puts her around the 60-70%, way too low.

    But all those passing grades also gives the school some breathing room from a lot of parents who are just happy that their kid is on track to graduate.

    They do help when the kid has an IEP or if the kid advocates for themselves. Problem is Piglet just won't speak up. I spoke with the math teacher and Piglet now goes to the Math Lab during study hall (open to all kids who want more help) but the teacher was a little frustrated because she had told the class about the math advisory but Piglet never went until I got involved (because she doesn't connect the low grade with the need for more help).
  20. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Of course, she gets a 96% on the quiz today. Let's hope our new study methods work for the test at the end of the week.