My son not doing well in his exams

ANN - posted on 10/19/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My son is 14 years old . Inspite of teaching at home and ensuring he knows everything . I have just received his grade card . He has received grade E in all subjects . He says he goes blank when he start writing the exams . I met all the teaches of his school . They say he is a very quite student and does not ask any questions in the Class .Kindly advise me , how do i help him make his grades get better .He uses a lot of internet .

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Patricia - posted on 10/21/2012

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Has he ever done well in school? Usually it is a pattern of study habits from years past.

I would make an appointment with his counselor; they know how to work with kids your son's age; he might just need a tutor or stay after school for some extra help; once kids get real far behind, they get down on themselves.

I would also email his teachers individually to see their perspective on his classroom attitude.

Barbara - posted on 10/19/2012

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Hi Ann,

Some kids just choke in exams. My daughter used to have problems with her spelling tests, she was so afraid of doing poorly, she forgot everything we practiced the night before. We tried to make the test a friend, a buddy. I suggested she think of the 'test' as a game she was playing to show how good she was at spelling. This may not work for your son, he's older that she was at the time. Be sure to encourage him AFTER the test that you know he has the material down pat, regardless of the grades. At fourteen, grades are really important (my daughter is now 15). The grades will be used as a barometer for college entrance. Don't let him cram for the tests the night before, it will end up making him more nervous the next day. Unless he needs the internet access for homework purposes, tell him that his internet privileges have to be shortened to one hour per night after his homework is done. Set up parental controls on the computer he uses to make sure he has to stick to this program, but don't use this as a punishment/discipline for poor grades. My guess is that he is a quiet and somewhat shy boy, so try to build up his confidence by telling him you are proud of him and have faith in him in the morning before he goes to school. Speak to his teachers again and explain that he chokes during tests, perhaps they can find another alternative to standard testing to check his mastery of the material. It may be that so much emphasis has been put on the grades that he is actually so frightened about what grade he may get, that he ends up focusing all of his energies on that instead of relaxing, reading the test questions and just writing down what ever comes into his mind. It sounds like he is insecure about his academic abilities and second-guesses himself. You might want to speak to a school counselor or psychologist about this. I hope I've said something helpful. The most important thing is to let him know you still love him and have faith in him.

Barbara

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