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Roadrunner22 02-16-2012 07:29 PM

Conferences coming. How can I tactfully say...
Parent/Teacher conferences are coming up next week and I had a parent tell me that the reason her daughter isn't performing to her ability is because she, "She just doesn't care." Any advice or tips I can share with mom on how to get a child to "care" about doing well in school? I think it's more than that. Attention is a concern but mom doesn't want to hear about that. Apparently homework is a nightmare. According to mom, they really bump heads at this time. They got into a screaming match about ABC order. The child definitely "rules the house." Any words of wisdom to share with mom would be most appreciated.

learntogether 02-17-2012 05:29 AM

I would suggest that she talk to her child's doctor about the concerns. I would give her concrete suggestions to improve the homework experience. Could the child write the spelling words on strips of paper, arrange them in ABC order, and then glue them down? I remember my own (ADD) son getting VERY frustrated when he realized he had made a mistake and had to erase lots of words and start again. (He also had fine motor challenges). You could check that she is not letting the child watch t.v. before finishing homework, etc. Some things that seem commons sense, are not in every household. I would mention that the academic expectations are going to increase next year, and you are really concerned that she will be ready.

2ndGradeMama 02-19-2012 06:42 PM

I don't care about school...
I agree I would suggest that the child's parents talk with the Dr. about the attention concern, it is clear that it is a problem at home...even if she does not want to talk about it.

I would suggest that the parent set up a table for homework and a daily routine. Come in quick snack and drink. Sit in the homework spot to do homework. Set the timer for 15-20 minutes and in that amount of time homework should be done. If the homework is done the child gets a sticker for a simple reward (extra computer time...) if the child does not get the work done, homework time is over there is no sticker and a consequence at school even if it is just teacher dissapointment. Suggest the child needs to get 5 stickers in a row. That will help the child not think if they fail Monday the rest of the week is a failure...the reward is just pushed back a day.

Another suggestion see if the parent can find someone to help the child with homework--neighbor, family member in the area, high-school student. I remember working with my adult cousin across the street to help with homework, sometimes kids do better with someone else and it helps lower the fights at home. The one draw back is this could cost money...depends on the person. You might be able to sell it as "community service" to a high school student.

Finally, if the battle continues is there a way that the child could get 15-20 minutes of help in the morning or during independent work that s/he could work with a volunteer, TA, or other teacher at the school to get HW done. My team is doing this for a set of twins at our school and the mother is so grateful she does not have to deal with the battle and can enjoy the time with her boys. This little effort could really help your relationship with mom in the long run.

Just a few thoughts...I hope that something works out.

MoseyPosey 02-25-2012 02:37 PM

I have a book at school
It has a PC way to say everything!!!!! As a person I am bluntly honest and find it hard sometimes not to JUST SAY IT so I appreciate it as a teacher because it leaves the parents an OUT so they don't come out swinging! What are specific behaviors and I will post the PC way to say it on Monday? Is is just attention and lack of effort? In my district we are not allowed to tell a parent to talk to their child's doctor because in event the doctor medicates or requires further testing we could theoretically be finically responsible. I am not sure if this stems from a lawsuit or not??? I hope this helps....

We also can't answer the question "Do you think a tutor would help for the same reasons."

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