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    bluepersonality's Avatar
    bluepersonality Posts: 39, Reputation: 3
    Junior Member
     
    #1

    Oct 22, 2015, 02:50 PM
    Parents of an 8th Grader
    Just got back from parent teacher conferences. Our W is doing really good so far, he has room for improvement of course, but the teacher had a lot of good words to say about him. Happy heart. In math he needs to work on problem solving. In language arts he needs to work on writing, the teacher said that he is writing at a level that is below his grade level, she also said he could use some improvement with penmanship.
    We weren't involved with him during his sixth & seventh grade years, instead we were fighting a custody matter with his mother. But now that we are back in the game, we want to help him succeed and be the best he can be. He's a bright boy and we hope he goes far in life.
    8th grade is an important year as students are progressing to high school. What can we do at home to help him? Besides telling him to read every day. How do you get a kid excited about writing and solving math word problems? Is there anything to possibly help him find a passion to pursue in college?
    He's in football, the season is almost over, but it definitely puts a strain on homework time. There's not much enthusing him after practice or a hard game!
    What routines does your family have? How do you help your kids?
    teacherjenn4's Avatar
    teacherjenn4 Posts: 4,005, Reputation: 468
    Education Expert
     
    #2

    Oct 22, 2015, 07:24 PM
    First of all, ask the teacher to give you the information you need to help him. As for penmanship, there are plenty of free online worksheets you can print out for him to work on. In writing, ask the teacher if tutoring is available before or after school. I need to know what part of his writing is below grade level. The teacher should provide you with that information. In Math, if he needs help, is the teacher available to tutor? If so, sign him up. Then, ask the teacher for extra support resources available online with most math curriculum. If online pages aren't available, Khan Academy is amazing! You can put it in any search engine to view almost every type of Math problem.
    Hooefully, your son will like school more when he is doing better. Football takes a lot of time. Both my sons played from elementary school through college.
    Just an FYI about reading: questions need to be asked to ensure comprehension. Try to read a chapter or two of whatever he's reading and ask him questions. If you show an interest, you should see more enthusiasm.
    Let us know if this helps and keep us all posted on your progress. Congratulations on being an involved parent. I'm positive that his teacher is thrilled.
    Oliver2011's Avatar
    Oliver2011 Posts: 2,606, Reputation: 746
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    #3

    Oct 23, 2015, 04:09 AM
    We established routines with our boys. They know we are going to check online daily to see what homework needs to be completed. My boys are involved with tennis daily so homework time is right after dinner unless it rains and then it is right after school. We work with them if they don't understand their assignment. We communicate the boundaries in which they are to perform and we allow them to bounce between those boundaries. Kids need routines and they need boundaries that don't change. The more stable you make their life the better they will perform.

    Football and other activities are very important. Your boy is learning how to live in a social setting and he's part of a team. That's huge.
    guycomander's Avatar
    guycomander Posts: 17, Reputation: 3
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    #4

    Oct 23, 2015, 06:13 AM
    Don't force the kid to do things he does not want to do, Get him to want to do what you want him to do. Psychiatrist Pavlov's experiments are a good resource for this. When I was in school my parents usually incentivized good grades with some kind of reward. You work to get paid, right? Would you work for free, that's slavery or communism and you don't want to teach that to your kid. My parents told me If I got strait A's I could have a car, I got the strait A's. Other friends of mines parents tried to force them to get good grades with no reward, it didn't work. They went on to vote for Obama and do meth. Love and hopes doen't pay the bills, the best teacher is life experience. You have to practice how you play. You have to work to get paid. Rewards for hard work pays the bills. Raise your kid the capitalist way and reward his hard work and success, punish his failure. Don't raise him the communist way where no matter what he does he gets the same thing, nothing.
    bluepersonality's Avatar
    bluepersonality Posts: 39, Reputation: 3
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    #5

    Oct 23, 2015, 04:27 PM
    Thank you for your input. The ideas are wonderful and I can't wait to implement them into our household.
    As for the writing, the part the teacher said he was behind on (not sure how to properly explain this) was that when he wrote, he wrote like someone a grade or two below him. His vocabulary is immature. The teacher gave an example- "the dog ran out of the house and ran past the mailbox and ran down the street and ran to the park and ran to trees and..."
    Before the conferences I emailed the teacher about help with math and she offered to help him every Tues & Thurs during lunch, so we often suggest he go see her, even if it's just to make sure everything is okay. I checked because he had gotten a bad enough grade he was held out of a football game, problem there was that there was only ONE quiz so far and that was his entire grade almost. She said that he grasps math fairly well, she just doesn't want to see him fall behind, and he's king of balancing between okay and falling behind.
    As far as the reading, they don't seem to have homework where they are required to read, so I've been suggesting "hey why don't you read for a while today huh?" You can imagine how exciting that sounds compared to the Playstation...
    Khan- yes, great idea. What about Lumosity?
    Any more input on writing?
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 38,810, Reputation: 5431
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    #6

    Oct 23, 2015, 04:46 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by bluepersonality View Post
    As far as the reading, they don't seem to have homework where they are required to read, so I've been suggesting "hey why don't you read for a while today huh?" You can imagine how exciting that sounds compared to the Playstation...

