13 answers

Paying Attention in School

My son is in third grade this year. unfortunately when his first and second grade teachers said he wasn't focusing enough, we thought he was just being a kid. Now going into the third quarter of the school year in third grade, his grades are awful and his teacher this year said the same. My husband and I are full-time students and I'm working part-time, I don't know what to do! please help!

What can I do next?

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having the same problem with 8 yr old in second grade. Had him tested for ADHD- without backup from the hubby- trying to deal without medication started giving him Omega3 every day does seem to help also talking him through the wild behavior also seems to help

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From a former teacher - Is he being challenged enough?? If he's smart, the content may be boring to him. Have him tested to see if he's of high IQ, because smart kids are bored by the "dumbed down" content often found in schools nowadays.

Secondly - if not high IQ after testing, test for learning disability. things like dyslexia can be pounced on and modified if found early enough. Check his eye sight, too. Kids who cant read/see/compute/understand properly get really discouraged, so they act out. (I know parents don't like to hear this kind of stuff - but the fact of reality is there are learning disabilities)

Good luck!!

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There could be MANY causes from a learning disability, vision or hearing problem, being gifted / aka bored, or being ADHD (and most adhd'ers are also gifted) are the most common "this is how life is" / not something outside causing "it".)

Get him checked out for physical problems (hearing and vision), and then an eval by a pro (including the work level... many gifted AND adhd/2e kiddos will say the work is to "hard" because it's boring and anything boring is "hard").

www.additudemag.com is a phenom adhd resource.

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Wow...this was me a few years ago! My son is 11 and in the 6th grade but from the time he was in Kindergarten I had this problem! He rushed through his work, wasn't focusing, not paying attention, forgetting things, and the grades were o.k. but they could have been a lot better. Well from Kindergarten on up to about 3rd grade all I heard was "He needs to be put on medicine" I was determined NOT to do that and I figured with enough discipline he would get better. But it just got worse! I was getting calls from the teacher and having to miss work all the time to go to school. Finally I took him to his pediatrician to be evaluated. They diagnosed him with ADD and put him on the lowest dose of Concerta...and it helped. But a year later his father lost his job and his insurance and we couldn't afford the medicine that would have been $150 a month. And eventually his behavior improved ALOT haven't gotten a call from teacher in the last 2 years. His grades could improve a little but they aren't bad, he still forgets a lot, and isn't very organized....I just try to work w/ him because that alone isn't enough to put him back on medicine. I think you're son will grow out of it! I hope this helps and good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

having the same problem with 8 yr old in second grade. Had him tested for ADHD- without backup from the hubby- trying to deal without medication started giving him Omega3 every day does seem to help also talking him through the wild behavior also seems to help

1 mom found this helpful

When he is at home do you sit him in front of a TV or video games? Check what he focuses on at home this spills over to school. In addition, check his diet, is he getting to much carbohydrates in the early morning that give him a sugar rush?

Take some time to speak with him and let him tell you about his day in school. What is happening to him that is distracting. Gentle questioning without judgement or repercussions will help you get to the source of distraction.

Whatever you do try natural solutions, do not start a drug regiment on your child, you will paralyze him for life. Seek help but do not let them drug him into compliance. Many natural sources to channel his energy.

Contact Sunni ###-###-####

I would defnitely start with your pediatrician to discuss the concerns - some will prescribe a medication for that, some won't. Dryer Clinic in Aurora does a thorough evaluation - more than 15 minutes spent in the doctor's office which is what I have seen sometimes (I am a school social worker). Another question I would have - is he getting enough sleep? Or the right kind of sleep? That can also have an impact on school behavior. One of my friends took her son in for a sleep study and found out he was waking upwards of 20 times per hour due to his adenoids being so swollen.

Speaking as a teacher for over 20 years, he could have attention deficit disorder or ADD. The only way to find out is to have the psychologist test him. If you try to do this on your own it will cost unless you have some good insurance. Children with ADD need to be monitored and positioned in the classroom where they have minimal distractions. This is not always going to work but it will help. The phychologist sdhould be able to give you some ideas on how to help him stay focused.

