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Old 10-12-2012, 09:31 AM   #61
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I'm kind of amazed at the number of people on here who think and 8th grader...so about 13 years old....should be handling all his own schoolwork & shool issues etc. with no help from parents.
You don't have children. If my ADD 14 year old can manage to get through 8th grade honors classes without hand-holding, I'm guessing most can. Honestly, I have never sat down with my kids when they were doing homework. I am always here to help, I will test them if asked, I will edit a paper, DH will help them with math (BA in English for me). However, dd16 was flying solo by 5th grade, ds14 needed until about 7th/8th to be independent in school (without me knowing when he had tests or projects, homework done in his room).

I have 18 years to raise an adult. I have 5 adults to raise. By the time they're in HS, they should be flying solo, with parents as back-up (and we are here 110%).
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:52 AM   #62
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I'm kind of amazed at the number of people on here who think and 8th grader...so about 13 years old....should be handling all his own schoolwork & shool issues etc. with no help from parents.
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Originally Posted by mjkacmom View Post
You don't have children. If my ADD 14 year old can manage to get through 8th grade honors classes without hand-holding, I'm guessing most can. Honestly, I have never sat down with my kids when they were doing homework. I am always here to help, I will test them if asked, I will edit a paper, DH will help them with math (BA in English for me). However, dd16 was flying solo by 5th grade, ds14 needed until about 7th/8th to be independent in school (without me knowing when he had tests or projects, homework done in his room).

I have 18 years to raise an adult. I have 5 adults to raise. By the time they're in HS, they should be flying solo, with parents as back-up (and we are here 110%).
I agree with you. My job as a parent is to raise a productive adult. I have never seen so many helicopter parents than as of late. By doing things for your child, you are not helping them. Heck, my DD9 is expected to approach her 4th grade teacher if she has issues. If she feels that she is not getting the needed answers then I will get involved. I feel as though a parent is their child's best advocate but should really let a child lead the way and guide the child by giving them tools to deal with issues on their own. I am very proud of how independent and mature she is becoming. If she comes home and "complains" about something I usually ask if she would like for me to suggest a way to deal with the issue. If she has dealt with the issue, I will ask her if she needs me to get involved. Usually she says no but if she says yes, you better believe I will get involved.

I asked my DD's teacher about me reviewing the homework. She said she would prefer if I did not as she would not know in what areas my DD needed assistance.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:59 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by mjkacmom View Post
You don't have children. If my ADD 14 year old can manage to get through 8th grade honors classes without hand-holding, I'm guessing most can. Honestly, I have never sat down with my kids when they were doing homework. I am always here to help, I will test them if asked, I will edit a paper, DH will help them with math (BA in English for me). However, dd16 was flying solo by 5th grade, ds14 needed until about 7th/8th to be independent in school (without me knowing when he had tests or projects, homework done in his room).

I have 18 years to raise an adult. I have 5 adults to raise. By the time they're in HS, they should be flying solo, with parents as back-up (and we are here 110%).
I do have children.

If my child in school (at 13 years old) is being blown off by a teacher and not getting answers, it is my job as a parent to step in and find out what is going on with the teacher.

The only homework we've ever helped with is math, but both our kids know we are here if they ever have questions or issues they feel an adult needs to address.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:05 AM   #64
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I do have children.

If my child in school (at 13 years old) is being blown off by a teacher and not getting answers, it is my job as a parent to step in and find out what is going on with the teacher.

The only homework we've ever helped with is math, but both our kids know we are here if they ever have questions or issues they feel an adult needs to address.
And that's how it is here, too. Ds was having trouble in Algebra last year, so I set up a conference with his teacher. The second my child says there is a problem, I'm on it. However, until my child says there is a problem, my child handles the schoolwork. They are independent, but we always have their backs.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:06 AM   #65
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I agree with you. My job as a parent is to raise a productive adult. I have never seen so many helicopter parents than as of late. By doing things for your child, you are not helping them. Heck, my DD9 is expected to approach her 4th grade teacher if she has issues. If she feels that she is not getting the needed answers then I will get involved. I feel as though a parent is their child's best advocate but should really let a child lead the way and guide the child by giving them tools to deal with issues on their own. I am very proud of how independent and mature she is becoming. If she comes home and "complains" about something I usually ask if she would like for me to suggest a way to deal with the issue. If she has dealt with the issue, I will ask her if she needs me to get involved. Usually she says no but if she says yes, you better believe I will get involved.

I asked my DD's teacher about me reviewing the homework. She said she would prefer if I did not as she would not know in what areas my DD needed assistance.
Sometimes you have to use "helicopter parenting".

