Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Round 2. . .

In my last post a little over one month ago, I talked about my younger son's difficulties in middle school. We are now one marking period into 6th grade and week by week, the picture is becoming clearer to me.

His report card was all over the map--a mixture of A's and C's. On the face of it, that's not such a bad thing--a "C" is, after all, considered a passing grade. However, it's the pattern of the component scores leading to his quarterly grade that is one of the issues.

My son struggles most with organization. Both personal organization (aka--his backpack is a rat's nest) and cognitive organization. In assignments that have a high degree of structure, he does well. *Even if the work itself is fairly abstract.*

If the assignment is highly unstructured, than he will struggle with it. It's often not the content. Most often it's that he doesn't understand what is being asked of him. If I can get to him and look over his assignment before he's used up his reserves, I can often rephrase the question and the lightbulb clicks on.

When I see how like swiss cheese his individual marks are, then I understand there is a problem. For example, in Math class, he received A's and B's on his homework assignments, but did extremely poorly on quizzes. That brought his term grade down to a C. He didn't understand *how* to study for the quizzes, though he seems to understand the content when I ask him to show me his work at home.

The same thing occurred in Social Studies. (I discussed the geography problem in the last post.) In addition, students receive a 'O' on homework assignments that are not turned in on time. My son constantly misfiles assignments in the wrong binders and then can't find them to turn them in. One or two zeros can torpedo even an otherwise perfect term.

Understand, it's not the grade I care about. What I care about is that the stresses of this year have turned my eager, school-loving son into an emotional wreck. He's anxious and depressed and often explodes at home into anger.

This is what I need the school to help ameliorate.

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