Yikes, get him a tutor and fast!

Find another Mother who has a child who doesn't have the same focusing challenges. See if she will help you. You may want to consider having him evaluated for learning challenges. There may be a problem or he may be bored. No TV at home!!!! No video games!!! OUTSIDE physical activity before he sits down to do homework. It can help him use up the excess energy that all boys have.

Look, parenting isn't easy, our kids need our advocacy. It may mean that you and your husband take fewer classes and work with him more. Now I am well aware that not all parents are teachers...there are doers and there are teachers...and some can do both. Figure out what you can handle. Do his homework with him. Talk him through it. Help him to figure things out on his own and then help him.

If you can't help him please find someone who can. His entire future counts on it!

Cut his TV out completely during the week, and severly limit it on the weekends (he'll make you nuts at first, but stick to it) and enroll him in a martial art like karate, aikido, judo, or tae kwon do. I've seen this combo work over and over. Does wonders for focus, concentration, and discipline.

I would strongly suggest that you request a conference with his teacher immediately. You have the right to an evaluation of your son by the team of professionals at his school-social worker, psychologist, special education, occupational therapist, etc. You may have to contact your family doctor as part of the evaluation, and, if they find ADHD, meds may be part of the treatment. However, his educational environment could also be modified for him, including allowing him to take tests in small groups, special seating arrangements, a revised schedule, breaks worked into his schedule, etc. Now is the time to get to the root of this problem-whether it's attention, learning disability, being bored, etc. You should not have to spend huge amounts of money to have this matter resolved(in fact, his school should be doing the majority of the evaluating, so that part should be free). For your son's sake, contact his school now. As other moms have said, don't be afraid to get the ball rolling now and begin the process of helping him be the very best that he can be. (BTW, please, please don't let the teacher drop the ball, either, by saying, that, oh, well, he's just bored or unmotivated. You and he have the right to know why he is not doing his best and how the school can help him to improve.)

There are lots of reasons he may not be focusing - 1. he is not getting enough sleep - really common, 2. The teacher does not have a 'connection' to the individual kids in the class - most experienced teachers know each kids name, something about them, talk to the individually, so when they address the group - all the kids know 'they' are being addressed. Many less experienced teachers just give general directions to the group without any individual attention - may work fine for some kids but not for all. 3. He is bored/not challenged 4. He has some form of learning disability 5. He has not mastered to previous work, so he isn't even trying to keep up anymore.

And lot's more. You need to speak with his teacher, principal and anyone else who has contact with him in school, discuss with him what he sees as issues and his suggestions and potentially request a professional evaluation. If you are able to observe his teacher and class for a few days, that would also likely be helpful

Speaking with some experience as a mom and teacher, talk to your son and try to see if he acknowledges his weakness, if he has ideas why it's happening, how he can improve. I would see if his teacher can pinpoint the "not focusing enough" (during independent work, group activities, whole group lessons?). Also see if it's during certain classes, just the reading and math type or art, music, gym as well? Talk to his teacher about who can BOSS (don't remember what it stands for) him, but it's a short evaluation of him during a class period to seeing how his movement/attentiveness/talking compare to other kids in the class. Usually it a social worker (maybe a speech and language person) that comes in and quietly watches him from the back of the class. No one should announce or know why they are there. Are his grades low because he rushes and makes mistakes, he didn't get all of the directions right or does he truly not understand the work? Other things to try, see if the teacher can do small cues/prompts when she sees he's not focusing (e.g. a subtle tap on the shoulder), make sure he doesn't have anything distracting on his desk, seat him close to her desk, not by other talkative kids. Finally, see if you can determine if he works better processing things visually or auditorally (sp?)-maybe the teacher can help him (and you at home) keeping an assignment notebook, making lists, having him repeat asssignments/instructions. Good luck and as another mom said, keep being an advocate for him.

It seems like the school should have a way to evaluate him and make suggestions. I don't think you'll have to do it on your own time or money. Now that you recognize there's some kind of problem, as the teacher/principal/social worker? how he can be helped, by you and by the school. Once you know of specific problems, you can do a little research on your end. Good luck.

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