Parents understand right away when I say is there anything else that can help my child get through middle school? Children who are held behind in middle school more then two times become a major problem. For one they are older then their peers and usually feel isolated. Number two they pretty much seem to give up. Most people believe that kids who give up do so because they don’t care and they don’t have parents who take an active interest in passing.
You’d be surprised. Parents of failing students usually become more involved in their child’s life then those who are proud parents of honor roll students. Sometimes their whole lives revolve around endless hours of struggling with homework. A major problem seems to be if a parent can’t solve a math equation or understand a passage in English or History how on earth can they make sure their child is learning the concept?
Tutors come in and find that it’s well and good when they are there to guide the pupil but once they are gone that same student has no one to turn to in order to make sure they are getting the problems right. Hence frustration sets in and grades continue to nose dive faster then a bombed fighter jet or it sits at the lowest point it can be and refuses to budge. Parents are left trying to find some way, any way to get their kid’s to get beyond the frustrations so they can handle their issue in a healthy proactive way. When they can’t do that then they become just as frustrated as the child.
Math is not my strong point. Yet I went to college and learned Algebra, Advanced Algebra, and some Calculus. However despite that when I set down with my son to go over some math problems he was struggling with the core curriculum stumped me. It seemed as confusing as trying to follow the mad hatter’s belief’s on wonderland. I actually wound up spending over an hour on the Internet trying to teach myself how to do it. Then another 2 hours trying to apply it and finally a good 20 minutes looking up every problem to see if the answers were correct. By then I was ready to sit down and cry.
Is it any wonder that kids give up? If their own parents can not explain how to do a simple math problem then how are they ever going to think they can learn it? As of right now in Florida a new school is being devised for these kids. A specialized academy in Hernando that will focus strictly on students who have been held back 2 or more times and has fallen through the cracks. I hope that the state doesn’t decide to try to teach these kids the same way the mainstream teachers have spent years trying to teach them.
If they can work on the self esteem of these students and garner enough interest to care about passing and then work on teaching them what they need to know to go to high school, then and only then, might it have a chance to succeed. I am going to keep my fingers crossed that this new program will not be another ‘ no student left behind ‘ band aide and that my son will come home excited when he grasps a concept enough to finally understand the work he is being asked to do.