5th grader failing!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-02-2004, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I have not written anything here for some time now, but at this point, I am really in need of help. My 11 yr old adopted son is going bizzar. He has had problems in school from his behavior every year, but this year he was fantastic for the holidays, Oct, Nov, and Dec. Now in Jan, he has gone down hill so fast it's unbelievable! He reads 7-9th grade books and understands them, yet he's failing reading and language arts with a 35% because he appears to not care at all! He cannot be bothered to do his work, turn in homework, he blurts out answers during quizes, and is generally a miserable child to be around at school and somewhat at home too. We have all tried talking to find out what the problem is, taking away privilages for punishment, rewards, and many other suggestions and nothing seems to work!


We are looking at homeschooling, but in the past, he and I cannot get along for extended periods and I feel like pulling my hair out at the end of every single day! I'm terrified of homeschooling him, but now feel even more pressure to do so!!

please offer me help and advice...thanks so much in advance.

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#2 of 6 Old 02-02-2004, 01:54 PM
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Mcaws, I saw the title of your post and thought I'd be able to offer some help...(as a former 5th grade teacher), but I guess I don't have a clear enough picture of your son. But from what you have said, it sounds as though your son may be really hurting emotionally and crying out for help. Have you considered counseling for yourself (with a child psychologist) so you are able to understand him better and help him more? How do you feel about counseling for him? Have you tried this already? Homeschooling with very firm rules and boundaries may be an option. I also wonder how his health is? How he gets along with peers? Also, how does the teacher/school work with him and your family? And, you said he is adopted -- is he/has he been dealing with the issues surrounding his adoption. These are just some things that come to mind. Don't know if what I've said is helpful, but I wish you luck. Keep us posted...

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#3 of 6 Old 02-02-2004, 05:34 PM
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I'll be a voice on the other end of the spectrum.

It does not sound like a problem with him not knowing the material, but rather having issues with the school itself.

I myself would pull him out ASAP. I'd deschool him at least the rest of the school year and see if by next September he would be ready to start unschooling (or whatever you think fits him best).

Good luck,

Please feel free to visit the learning at home & beyond board for additional resources should you be interested in that!



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#4 of 6 Old 02-02-2004, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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My son was adopted over 5 years ago. Now he's 11 yrs old. He is not dealing with anything over the adoption that I know of, his peer relations are fine according to the teachers, ( I conferenced this morning) and he did better when we removed him from counciling. I also have 2 little ones...ages 4.5 and 1.5.

He will not talk to anyone. He does not do his chores willingly then lies telling the teachers I take his homework and won't let him turn it in. Or that I force him to work cleaning the house all night and he has no time to do homework...I just don't know what to do...
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#5 of 6 Old 02-03-2004, 11:48 PM
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This sounds so distressing! Often the idea of a child kind of changing quickly can lead one to think of depression. But it can also be related to who his teacher is, who he's hanging out with, whether it is cool or not for boys to be smart in his school, etc.

Other people I know have found a lot of success in moving their adopted child to an alternative school, where he can be taught according to his unique learning style. Have you ever had academic testing to find out if he has any particular learning differences?

Another thought is that many counselors do not know anything about adoption issues. THe fact that he was adopted so late could mean he was exposed to some not so good stuff in those first 5-6 years, which could be having an impact on him now. A counselor experienced with adoption/abuse/neglect/attachment issues (as opposed to just a generic child counselor) would know how to address these.

He is at a fairly critical age for needing to experience success. You might need to advocate pretty strongly for him at the school to get what he needs. My guess is he doesn't really like the way things are going and needs someone to help take charge. I realize I'm making a lot of guesses here!! Just trying to help

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#6 of 6 Old 02-15-2004, 01:12 AM
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Have you asked him what the problem is? Does he want to go to school?

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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