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Struggling in middle school with grades

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Tough decision. My disclaimer is I'm not a parent, that being said,

Growing up (which wasn't that long ago.) my parents go to was to reduce social time with friends or screen time. Like @Col. Flagg describes. Sound just like my parents! 

School was number one, but sports, band and Scouts was part of keeping me a well rounded individual and healthy. There were specific activities they might have held me out of if I had exams or something coming up, but never a blanket, you cannot do Sports or Scouts due to grades. 

Having your kid go from school, straight home and just dinner, chores and studying is going to mentally crush him. He may be over committed in to many activities, and paring those back (even if you and he chooses Scouts) might be the right decision. 

It's a tough decision. 

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When I was a sub teacher, the assistant principal called me in and asked if I would like to be a "special tutor". I asked, what was that, he said it was a position he just created to help with some "problem" students.  I would have one or two students (7, 8 graders) each period for a particular subject.  I said sure, I'll try it. 

I had fun and some success over the span of a semester.  Some just needed help understanding the math, or write a grammatically correct essay, some needed some one on one to allow them to vent alittle about family dynamics.  One girl had definite behavior problems.  Call her "Annie".

Annie was sorely distracted.  Even with me sitting with her at a table, she could not bring herself to attack a lesson. It was a challenge session. "You can't make me" was the unconscious comment. SO we talked . About life and family.   I spoke with the Asst. P. and he and I developed a plan.  He called in the parents and ALL of Annie's teachers (and me) to a conference.  In it, he detailed how Annie's behavior problems were seen in all of her classes, including the "new" special tutor (me), thus indicating it was not just a "personality conflict" with one or two teachers.  After gaining agreement with  parents (both mom and dad were there, Annie was back in class) that Annie's school progress was most important (an only child),  the Asst.. P. gave the DAD (!) a homework assignment:  He was to spend 20 minutes with Annie doing homework EVERY NIGHT, without fail. No excuses. Not naps, not "have to take a shower", not  "I'm tired from work".  Every night, 20 minutes.  It didn't matter if he understood the assignment or not, he was to be with her and help, if he could , for 20 minutes.   He agreed, in front of his wife and seven teachers and the Asst. P.

Six weeks later, Annie is a steady "B" student.  I had no more trouble with her, she had written good essays in English (my tutoring class).    Is there a lesson to be here learned?  

Our young people have many more distractions (buy this! Listen to this!) then you or I ever had.   Thru our examples and love and attention, they must learn how to "PAY ATTENTION" to that which is truly important.  Limit Social Media time ? Certainly.  Insist on picking up the books?  Absolutely (book?  Que Book?).   But do not neglect the  "MORE important stuff"   Be ready and able to give good reasons for your desire and instruction, not just "because I say so!".   Every Midschooler in my experience has heard that and it slides off their back like oil off a roustabout in Texas.  Why is that website inappropriate? Can they really ignore the stupid stuff on Snapchat?  Fiction or real life? 

They are looking to us parents and Scouters (!!)  for that role model....  What's that C&W song about "I been watching you , dad...."  ?  


Edited by SSScout
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