Deb - posted on 12/11/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )
My child is 16 and in grade 11 this year. She is a very athletic kid and works very hard in school. She is socially well adjusted and has no issues making or keeping friends. She was very bright for her age as a young child so we made the decision to enroll her in French immersion in hopes of challenging her. We liked in British Columbia from the time she was born until almost the end of her grade 8 year. She very much excelled in the French immersion program and was consistently on the honour roll.
However, once we moved everything about school changed for my daughter. We moved to Alberta due to my husband being transferred and wanting to be closer to family (my husband and I are both from Alberta and all of our families are there). My daughter was very excited about the move and had no issues fitting into her new school. We decided to make the move during spring break so that she would have the opportunity to make friends before school let out for the summer. Best decision we make; she met lots of friends and didn't end up spending the summer bummed out sitting in the house because she didn't know anyone. She loved it here from her very first day of school.
Her marks that were coming home were slightly below what she typically did but with the move and making new friends we weren't too worried. Then when she wrote her final exams and pretty much failed all of them we decided to get her some help rather than wait for the problem to get worse. We hired a tutor who worked with her briefly and before long she caught on to whatever she had missed. Here's the problem that we have had since we moved here and are still struggling in figuring out how to deal with...My daughters classroom marks are all very high typically 80-100% and most of those fall in the upper range (100%), but as soon as she writes at test, quiz or any kind of scheduled exam she does poorly 40-65% more often on the low end of that. Pop quiz's she can ace with 100%, but a test that she knows about in advance she does poorly on. Tests were never an issue for her prior to moving her test scores always reflected her classroom marks. I have tried to seek help from the school for test anxiety for her, they all give her the same advise on how to deal with it and don't really seem to be taking it very seriously. I've tried working with her on the test anxiety and she says that she isn't stressed going into test that she honestly feels like she knows what she is doing and can't understand why she is doing poorly on tests. As a parent I see how much time she spends studying, we can quiz her with review sheets and she seems to know all the answers. We are not grade driven parents we have always told our daughter that what matters more to us that her grades are the comments that come home from the teachers. If she has a 50% mark but her teachers are saying she is working hard not wasting time then so be it, that is all we expect of her. She has shown us from day 1 that she is a bright child and is capable of achieving high marks in school as well as positive comments on her work ethic. Classroom marks and work ethic haven't changed since we moved, just the test scores.
She is now taking her first grade 12 level course and will write a diploma exam in January. So far in this course she has classroom marks of mostly 100% with a couple of 90's and 80's. Her test scores so far are 55% and 49%. The diploma exam is worth half of her grade for the entire course, we have no idea how we are going to get her through it let alone with a mark high enough to get her into university!! I just don't understand how a child can get such high marks on everything they do in class and struggle so much on exams?? What can be done for these students?? Two years ago she wanted to become a doctor, now she's trying to figure out what program she can take that her current marks will actually get her into. My heart breaks every time I see her lower her goals because of poor test performance. Any advise or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. She has gone on several occasions to see a counsellor for this issue, nothing they have said or advised has helped her so far.