School : ( - Canton,OH

Updated on September 30, 2011
A.S. asks from Canton, OH
15 answers

My 3rd grade daughter has been in school 5 weeks now. She is struggling. It breaks my heart. She had a rough 1st grade year, but excellent 2nd grade. This year is completely different. They switch classes, added science, social studies and Math started pretty fierce at the start of school. I am trying to help her, some nights she whines, says she doesn't know the answers after I explain 3 times. I admit, I have to really control my patience during this. Teaching academics is not my thing. (give teachers all the credit in the world! ) Also, I have to let go of the fact that I think during these times, I think our kids are pressured to learn MORE MORE MORE. Example: In science they're learning about chlorophyll and chloroplast plus 10 other vocabulary words at a time and she is completely lost. Sigh.... I just want her to be successful as any mother wants for her child. Am I the only one going through this? Suggestions? We have tutoring in our area which is great, but it's 3 hours straight, 3 evenings a week. That would be on top of an 8hr day at school. (let me add that I have a kinderg. and a 2 yr old and my husband has been out of town 3 weeks for work, so it's a juggle at night finding an hour to do homework with peace and quiet! )

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answers from Kansas City on


You can tell them what grade she's in and they will give her the grades before and after so she can go at her own pace. She can skip around and find similar subjects to study. It's in game form, has videos and it's awesome. It's 20 per month for the first student and 15 for additional students. It's much cheaper and better than any tutor you will find.

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answers from New York on

The academic "jump" between second grade (primary school) and third grade (intermediate years) is so profound that it takes most parents aback. It is also the first year of Federally-mandated testing, so the pace of the curriculum increases along with the depth and intensity.

I would strongly suggest hiring a responsible middle or high school student to tutor your daughter on a much less "rigorous" basis. As parents, we lose our patience very easily with our own children b/c we just "know" they can get it. Having someone else work with your daughter may help more than you realize!

9 hours of tutoring per week for an 8 year old is crazy. One hour a day at most should do it!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

A.....first of all, you are only one person and can only do as much as you can do. Have you contacted your daughters teacher?? My daughter is in 3rd grade this year and switching classes too. It IS an adjustment and I hope your daughter does well....not sure I was any help but I do feel your pain, and I only have one child.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Talk to the teacher.

Our son had a challenging year his fourth grade year. I told the teacher we will work on homework for a set amount of time and after that then we are done. I will not allow homework to consume and invade our homelife. I understand reading every night..doing some math... but hours of homework is ridiculous in my book. I said this all very nicely and she understood and started to give less homework overall. She also let me know that she supported me.

3rd grade is a transition. More is expected and taught. I personally wouldn't go the route of tutors or more time in a classroom. When my kids come home from school they get time to diffuse and unwind and have a snack. I have found that they tend to work better in the evenings after dinner when life has settled down. Sometimes they even do a little of their homework in the morning before school. But..I am not sure your situation. I am a SAHM so my days do not compete with a job.

Teach her good study habits, teach her the importance of an education, support her and love her and she will be successful. An A grade does not equate success in my book. Give her some time...and be patient. Yes..I wholeheartedly agree that they are pressured to learn "more more more" That is another reason why I don't fret so much about completing all the homework. I NEVER had this type of pressure as an elementary student. They are doing waaaay too much.

Good luck and best wishes during this school is a bumpy ride!!

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answers from Colorado Springs on

Can you homeschool her? Way less pressure. You take it at her pace, not someone else's. And, you pick the curriculum you want to use. You could fit your entire day together as a family, teaching your children, no school runs, ah, I can't imagine the hassle of following a schedule imposed on my by someone else. You should think about it. When they are home with you all day, you get into a routine, and the curriculums often tell you *exactly* what to say when teaching. They also tend to be more conversational style, and WAY more interesting than the stuff in public schools. We actually enjoy these subjects I used to think were so boring. Totally different than what I had ever seen before.

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answers from Detroit on

3rd grade can be tough. In MI, this is the year the get tested for the State Rankings. Talk to her teacher. They may offer tutoring in school. You may just have to suck it up and do the 3 hr/3day/ week. You may not have to do it too long as they may be able to teach her ways to accomplish her work in a fun and more efficient way. The problem with trying to teach our own children is that most of them are not receptive to us. In my household this would be my 5 year old.

Another suggestion is to hire a high school student to help with her work. Or try waking up early in the morning to do homework.

