25 answers

Struggling Second Grader

My second grader has been struggling with school all along, and receives extra reading help. We have always tried to do all we can to help her, but as school gets harder, I am concerned that she will start to fall further behind. We are working with her teacher, and she has a progress monitoring plan in place, but I am not satisfied with the level of help she is receiving. We spend hours at night reteaching her what she did in school that day and it is very frustrating.

We have been told that they do not think she has a learning disability. We spend a lot of time going over things with her, and things that she can memorize, like spelling she always receives A's. Things that she does poorly on, when we review it with her, the problem is almost always that she could not read either the directions or part of the assignment and shut down. She had difficulty with new things, but once they are explained to her she usually understands. She tests very poorly however. If she gets one thing wrong, she tends to freeze up and starts to randomly answer things.

Any suggestions?

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

To everyone that responded I want to extend my sincere thanks. As you know, this is not something that I can say is resolved. We continue to love, laugh and cry, and do the best we can every day.

Featured Answers

Give her easier things she enjoys anilmals etc. to read, if she has success she'll want to do it more, make it important, but don't force her, since she tends to shut dowm, my 5th grader is similiar. and if you find what interest her and have her read in ways besides sitting down and reading, she'll won't even know she's doing it. Ex. receipes, grocery lists,
you may also want to find a tutor, classrooms are often not the best place to learn, Iam available if interested. I am in Englewood.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that FL schools although much improved for those students who don't need extra help, have a VERY long way to go in serving those who do. I volunteer in my son's 3rd grade classroom. I was recently asked by his teacher to find a volunteer parent who could help one of my son's classmates who is working on a 1st grade level. It was recently discovered that the child is legally blind. He was held back in K but that was it and has been passed along each year! This is a GOOD A school we are talking about.
The child is in afterschool tutoring and the teacher says he does have support at home as well. I just moved from PA, and whenever a child is diagnosed with a bona-fide disability there, extra funding comes in to get the child the support services he or she needs. There is no asking unqualified volunteer parents to help. This situation has left me with the knowledge that the only advocate my children are going to have with FL schools is ME! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I went through the same thing with my older daughter, Samantha. After a persistent attempt on my part I finally got her tested at school. She didn't have a learning disability. But she did have ADD (inattentive). Girls are usually inattentive not hiper active (ADHD) That is bascically she has a hard time keeping concentration on things in general. She easily forgot directions, and got frustrated when she didn't get the directions right away. Because we started the process of addressing her issues late in the school year she was left back in 2nd grade. Five years later she is a straight A student and has no problem with being left back.

Back to the ADD (inattentive). We went to a neurologist and ended up medicating Samantha. This was the best thing we ever did for her. After she started her medication we had her retested. It ended up that she did have a learning disablility. Actually a processing speed inequality between her eyes and her brain. As soon as that was diagnosed, we set her up with a 504Plan and eventually a SLS plan. These plans have helped her with her reading. More so these plans give her the time to take tests that she needs. She is no longer worried that she will not have time to finish the tests and her confidence and grades skyrocketed. Now she still has her SLS plan but only uses it for testing. She is in honors classes (equlivent to gifted in elemantary)and excelling. She actually does better being more challenged. Less time to daydream, and easier to stay focused.

I will let you know that you will probably need to hound your school to get your daughter tested. The school system is not for the individual issues it works more towards the common children, until you get in to a program. If you need more information on what you can do to get the process started please email me ____@____.com

K. Tejada

2 moms found this helpful

I have to say I agree with Patricia, don't stop at what the teacher says. Always ask outside the school. I am having my child screened for pre-k with a group called fiddlers.Also, I work with ESE classes, as I am a substitute teacher and not everyone with a disability, is noticeable. My advice would be to have your child tested.

1 mom found this helpful

I have dyslexia. As you are seeing sometimes it takes a long time to get someone to agree that there is something your child might need help with. If it were not for my mom pushing and continuing testing I may still be struggling today. But I have been able to retrain my brain to see things properly. If you have more questions email me ____@____.com

1 mom found this helpful

My mother is a retired speech pathologist with the school system and I too had/have problems with my daughter, who now has made it to 2nd grade. You should probably consider having your child tested by a therapist outside of school. Also, it sounds like she would really benefit from outside tutoring. Our school offers free tutoring for every student, but you have to jump right away when it's offered. You could also look into tutoring centers or a high school or college student who may be studying child development or education. Good luck, I know how stressful this can be, but when she pushes through you'll be very proud.

