5 Days of school left, still don't know if he'll graduate UPDATE PG 2

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by calicokat, May 20, 2011.

  1. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    Just a mom needing a place to vent a little, and maybe a hug or two.

    DS, 18 should Graduate from HS on the 28th. Invites sent, cap and gown at the ready, cake ordered and open house planned.

    But English grade is an F (43%). Last quarter it was a D+ (71%.) They have to do a "Senior Project" and are told from freshman year that it is half their 2nd Semester English grade. Don't pass Senior Project, don't pass english, don't graduate. It's that simple.

    The project consists of the physical project (restore a tractor, make quilts for homeless shelter, hold a dance a thon to raise money for Haiti, whatever), a paper, and the final presentation. There are lots of little pieces along the way that are graded, to give them "check ups" on how it's going, and keep them on track (mentor hours logbook check, A letter to the panel of judges introducing yourself and your project, a resume, etc.)

    His project was a video showing his "top 10" list of Architecture in our town (We live in Columbus, Indiana a small town ranked like 6th in the nation for noteworthy architecture. We'll actually be featured on "CBS Sunday Morning" show this weekend if you want to see what I'm talking about.) He completed the project, and did the final presentation Wed., I was there. When I asked to tell me honestly how many times he practiced (after trying repeatedly to get him to practice at home) - he says "Once, in class." And from our conversations, I knew that on that one practice time he got lost and it didn't go too well. (probably because he just got up and winged it, off the cuff.)

    My DS is a bright kid, capeable of B's by attending class & turning in homework. With a little added effort, like studying for tests, could be an A student. He's the first-born, so was I, and I know I'm harder on him. He's also young for his grade, having just made the age cutoff for Kindergarten by a couple of weeks (MAN! I wish someone wise had told me that starting the next year was fine and actually might be benificial in the long run!).

    His main problems with school have been and continue to be Responsibility. Simply put: doing homework and turning it in. We've done many, many things over the years to discipline, encourage, retrain, and coerce responsiblity, to no avail. This has been a struggle since 7th grade.

    So here I sit. He has 5 days of school left. Of 15 grades/assignments related to the Senior Project this quarter he blew off 8 so far, and in all probability will blow off the last two as well (Thank you cards to his mentor & judging board is one, and I'm certain he won't do them. The other is "writing on the Senior Project" and since he was winging everything, I'm not sure he has anything written to turn in.)

    My prayer has been, Dear Lord, let him receive the grade that will be best for him, only you know what that is.


    I will stop thinking that a failing kid is somehow the parent's fault. I will stop thinking that a failing kid is somehow the teachers' fault. Sure they can be, but I know now that sometimes the parents and teachers and counselors, do all we can and the kid just won't listen. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  2. Arcnadius

    Arcnadius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    Western WI
    My DS is the same way. ACT score = 28, GPA = 2.3. HUH?? His friend's ACT = 22, GPA = 3.7. I pointed out how hard work and effort appears to mean more than "intelligence" (I use quotes 'cause I don't think intelligence is the right word), but he just shrugs his shoulders. I've learned to bite the bullet and let him sink or swim all on his own. Forced to repeat a class, oh, well. Can't say I didn't warn you or offer to help you proof read a paper or offer suggestions. Hardest part about being a parent, but it's his life and he knows where the bear poops in the woods. Be strong and let him fly or fall. Reality is a great lesson.
  3. julie75

    julie75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I hope everything works out and he gets to graduate with his class. [​IMG] It's surprising how much they can get accomplished when it comes to crunch time. Sending hugs your way. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. cackydoodledoo

    cackydoodledoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2011
    Crazyville, USA
    I really hope he gets to graduate for your sake but I also wonder if not graduating and having to repeat a whole year of school would wake him up. Maybe that's what he needs. Maybe you could stick him in summer school to make up what he didn't do and he could still pass his senior year. I think a summer spent going to school rather than having fun with friends would wake any kid up. I wish you the best. Anyone who says raising kids is easy needs to be slapped IMHO!!! Here's some [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] for you!!
  5. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    See, that's the thing Julie, He's not doing anything to make it "work out." It's not like he's trying to make up those zeros or turn in the stuff that's still due. He probably just figures that the teacher will go ahead and give him a D so he'll pass (and that is a BIG possiblity - it's happened before.) I really don't think I want things to work out and him to graduate. [​IMG]

    When he tested for his driver's permit, he failed the first time. I chuckled and said, "Yay!" The clerk looked at me and said, "We don't usually get that reaction when they fail." And I told her, "It's about time that his not studying or being prepared happened with something that he actually cared about." She took him aside and showed him that he had trouble with the signs, and if he really studies those, he'll do fine next attempt & he did.