Kids can be having legitimate family issues, medical issues, anxiety/depression issues, bullying issues, problems at school with friends or a teacher/class/material coupled with trying to study for challenging classes and extracurriculars things can get stressed and kids can falter.

When you read here you are really reading the remedy for a kid at their lowest point. Parents can read here and say, hey that sounds like good/bad advice.

I also MADE my kids take care of things, believe me. They were taught to fight for a grade and do so. But sometimes things can get overwhelming and you need to recognize the difference between..."kid is fine and taking care of this" vs "kid is hitting the breaking point". When you start seeing F's and D's or grades that are not "right" you should see what is up.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:32 AM   #66
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I do have children.

If my child in school (at 13 years old) is being blown off by a teacher and not getting answers, it is my job as a parent to step in and find out what is going on with the teacher.

The only homework we've ever helped with is math, but both our kids know we are here if they ever have questions or issues they feel an adult needs to address.
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And that's how it is here, too. Ds was having trouble in Algebra last year, so I set up a conference with his teacher. The second my child says there is a problem, I'm on it. However, until my child says there is a problem, my child handles the schoolwork. They are independent, but we always have their backs.
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Sometimes you have to use "helicopter parenting".

Kids can be having legitimate family issues, medical issues, anxiety/depression issues, bullying issues, problems at school with friends or a teacher/class/material coupled with trying to study for challenging classes and extracurriculars things can get stressed and kids can falter.

When you read here you are really reading the remedy for a kid at their lowest point. Parents can read here and say, hey that sounds like good/bad advice.

I also MADE my kids take care of things, believe me. They were taught to fight for a grade and do so. But sometimes things can get overwhelming and you need to recognize the difference between..."kid is fine and taking care of this" vs "kid is hitting the breaking point". When you start seeing F's and D's or grades that are not "right" you should see what is up.
It sounds like we may all be saying the same thing, just using different vocabulary. I agree a sudden drop in grades requires investigation. Mystery Machine - I don't think the things you said is "helicopter parenting" it sounds like giving the child the tools to deal with things on their own but providing the "back up" when necessary. It sounds like that's what all three of us do. That's why I ask my DD if she would like suggestions on how to handle an issue. We have always had a very open dialogue about things so she has not hesitated, at this point, to ask me for assitance when needed. When she says she has a problem in class I always ask if she has spoken to the teacher first. Again, I am always willing to help when needed.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:29 AM   #67
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Hope your meeting goes well, OP! Very interested to hear how it goes.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:50 AM   #68
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It sounds like we may all be saying the same thing, just using different vocabulary. I agree a sudden drop in grades requires investigation. Mystery Machine - I don't think the things you said is "helicopter parenting" it sounds like giving the child the tools to deal with things on their own but providing the "back up" when necessary. It sounds like that's what all three of us do. That's why I ask my DD if she would like suggestions on how to handle an issue. We have always had a very open dialogue about things so she has not hesitated, at this point, to ask me for assitance when needed. When she says she has a problem in class I always ask if she has spoken to the teacher first. Again, I am always willing to help when needed.
I will tell you what started my 16yodd's descent to the bottom. She was already struggling with time management (she is challenging herself to the max with classes) & not studying enough for chemistry. Plus she is president of GSA club at school.

She then was presented with letters from a creepy 11th graded who is a "stalker-something is wrong with him" kid at lunch. She had him in her French class last yr.

She took those letters to guidance and then from there teachers did stuff. Finds out that he is stalking 7 other people including 1 guy.

At lunch, you know where things get talked about and rumors fly, that he was suspended for sexual harassment.

I am like, that is it, I am calling the school to get to the bottom of this....

Eventually after speaking with a few people they had to get back to me. Later I speak with the 11th grade principal and yes indeed he was suspended.

I asked to please speak with my dd and let her know what is going on. She is a bit freaked out because she is the one who turned the letters in. (Now the principal said he was not suspended for the letters but other stuff that is ongoing.)

This was stressing her out big time. So she talked to the principal and he reassured and said she can come to him if he stalks her or feels uncomfortable. In addition he said that they would try and help her if her French and his French class next year collide. She does not want to be in a class with him.