1 mom found this helpful

My 7 year old twins are in the 2nd grade and have struggled with school since kindergarden. Last year I paid a tutor and this year I am doing the same, but I am also doing a greatleaps program that seems to help. We do letter regonition, sound awareness, high frequency words and pharses, and Stories that they can read to me under a minute. It teaches them fluency, and helps with there confindence.
What school do your kids attend and maybe we can help each other and have study groups and make it fun for them and us.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear B.,

Try this; in any area your daughter has trouble explain the definitions of the words. Take one word at a time. Do explanatory sentences and then have her do sentences until she feels she has it. If you are not sure of a definition, look it up in a dictionary and then put the definition in very simple concepts for her to understand. If you do this everyday, your daughters vocabulary will take off and her comprehension and use of these words will build confidence and skill for her. 100 years ago, you never saw a class room without a dictionary. Now the dictionary has fallen out of use and it is expected of children to be able to understand complex sentences without fully understanding the words that compose the sentence. It is practically impossible to do so.

I have done this with my five year old and people remark at her vast vocabulary.

This takes some work and switching to doing this, might be a big change but I promise the work will pay off for you. We have visual dictionaries and the internet has amazing dictionaries. Make it a game and you will open a whole new world of understanding for your daughter.

Sincerely,
D.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi B. -

Have you read through some of today's postings? There are several mothers who've had some sort of school-related issues with their second graders. It may be worth a look at their personal stories and the responses to them.

With regards to your second grader, whatever you do, please don't ever pit your children against each other in the intelligence and accomplishment departments. My parents did just that with my brother and me, and it was disastrous for my brother, who turned out to be a mediocre student at best for most of his childhood. Instead of rising to the challenge, he basically resigned himself to being the "dumber" of my parents' two children, and he still subscribes to that belief to this day even though he's made some great strides in his own life.

My parents were extremely strict with me on every aspect of my life, and as a result of ONLY that fact was I able to maintain excellent grades - I was basically scared straight into "As," which is no way to really learn anything. Even though I earned great grades, I never considered myself exceptionally and/or naturally bright. I had to re-read everything twice, sometimes three times and when it came to math, I had to have extra outside help (in grade school, that help took the form of my very impatient and over-expectant mother and in college, I elected to take remedial math classes even though I tested well enough to start at the college-level).

Not being naturally bright, but being extremely disciplined was what got me through college on scholarships and grants, which is a good thing since my parents refused to pay for or even co-sign for my education. If you could somehow nurture within your daughter the need for scholastic discipline, without resorting to negative reinforcement, it would serve her very well in school and in life in general. By the way, self-discipline is a key element to nurturing a good, strong memory. If you can research and find some good, age-appropriate memory activities and/or games that are actually FUN, I'm sure that would make a difference in your daughter's test-taking and retention overall.

I'm married to a very naturally intelligent man, and my kids have inherited his abilities, which at times frustrates me as it astounds me. I can't fathom the idea of not studying before a test or just winging it and hoping for the best (and the best always happening), but that's how my husband made his way through school. Our personal struggle now that we have kids together is to somehow recognize our children's natural intelligence, while honing and encouraging discipline. I can tell you that as a teacher myself, the more disciplined and in-line students are, the better students they're considered to be because they're using self-control to manage their behavior even when they may be bored because they're not challenged enough or clueless because they need extra help. Instead of acting out of frustration, they either ask for extra help or take their own initiative to learn new things. Of course, it's the teacher's job to not only monitor, but to make a plan of action for students' strengths and weaknesses (and EVERY student has BOTH).

You talked about your frustrations with re-teaching your daughter nearly every night...if a lot of time and effort on you and your husband's part is what it takes for now, it's a great investment in her future when she gets into higher grades and even harder subjects that you and your husband may not be equipped to help her with. Making sure your child knows she has home support as well as school support is extremely important for her confidence level, which seems to be at the root of her scholastic problems.

I'm not opposed to home-schooling, as one mom suggested, especially when Florida schools are so focused on teaching strictly to the FCATs, but are you in the position to make such a committment? My friend, who is a 4th grade teacher in St. Pete, says that she and her colleagues are so closely monitored by their school administrators and held to such a strict criteria that she can't even teach or reinforce the importance of neat handwriting - a great learning exercise to encourage both discipline and self-respect. There's something definitely wrong with Florida schools if they don't care how our kids are writing!

Home schooling has advanced way beyond its inception, and the concerns about lack of socialization have been answered with the formation of great social and academic groups made up of other home schooled students and even some public and privately educated students. You should research a home school network in your area if you're in the position to go that route.

Blessings to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that FL schools although much improved for those students who don't need extra help, have a VERY long way to go in serving those who do. I volunteer in my son's 3rd grade classroom. I was recently asked by his teacher to find a volunteer parent who could help one of my son's classmates who is working on a 1st grade level. It was recently discovered that the child is legally blind. He was held back in K but that was it and has been passed along each year! This is a GOOD A school we are talking about.
The child is in afterschool tutoring and the teacher says he does have support at home as well. I just moved from PA, and whenever a child is diagnosed with a bona-fide disability there, extra funding comes in to get the child the support services he or she needs. There is no asking unqualified volunteer parents to help. This situation has left me with the knowledge that the only advocate my children are going to have with FL schools is ME! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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