    Things have worked out and he's skated by on D's too many times. If he never has to bear the consequences of his not being responsible, why would he change. How will he learn to be a responsible adult if no one holds him accountable?

    But at the same time, not graduating . . . . . .it's a pretty big consequence. [​IMG]

    The "Mommy" in me is conflicting with the "Parent" in me, does that make sense? [​IMG]
  6. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    It wouldn't be summer school, our district had to cut it because of the budget.

    All he'd have to do is retake the English online through the adult ed place here. So, no big deal really, except he doesn't get to graduate, and we'd make him pay for the fees and books for the retake class.

    Now, if he had to go back to the HS and retake the YEAR, in front of God and everyone, THAT might hit him a little. But, still not sure he'd care a whole lot.

    This is hard for me on another level because I was always the eager beaver super achiever in school. So I literally can not understand not trying your best and reaching for the highest grade you can get.
  7. cackydoodledoo

    cackydoodledoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2011
    Crazyville, USA
    Sounds like you need one of those right in your face slap you upside the head methods for him so I say you make him do his senior year over and maybe spend the first week at school with him!!! Get ready in the morning and go to school and sit with him, walk with him to every class, eat lunch with him, hang out with him and his friends and go with him to turn in his homework! Trust me you won't have to do it even a week. The pure humilation of mom hanging with him will shock him into being a little more responsible. If he starts slacking then threaten to go with him again!!
  8. key west chick

    key west chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    Im sitting here kinda in the same boat. Today is the last day of school for DS. Hes a sophomore. Hes been taking AP classes since 8th grade. (advanced placement) He is looking at a 67 in math right now. Thats failing here. He has never failed a glass before and is kinda bummed. But since he is a credit ahead, he can retake this next year instead of summer school and still have all his math credits (unless he fails it again) to graduate on time. His problem was test taking. Out of 12 tests during the year, he only passed 3. Didnt seem to care until the last few weeks of school that he might actually fail math for the year. By then it was too late. Good luck to your son, and a big [​IMG] to you. Its tough being a parent.
  9. vanalpaca

    vanalpaca Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2011
    Clyde in NW Ohio
    My first set did just fine, even the one on c's and d's and in trouble did what he needed to to pass and get his diploma and he's in his late 30's now.

    I am seeing this problem in the current group of teens today. There really is a lot to be said for chores and consequences EARLY in a child's life. Peer/social pressure hits them hard starting very early. The more you can bond with them and they have a good strong sense of responsibility early on, then guide them into making good decisions.

    This is from raising the two sets 17 years apart. Parenting is extremely difficult and TV really is NOT helping kids today.
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    I suggest a conference with his teachers NOW. Find out where he really stands. Don't make excuses for him, and if he goes with you, don't back up any excuses he makes. Very pointedly ask what will happen if he does not pass, and what his options will be. Then ask him his thoughts, and which of those options he prefers. Make sure that he understands that there will be consequences at home as well as at school. Make sure the school knows that you are supporting them, and ask how you can help.

    FWIW, I do not always back up the schools and teachers, but in this case it really seems like they are not a part of the problem.

    I do get the "doesn't turn homework in." I have two boys that have been he same way. Older son finally got it his senior year. Younger one figured it out his junior year. I do agree that experiences as a younger child help develop responsibility in kids as they mature. With both of my sons far too much busy work was assigned as homework when they were young. You can only learn 1+1=2 or A as in Apple or Ape once. if you're ready for 12+13, or are already reading, getting 1+1 or A as in apple is demeaning and boring. It's worse when it isn't even graded--just required to be done. Homework that reinforces the concepts the child is currently learning can be beneficial if it is graded to ensure that the child understands correctly.

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