She was being bullied a couple of months ago in PE and I stepped in there and sent an email. The coach took care it. I thanked him personally at parent-teacher conference. And believe me, you have to hunt them down. It is an open campus and the PE is in the gym building.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:41 PM   #69
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My husband is an 8th grade English teacher. I helped him organize files for Parent Teacher conferences last weekend so I saw what he was doing and how. He's not using a GO but he has a mid-unit test and a review prior to that that is done from a sample test. He does the unit tests the same way. He uses his internet site almost everyday to quickly(4 or 5 sentences) tell students and parents what they should expect to have done in class. His students are not great writers and he doesn't think they listen to him so he gives them at least 3 communications about each thing they are responsible for. He uses the internet site, a handout and verbally explains in class. Students have all sorts of learning and listening styles. In spite of his thorough style, he has some students who are failing. He's held them after school, communicated with parents that work is not being done, written loads of information on work about what SHOULD have been done or simply written "great job!" on the papers that were done well. Even those papers have some edits from him or a suggestion for additional information and so forth. You should expect AT LEAST this from a teacher. The lack of communication, printed word, returned work and class control is a huge problem. Make notes about your meeting and ask him to copy them for your son's file. If things do not improve, take those notes into the principal for a joint meeting. I can not imagine a student would slip this much. My husband says "8th grade boys are a special lot" and laughs. His principal thinks they are possessed. I remember when my son and his friends were 8th graders...whoa! Listen to his teacher about specifics regarding your son. I'd guess the biggest problem is the teacher's inability to keep the classroom atmosphere at a low roar. Good luck!!! Good on you for supporting your child!!!
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:11 PM   #70
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It sounds like we may all be saying the same thing, just using different vocabulary.
I agree, I'm a little confused by posts that seem to be saying "you should do what I do instead" and then describe editing papers, helping study for tests, being available as a back up . . . which is what I do. Or I'm told "No, no, you shouldn't talk to the teacher until your child has tried", after I've specifically written that my son asked in class, made an appointment to come see him during homeroom several times, skipped his football practice to stay after school on the day he works in the study hall thing they have, and emailed.

Anyway, we're back. His teacher is nice but scattered. For example, he acknowledged that the students were told to study for a test both last week and this week. I had assumed my son had initially misunderstood, but he said he scheduled it for last week, but then the test (It's county wide) didn't arrive in time, so it got moved to this week, but then he learned that it's not actually due until November so he told them today he'd give them another week. He seemed to thimk this was giving kids a gift of time, but I pointed out that my son had chosen to skip football practice to try and study. He also explained that the test is basically a writing sample that's sent off to be graded. When I expressed concern that he hadn't yet gotten any feedback on his writing, he said he'd have at least 1 thing graded by Monday.

We left with some concrete strategies, more on our part than his. My son's going to start double checking his homework with a friend at the end of class, and if they don't agree they'll check with the teacher. He also gave us some online resources to look at, which should help. He also said that he generally grades papers that are turned in on paper first, and papers that are emailed last. My son always emails when the offer is given since having a teacher last year who lost several papers, but we agreed to try having him print things out and turn them in. Finally, he suggested that we email on Fridays for updates, it seems that he catches up on email on the weekends and that things that are new are more likely to be noticed. He also offered to meet with my son before school next week to review the participle/gerunds test. My son got a D on the retest, and was one of 4 - 5 students who got D's or E's.

I appreciate his being willing to meet, and am glad we have a plan. I do feel like to a certain extent the strategies we came up with are to address the teacher's weaknesses rather than my son's, but I'm glad we have some ideas.

Thanks for all the feedback so far!
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:14 AM   #71
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I agree, I'm a little confused by posts that seem to be saying "you should do what I do instead" and then describe editing papers, helping study for tests, being available as a back up . . . which is what I do. Or I'm told "No, no, you shouldn't talk to the teacher until your child has tried", after I've specifically written that my son asked in class, made an appointment to come see him during homeroom several times, skipped his football practice to stay after school on the day he works in the study hall thing they have, and emailed.

Anyway, we're back. His teacher is nice but scattered. For example, he acknowledged that the students were told to study for a test both last week and this week. I had assumed my son had initially misunderstood, but he said he scheduled it for last week, but then the test (It's county wide) didn't arrive in time, so it got moved to this week, but then he learned that it's not actually due until November so he told them today he'd give them another week. He seemed to thimk this was giving kids a gift of time, but I pointed out that my son had chosen to skip football practice to try and study. He also explained that the test is basically a writing sample that's sent off to be graded. When I expressed concern that he hadn't yet gotten any feedback on his writing, he said he'd have at least 1 thing graded by Monday.

