My first child went to secondary school last year.
Since then, his grades have dropped and he seems to have no respect for the school. He is having detentions for the first time in his school career and being sent out of class. I have felt blind as to what his days at school are like. Obviously, the timing of his move to secondary school was less than ideal with my Dad passing away and us moving house in the same month.
Now that I feel more able to be strong, I asked to see the school to see how we can all work to support my son better. Prior to this, his Dad has gone in to express our concerns.
One of my major concerns is that my son does not write homework down in his journal so I have no means of knowing what has been set. I know he should write it down but if he can’t or won’t, that still leaves me unable to support him with homework. School refuse to reply to my emails point blank. A teacher did call once and said she would write down the homework but never did.
So I went into school last week and said as a minimum I wish to be informed of his homework whether by phone, letter, email or note in his planner. They said they would look into a strategy but nothing so far so I remain clueless.
I asked for details to be given of any future detentions or disciplinary action against him so that we can know what is going on and encourage better behaviour from him. I am not expecting to hear any more on that unless I chase it up every week.
They have said they will give him a machine to assist him as he struggles with handwriting. I worry this has only been put in place because I have stirred things up.
I spent a lot of time the evening before the meeting talking to my son and taking notes about his feelings regarding school. I took notes and handed these to the teachers I saw. They looked at me as if I had appeared from another planet.
They say my son is not rude so much as indifferent to their attempts to be friendly with him.
I don’t think I helped when they said he spends a lot of time daydreaming and staring out of the window. It just made me smile as they used to say exactly the same thing about me at my school. I still managed to get into Cambridge University so was not as useless as they thought. I remember being fascinated about what my future might hold and tried to work out how to get there. Perhaps my son is the same and will come into his own at a later date.
I don’t know what to do for the best. I don’t want to make my son unpopular by constantly going into school. I don’t know how much of this might be a normal reaction to adapting to secondary school and that it will sort itself out in time.
Of course, my big fear is that my son will be turned of learning at the age of 12 with all the reduced life chances that will bring his way.
I have asked my son if he wants to stay at the school and he says he does because his friends are there. It seems he has an OK relationship with most of the teachers too only highlighting two that he does not like at all.
I don’t know what to do for the best next.
What would you do?