speer4nu's picture
speer4nu

struggling with organization and grades

We have a 11 yr. old son that is having a hard time in 5th grade. It is a whole new world for him, he attends a private school and this is the first year that he has had to travel to different rooms for classes. We have started the year with trouble keeping him organized and remembering his work either in his homeroom or even bringing home at night. He has a assignment notebook that the teacher and us at home check and sign, but somewhere something is missing. He struggles with taking test, so we have now been sending him out of the class to take the tests. He is doing what is needed to get by, but we know that he has much more potential and is able to do alot better then he has been. What can i do to get him excited about getting good grades and staying organized?? What consequences are effective??? How can we motivate him??? HELP!!!



concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Has your son always had these problems, or have these struggles just started since your son entered 5th grade? If this is a new thing, I wldn't worry too much. Make sure you stay on top of the work and keep in close contact w/ the teacher. Many teachers have web pages where they post their lesson plans, schoolwork, homework and projects. This may help you stay on top of your son's work-load. Also, make sure you and the teacher are on the same page and that he/she is willing to work w/ you in improving your son's study habits.
If your son's having trouble w/ test-taking, maybe you can hire a tutor to help him. Many kids have different learning styles. If you can pinpoint how your son learns best, you may be able to better help him. After school, do homework together right away. Eliminate any distractions (i.e. TV or radio noise in the background, other children in the room, etc). Choose a quiet work space. Keep a record of all work that's due for the week or any projects/tests that are coming up. Set a certain time aside each day to review the work. Don't wait til the last minute to study for a test or do a project. You don't want to create an overwhelming situation. Also, test taking will be easier for your son if he keeps up w/ the class material rather than waits to cram it all in at the end. I was never a great test-taker either. For me, it was easiest to stay on top of my work and also to keep notes for myself that I understood and that helped me to remember the material better. I often wld associate persons names or places w/ people's names or places that sounded similar or that I cld relate to more easily. Making these connections (even though they had nothing to do w/ the original material at hand), proved to be a good learning technique for me.
A lot, too, has to do w/ your son's interest in the subject and also the manner in which the teacher presents it. For expl, I did really well in English class b/c I liked it. If the teacher was boring, however, I didn't put as much effort into the class. On the other hand, I wld do very well in a class I had no interest in, if the teacher was interesting and fun. Try to do whatever you can at home to make learning more fun for your son. That will definitely help.
Another thing to consider is the difficulty of the material being presented. Maybe your son finds it hard, and therefore he doesn't want to do it for that reason. That's how it was for me w/ math. If that's the case, a tutor wld be a good option.
I hope my suggestions help. Put in the right environment w/ the right learning tools, I'm sure your son will improve. Good luck w/ everything.

donna70's picture
donna70

do you make him carry a binder with homework folders also with test like LDP and EOG you can get more than just removing from room you can get write in book and read aloud and extended time, it may just be a something he is going through 5th grade is known for being one of the harder years my son had more trouble in that grade then any others ,He has ADHD so we made them write it in his plan to remind him and that really helped maybe you could reward him if he brings everything home all week but it must be something worth it because at 11 he wont care if it isnt also if you could you might try picking him up in the afternoon from school ask him if he has everything and dont forget to remind him in the mornings before school ,try writing notes in his binder to remind him before you punish i would becareful that could make it worse .try working with him first talk with him find out of something is wrong ask him how he thinks he could be helped .talk to his teacher ask her if she could remind him some i know my son had a teacher do that for him and it went well but honest this is just the start he is now a preteen and a lot is changing for him he my just be reacting to that .try staying calm be understanding and make deals with him such as you try hard to remember your work and we will go some where you choose for a few over the weekend ,i give my son money for goods grades and completed work he wants the money so he does the work it doesnt hav to be a lot of money kids love any money they like to have their own money to spend on what they want "with in reason"

Only2boys's picture
Only2boys

The first question that came to my mind is "Is the boy trying?" My second thought was after reading your post that disorganization and trouble focusing and being easily distracted, like you mention on tests, are signs of ADD/ADHD. You may want to discuss this with his dr.

Can you get the teachers to buddy him up with a pal? I did this when teaching and it helped kids get organized. It may have to be different pals in the different rooms. Ask the teachers if they could do this.

This may not be possible, but I also had one boy that had such a tough time getting things out and ready in the morning and before dismissal time that his mom came in with him and came up to the class and helped him get his assignments out, get prepared to start the day, and then at the end of the day she returned to help him write everything in his planner, get it all in his bookbag, and then take him home. We did this for the last part of the year. This was also a child who was disrganized and had alot of problems focusing and staying on task. He would forget in midstream what he was doing and then complete the task.

Color coding folders with papers does help also. Kids then know which folders the papers go in. You can do this by colored paper, or colored dots or stickers on the pages to match the folder color.

Also having two desks has helped me many times. You can even put stickers with labels inside the desks so kids know what to put where. One desk can be books and pencil box, and the other can be folders and planner.

Having an extra set of textbooks at home may help and also having an extra copy of the main packets they are using with their studies can be helpful. Ask the teachers for these items. Do you have a neighbor kid who is in some of his classes or changes classes with him? Have them work together.

Alot of times these kids need a good model to follow, so I certainly would try to buddy him up with a responsible organized child.

Good luck to you.

Only

oboemom's picture
oboemom

I've been through all this with my son. He was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety. Is on meds for this but it wasn't helping with organization.
We were directed to a chiropractic-neurologist in a city close by us, and what a difference this has made! Our son was given an EEG to determine any brain abnormalities, and it was discovered he had certain areas of his brain that weren't working together properly. He started therapy to help repair those areas, by doing various exercizes that worked those areas. It helps repair and build those pathways that aren't firing properly.
He has improved his thinking processes, his anger outbursts, his organization skills. I know not many people know about this, but it is worth your money and time to find someone like this. We live in a mid-west state in a small town. If we can find this kind of doctor then there should be some in more populated areas!
Also, this doctor talked to the school with me and told them what my son needs in school to be successful. SPecial ed. classes in math and reading have helped, along with a study skills teacher that helps him organize his work and helps him do his homework at school so he doesn't need to bring it home. I keep in touch with his teachers on a daily basis via email or phone to see his progress. If he is having trouble, I get on it immediately to get my son help in any way. I am relentless in getting the help my son deserves. I have gained the respect from the school counselors and teachers because I show that my son and I are trying to work at his success!!