We left with some concrete strategies, more on our part than his. My son's going to start double checking his homework with a friend at the end of class, and if they don't agree they'll check with the teacher. He also gave us some online resources to look at, which should help. He also said that he generally grades papers that are turned in on paper first, and papers that are emailed last. My son always emails when the offer is given since having a teacher last year who lost several papers, but we agreed to try having him print things out and turn them in. Finally, he suggested that we email on Fridays for updates, it seems that he catches up on email on the weekends and that things that are new are more likely to be noticed. He also offered to meet with my son before school next week to review the participle/gerunds test. My son got a D on the retest, and was one of 4 - 5 students who got D's or E's.

I appreciate his being willing to meet, and am glad we have a plan. I do feel like to a certain extent the strategies we came up with are to address the teacher's weaknesses rather than my son's, but I'm glad we have some ideas.

Thanks for all the feedback so far!
You have to trust your gut bottom line. If you see your kid struggling and not getting a handle on it you take action.

Simple things you know your kid can handle is fine, however a D or F in a class is an immediate "contact the teacher" moment, esp. for 8th grade.

Example, my 16yodd got an F on her first Chemistry test, she assured me she blew it, did not study enough and get this...is able to retest. She was confident that she could remedy the situation and she did.

She also sat on the teacher until he found her lab work which she got a 100 on, however it was her fault because she did not put her name on it.

Then she had other stuff she was fixing in other classes.

She has 1 more thing to turn in late, she does have a "late pass" though. We will see what happens there.

Bottom line, through blood, sweat and tears I did force my dd to get to the point where she can discuss a grade, test, question, or paper with a teacher. That is your goal because he will need to do this A LOT in HS.

The quarter is over on Monday, so it is do or die.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:29 PM   #72
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I am a middle school English teacher in a not quite suburban, but also not quite urban environment. (The town borders a high ranking suburban district on one side and a low ranking urban on another side)

In full disclosure, I am new to this district.

I had a test for 6th, 7th and 8th graders yesterday. The 6th graders test was not open notebook, but the 7th and 8th grade tests were open notebook. I held an after school study session the day before the test. I verbally stated test questions in all three grades on Tuesday, Wednesday . and Friday. In this verbal review, I told students to highlight this question. As the students were taking notes, I told them to circle, highlight or mark the section in the notebook. I even had one of the questions as a daily warmup. As part of accomodations, selected students even had notes that I typed up for them. Some students even took the test in a small group setting with a Basic Skills teacher. I told them Tuesday that a test was coming Friday.

My 6th grade on the whole did a great job. (To be fair, it was an easy test). The 7th grade -especially one class- totally bombed the test. In one class, people decided to not bring notebooks. The students chose not take notes, chose not to study, chose not circle or highlight notes as I instructed them to. The lowest grade for the 8th graders was a 93!

As for the OP, check your childs notebook. Check for handouts. Check for specific notes. I am of the opinion that an Honors class should not have a study guide. Honors students have independent study skills, stronger work ethic, and the ability to complete tasks independently.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:02 AM   #73
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UPDATE:

My frustration is growing. At the meeting last week, I managed to keep my focus on my kid, and his role in this -- with one exception. I shared that I'm concerned that we're 3/4 of the way through the marking period of a class which focuses exclusively on writing, and he hasn't had any graded writing samples returned with feedback he can learn from. At this point, the teacher has 1 essay test, 1 book review, 2 shorter narrative pieces, 1 longer personal narrative, and goodness knows how many journal entries that have been turned in and not returned. Other than the rough draft of the book review, which was handed back in early September, the only thing they've gotten back is multiple choice or short answer tests. This Thursday there is supposedly* a county-wide writing test, graded by the teacher, and I said that I would like him to have gone over at least one piece of feedback by then. The teacher promised that the book review, and the 2 shorter narratives (most similar to what's on the test) would be graded and passed out on Monday, giving kids 3 nights to review.

They weren't. Two of the three were graded, because the grades are posted, but they weren't returned so that kids could study and learn from their mistakes.

At what point do I take this up a step? Am I being unreasonable to ask that, before taking a major writing test, my kid gets some kind of feedback on his writing?

* I say supposedly, because the teacher confirmed that this test has been rescheduled twice. Twice now, my kid has chosen to stay home from football practice on Thursday night because they were told there was a big test on Friday so he could rest and study. Both times they came in Friday and were told the test was moved to the next Friday.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:12 AM   #74
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I'd pursue it now. This teacher's disorganization is affecting student outcome, as is the lack of feedback. This would never have flown when I was teaching.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:46 AM   #75
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Is there another teacher's class he could move to? I regret not moving my DD from a really poor teacher to one that was really good during her 8th grade year. We probably could have done it since another girl in her class moved.
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