    Any more input on writing?
    Combine reading and writing -- create a book. First, start with storytelling. Even use video-game characters and tell a story (of course, you prompt and your son puts the story together). Once you have an adventure planned out verbally, create a book. Perhaps cut sheets of printer paper in half, staple them together down the middle (spine), and write down the story, so much per page. (Again, your son prints and you prompt as needed). Or use lined paper and staple across the top. (Do whatever works for you, using materials you have on hand.) Your son can draw illustrations to fit the words on each page. Share the stories with family members, relatives, and your son's friends (who could create their own books and exchange them with each other). Take the story idea and run with it. I found my students enjoyed doing this and were proud of their creativity. Plus, they started reading more "real" books.

    OR, if he's into computers, he can do what my sons also did -- start a blog. Jeremy has a gaming blog. Daniel has a blog that features short stories and poems that he's written himself. These blogs grew out of the books they used to create.
    teacherjenn4's Avatar
    teacherjenn4 Posts: 4,005, Reputation: 468
    Education Expert
     
    #7

    Oct 23, 2015, 05:31 PM
    Khan is videotaped lessons online. They are fantastic and free. Try them. I have a hard time understanding how an 8th grade student is not reading a novel and writing various reports. As for the "and" issue, my rule is only one "and" per paragraph. Paragraph writing is taught in the lower grades, so he can't be blamed for it. The best book I've ever used and taught with is called "Blowing Away the State Writing Assessment Test by Jane Kiester. It's available used and will help you help him with good writing. My students aced all state exams for 15 years straight by using this book. Give it a try.
    guycomander's Avatar
    guycomander Posts: 17, Reputation: 3
    New Member
     
    #8

    Oct 23, 2015, 05:41 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by bluepersonality View Post
    Thank you for your input. The ideas are wonderful and I can't wait to implement them into our household.
    As for the writing, the part the teacher said he was behind on (not sure how to properly explain this) was that when he wrote, he wrote like someone a grade or two below him. His vocabulary is immature. The teacher gave an example- "the dog ran out of the house and ran past the mailbox and ran down the street and ran to the park and ran to trees and..."
    Before the conferences I emailed the teacher about help with math and she offered to help him every Tues & Thurs during lunch, so we often suggest he go see her, even if it's just to make sure everything is okay. I checked because he had gotten a bad enough grade he was held out of a football game, problem there was that there was only ONE quiz so far and that was his entire grade almost. She said that he grasps math fairly well, she just doesn't want to see him fall behind, and he's king of balancing between okay and falling behind.
    As far as the reading, they don't seem to have homework where they are required to read, so I've been suggesting "hey why don't you read for a while today huh?" You can imagine how exciting that sounds compared to the Playstation...
    Khan- yes, great idea. What about Lumosity?
    Any more input on writing?

    Hi, thank you for your reply

    Some other factors to monitor besides just academic are health, mental health and diet related.
    Do you feed your child GMO food or fluoridated water? Fast food or things like McDonald's often? Does your child play video games, watch TV or have lots of screen time on devices like an I pad pretty often? Is he taking psychotropic medication or anti depressants? Get vaccinated frequently? Have a lack of personal space or free time? Lack of friends or social interactions? These are all activities that studies show are linked to a decline in IQ and possibly lead to developmental disabilities and health issues. You have to decrease the bad while you increase the good. Some recommended reading material for both you and your child to reflect on would be, Zbigniew Brzezinski - strategic vision - between two ages, Noam Chompski - Necessary illusions, Deepak Chopra - super brain, Henry Kissinger - World order, Jose ArgŁelles - Time in the technosphere. Those are all good reads and I believe they will serve You well in your search for educational superiority and a higher level vocabulary. These are truly the works of the geniuses of our time. If your child reads just one of these books and his vocabulary and understanding of the world around him has not improved about 2 or 3 grade levels, I don't know what will do the trick. They all also intertwine math and numbers into their criteria. Good luck and best of wishes.

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