What do you do with a teenager (17) who is going to flunk the 10th grade...for the 3rd time?

Michele - posted on 04/24/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )




We have tried tutoring, which meant we had to rearrange our work schedule's-his step-dad went from working evenings, to work grave yard shift so that we could get him to school in the early morning hours for his tutoring, and then his step-dad would get up in the afternoons and go get him cuz he had afternoon tutoring for another subject. It took 2 weeks for us to find out but, he was going over to his dad's (real-dad lives across the street from the school), and hanging out there after school until it was time to meet his step-dad at the school. Well, now we were stuck with dad being on grave yard shift. This was all in the 9th grade. Well, he failed the 9th grade-only partial classes. So now he is going back to school, and he is in the 9th (make up classes from previous year) and the 10th grade. Same battle all year long--doesn't want to do the work in some classes, and does the work but doesn't turn it in , in other classes.

So, we went to the school and met with all his teachers and his counselor. We had about an hour pow-wow, and we had him all organized..he said that he couldn't get organized and that is why he couldn't turn the papers in..we went and bought him all new school material to get organized and ready for school. He flunked again both the 9th and 10th grade classes.

He goes back again this year to the 9th and 10th grade. He worked real hard the first quarter to get all the 9th grade work completed, and get his credits and move on. he was then making up 3 classes from the previous 10th grade year, and now enrolling in junior classes.

We just got his grades from the testing (CRCT) and he has failed every single one he took last week.

He will be 18 in January.

I do not know what to do. We can buy him all the materials he needs, we can be there to help/support him everyday with HW (if he would bring any home), but we cannot make him turn it in/or even DO the work in the first place..................



Beth Ann - posted on 05/12/2010




As a high school teacher, there are a few things you might need to evaluate here. First, are your son's grades in the failing range because of organizational issues -- not remembering to bring home the work, not remembering there was work, and/or not turning in completed work? Or, are your son's grades low because he doesn't put effort in during the day either; his grades would be low on in-class activities and in homework? How does he do on tests? Finally, how do his friends do? Is it socially not acceptable to do well in school?

If there are issues with doing the work but not turning it in, copy (scan) the completed work and e-mail it to the teacher. If he doesn't bring the work home, can he get to his locker later in the evening? OR does the teacher post things on a webpage or an on-line grading system. You/he might be able to download assignments at home (or the local library).

Overall, he has a great support system -- at least with you and his step-dad...but ultimately he has to decide for himself that this is what he needs. He doesn't have to love it (much like his step-dad probably not liking graveyard shift), but it has to be done as a means to something he'd rather do. Keep believing in your son -- this is the BEST thing you can do!!

Hope you find something that works for him.

[deleted account]

tell him to get a job and start paying you rent to live at your house. if he doesnt want to go to school make him get into the real world and start behaving like an adult..... adults have bills and pay rent and support themselves.... eventually he will see that he needs to have at LEAST a highschool education ..... and get his dad on the same page as you - otherwise it wont work!


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Bobbie - posted on 11/07/2011




You can always take a few days off and sit in every class he has. Watch how he interacts with the kids and the kids interact with him. There maybe more going on than just not getting it done. Maybe he has ADD. I don't see why anyone would fail their classes intentionally by not turning in their school work. Also you might get him drug tested. It is a puzzle and you just have to keep doing things until you solve it. Take away car, computer, texting on phone. Who are his friends?

Bettina - posted on 05/12/2010




Hi, maybe he just wants a job. I have a 16yr old who failed yr8,9 and 10. Gettn a job has been the best thing, we are all not made to be scholars, i have 4 kids they are all different and i went thru a divorce 2 yrs ago, thr dad does not help at all. Giving them some responsibility has been heavensent.

Laura - posted on 04/26/2010




Have you thought about him having some kind of emotional or psychological problem? Alot of time when kids are having problems in school, it could mean there is something else going on.

Tasha - posted on 04/25/2010




No car until he passes??
Teenagers take social time for granted.. They think its a given.. Shorten his. Use the reward system.. You can go out with your friends if you etleast make a B on your Science Test?

Angela - posted on 04/25/2010




My daughter (now 18 and graduated!) had some of the same problems. She would never turn anything in-even if she had done the work. We sent her to an alternative school and she caught up and graduated on time. From her schools web site: (It sums it up pretty well) An alternative high school that is focused on retaining students in school who would otherwise drop out. These students have a full range of intellectual capabilities, but may have difficulty with traditional time structures, lecture formats of learning, or have social issues that occupy a large portion of their energies. These students can, and want to learn; however, often the focus of that learning is not consistent with the way the curriculum is delivered in the comprehensive traditional high school.

Angie - posted on 04/25/2010




You cannot force organization on a person who doesn't want to be organized. You cannot make him care enough to do what needs to be done. This is his choice, he's a "big kid". The only thing I think you can do, is consider an alternative school that caters to children who struggle in school. Perhaps, he needs to take a GED class and get his GED instead of a traditional diploma.

Helen - posted on 04/25/2010




why doesn't his real dad help you with this situation. what does the school say about this. do they have any program to help your son, other than tutoring? i live in hawaii. i have a 16yr old who is in 11th grade. similar problem. 11th grade making up two 10th grade classes. also during the summer need to make up 11th grade classes. in hawaii they have a program that lets these kind of kids enroll in a different kind of school.....somewhat people call it last chance. some kids get there high school diploma that way. others just drop out, and go to night school.

just too bad your sons school won't take the time out and help you. besides tutoring. my son also went to tutoring, he said that they don't really help him out in there.

have you as his mother had a heart-to-heart with him? and please ask his dad for help. and how about his step dad. maybe he should also have a heart to heart with him also. like a intervention. hopefully i was helpful with you.....let me know how things go.

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