Interestingly enough for both of our girls the largest issue was that they had assignments missing. More interesting is that the work was finished just not turned in.
Of course this is very frustrating for parents and teachers; however the situation was easily remedied.
While attending conferences with our oldest daughter there was some more concern over her math grade. She was doing ok, and, struggling to keep up.
In our high school there are two options for freshman algebra. The first option is a two trimester class and the second option is a three trimester class. Both cover the exact same material one is just a bit slower.
Our daughter's math teacher voiced some concern and promised to keep an eye on her.
Shortly after conferences he contacted my wife and myself and suggested we move her to the three trimester math class.
Our daughter was less than thrilled about this idea. So we talked it through and she reassured us that she was understanding the work better and the issue was isolated to one section.
We gave her the space she needed.
As time has progressed we have noticed that she does work very hard at her math homework. Attends study groups and is still struggling.
My wife and I talked about the distinct possibility of having to make that decision and be ok with her not being happy with us.
Today our daughter sent a text from school asking my wife to email Mr. B and asked to be moved to the other class.
As a parent I was fully prepared to make the right choice and put her in the class that she needs to be in. Also, I am really glad that we gave her the space and time she needed to wrestle with the situation and make the decision herself.
In my opinion too many times parents rush into situations like this and prevent their child from learning valuable life lessons. There is no way we would have let her fail and at the same time she will be much more motivated to participate in the class that she is choosing to be in. She will not see this move as a punishment but as a help.
Furthermore this exercise was another step toward adulthood for her. We allowed her to be somewhat autonomous with a safety net. I believe in the long run this will allow her to continue to make good choices for herself. Let's face it we will not always be available to help her make good choice so it's crucial that she learn how to do this now.
Allow your children the time and space they need to make some smaller choices by themselves. As they grow allow them opportunities to make more important choices by themselves. Even allow them to make wrong choices; failure is a part of life.