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answers from Washington DC on

I think that she's having trouble more because your husband is out of town and the routines have changed.
What I did at this age, was get the vocabulary words, and make flashcards. Every day, we'd go over them -- it takes 5 minutes.
Math - we'd sit down (right after school) and she'd show me how to do the homework problems -- if there was something she didn't understand, we'd go over it a couple of times and then if she still didn't get it, I'd leave it alone. I'd send the teacher a note if there was something she just didn't understand, because she couldn't be the only kid having an issue...
This is the year for times tables, I think -- flash cards... I did addition and subtraction flashcards and then added in the multiplication ones. We could finish them in about 15 minutes -- even if we were in the car waiting on another child.
Science -- review the words, look over the homework questions. Again, she can't be the only child having issues understanding all that plant stuff.
Social Studies -- Flash cards... it's easy, they memorize the information, it's fast.
Time management is also a tough thing without your DH at home. My kids did their homework at the kitchen table the minute they walked in the door. If we waited until after dinner, it was a nightmare. You can do flashcards and such while you make dinner if need be. I've been where you are. It's worth the time - even when there doesn't seem to be any. Pop a video in for the little one, hand the kindergartener a snack, and get on with homework for the older one.

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answers from Washington DC on

Contact a Cadette Girl Scout troop, they usually need volunteer hours with younger children, these are middle school girls
Try the youth group at church
High Schoolers also need vounteer hours for their diploma.
Make flashcards for all science vocab and math facts
Tape words up around the house, we did this with antonyms on little ants and synonyms on little suns.
Have her fill out a flower worksheet and hang it up for her to see every day.
Make sure you show her genuine praise for improvement. So what if she gets a D. Did she at least get most of the worksheet/test completed?

I ended up pulling my daughter out. She was not even at grade level by the end of 4th grade. She is now in 8th working above grade level in all subjects.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'll look forward to your responses. My daughter is in 3rd grade too and having the same kinds of issues :(.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Talk to the teacher. See if she can recommend a tutor, a teacher might have just retired and wants to supplement her incoome, for example. Also, there could be a student teacher who would like to earn a little extra. In addition, I would contact the University of Akron's education department. They might have students in elementary education that would like to make extra money tutoring. There is Sylvian, Huntington and I'm sure other companies that specialize in tutoring students who are struggling.

3rd grade is a tough one, her dad is out of town so home is a little more stressed for her and she is overwhelmed with the changes at school. Poor kid! Some deal with it better than others. Good luck!



answers from Cleveland on

I feel bad for you. The only thing with tutoring it will seem like punishment to her. The most part of schooling is for our kids to learn to love to learn. This is what is lacking in some schools. I want my kids to LOVE to learn. I know you have your hands full but have you considered home schooling. It would allow your child to learn at her own pace. I know that is hard to consider if you are already having a hard time being patient with her but it may be well worth it in the long run. And school days are full of fillers. SO it does not mean 6 hours of learning at home. May be you could find a teenager or college kid who could help you out either way. Someone who is good with kids who wants to be a teacher.



answers from Miami on

Third grade is when they really push the kids. First you a third grader should only be doing so many hours a day of homework. If you are going beyond that you need to tell the teacher. Also you have to set up a schedule of doing homework at the same time every day so she gets into a routine. Second sometimes kids learn things in a different way. I found with my daughter when it comes to english comprehension I have to break down the work into smaller segments to make it easier to learn. She still has a problem with it but by doing it in smaller chunks it has become manageable. Also they usually have student tutors at the school itself after school so if there is a subject that she is just not getting call the main office and find out what they have. If she is still having issues after doing this then you can request she be put in a different class or put her in a different school. Not all kids are created from the same mold so they do not all learn the same way. Maybe a montisorri with a hands on approach will work better for her. Just make sure its acredited before signing up.



answers from Chicago on

I traced my daughter's learning issues back to problems with vocabulary. It seems like between second and third and fourth and fifth there is a vocabulary jump. Not just new words on her list (like chlorophyll and chloroplast) but just in the language they use to write their books. There wasn't a big jump between third and fourth grade--weird!

I found that there were so many "everyday" words that she just didn't know. Working on those vocabulary words helped her a lot.

She also needed a lot of help SEEING the new concepts. It seems that in third grade they start introducing concepts more. Second grade is more "what you see is what is there." My daughter needed help visualizing the concepts. I don't know how we ever learned without the internet! I'm constantly googling pictures of things for her.

If your daughter is only in 3rd grade, 3 hours on one day of tutoring seems like a lot! If I were you, I'd invest in a tutor that maybe does an hour a day, maybe a high school or college student that is willing to help her with her homework. That way you could take care of your other children and know that your daughter is getting help.


answers from Chicago on

I would talk to the teacher and ask her/him for help. Our school offers "homework club" and extra math tutoring, which my 5th grader uses. It really has helped her math grade (went from C to A).

I'm like you and have very little patience with helping with homework. I have nothing but praise and respect for teachers and aides!

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I know 3rd grade is hard. What is her routine like when she gets home? do you do homework when she gets home. Make sure you are creating a space where it is quiet because I think from what you are saying there are too many distractions and it is hard for your DD to focus. Does she struggle during the day at school or just when she gets home? I think you will need to work out a system where she has your undivided attention. I too have three kids...I have to pass off the other two just so I can help her and get that peace and quiet to focus.

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