Parenting: Third Grade Blues

Munch is in the third grade and sometimes I feel like I’m struggling to make sure that my son is successful. Not just now but in the future. I’m trying to build a strong foundation with everything, especially math. Munch is a boy. Munch is lazy. Munch decides that he will answer what he feels like when he feels like it. Especially during assessments, quizzes or tests. If he’s not interested, he could care less.

Yep, this year has proven to be a difficult one. Multiple meetings with the teachers, emails and phone calls have all made me have to manage not just my employees but my son’s education and my son’s learning. Some days I think that I can’t do this. That I’m not cut out for this. That something has to give.

I experience the entire gamut of emotions from frustration to depression to joy at him doing something. It’s heartbreaking and hilarious. I just keep telling myself that I can’t give up. That I can’t stop pushing him, encouraging him and creating opportunities for growth. It’s exhausting.

Add to that Spring soccer, his birthday party and swim classes and you will see that I’m trying to keep him well rounded. The only saving grace is that I allow Munch to lead his scheduled activities. We do what he wants to do. He only wants to do soccer in the spring, guitar lessons and swim class. No more he says.

Okay.

However, third grade is tough. Although he’s made honor roll for the last two quarters and is on track to make honor roll this third quarter, it’s a continuous battle to make sure that he stays focused. Focus on school work. Focus on math. I’m constantly reminding him that every concept will build on the next. Reminding him that he knows it. His math grades have been adjusted because our district doesn’t allow children in grades 2-5 to fail math so he gets at least a 60.

Umm, I’m not sure how I feel about that. So, I spend extra time on math homework. Going over the multiplication table, giving extra work to build on what he’s learning in school. “Everything has a purpose Munch” is what I tell him. Sometimes he gets it. Other times he looks at me like I’m wasting his time.

Boys are hard is what I’m told. It doesn’t reassure me. I feel like I’m failing him. I asked him “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He said “A scientist.” I smiled. “Science and math go hand in hand Munch. You need to understand math and its concepts to fully understand and grasp math.”

It’s the third quarter – third grade blues I’m sure, but I can’t give up on him. I’m invested in his future. I’m investing in him. I signed him up for a STEM camp with NSBE this summer. It’s a 3 week camp. Not sure how we’ll get him to and from during the 8:30 am to 3:30 pm hours, but he likes STEM. It’s FREE so it needs to happen.

Sometimes it feels like we’ll never get through it. That my life until he graduates from high school and maybe when he goes to college is all about making sure he’s focused and doing what he’s supposed to do. When will he take the bulls by the horn and want to do it on his own?

He’s been asking to go to a regular school (non French Immersion school). He doesn’t want to continue in French. His grades are great. He just doesn’t want to learn French anymore. He wants to learn in English. Should I listen to him?

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Parenting: Third Grade Blues

    1. Thank you so much. I pray for Munch so much, but I never thought to pray and ask God to help Munch understand the choices that I’ve made. Thank you for reminding me of that and I’m definitely going to pray to God for that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Boys are hard. That frontal lobe doesn’t develop soon enough! Hang in there. I wouldn’t make a rush decision on the French immersion just yet. Discuss it with him over the summer. I’m not a fan of changing schools a lot, like I did as a kid. I didn’t want that for my boys. They’ve now gone to school with the same kids since kindergarten. If you want him to stay where he’s at, use the angle that he won’t see his friends or teachers and he’ll have to make new friends and the grass isn’t always greener. It’s hard to rationalize with a 3rd grade boy though. 😃

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    1. Thank you. I hear that boys are hard. If he was struggling then I would consider it. He just switched schools this year and he’s doing better in this school than his last. It’s a bigger and brighter school and I just like the teachers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m all for letting mine make choices for themselves. But, at some points, you have to make that call, not him. What school he goes to is a big one. I think what you say goes in this instance.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I had to comment, I just had my daughters exit meeting with her school’s special education group. You see my daughter is deaf has cochlear implants since she’s been 3. You’d never know she was deaf unless she wasn’t wearing her implants, anyway in the meeting I told the story of when she was in second grade and I was having a melt down about how hard it was for her how I’ll never get her focused how it was a constant battle etc. I said how am I ever going to get her into to college and the teacher said,” why don’t we focus on 2nd grade and worry about college next year”. You get through it, he gets through it and everyone does the best they can. Some years are easier than others

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  3. I too am having issues of motivation with the boy that I nanny. He’s almost 10 and shows the same “if I want to do it sure, but meh” kind of attitude some days.

    As for Munch, from everything that you have written about him, he seems to be a great kid with a really balanced head on his shoulders. I would trust his judgement for the French thing. 🙂 He seems to know himself well and if he’s saying he needs a break from it, it might be a good thing for him? His other grades might improve with his mind free to focus on the other subjects instead of French. It could also be a way for him to change schools since this year seems to be a rough one for him adjusting schools as well.

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    1. Thank you. I don’t want another school change. He’s 8. He has a 3.67 GPA on a 4.0 scale. He can do the work. Putting him in another school that doesn’t challenge him bothers me. He doesn’t understand the benefit of learning another language at this age. He doesn’t see the usefulness in it. However, his school takes the 4th graders to Canada. He can then go to Paris when he’s in the 8th grade. Ugh! Parenting is hard.

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      1. Ooo Canada! Although our French is totally different than France French. His GPA is really amazing! And learning a language as a child is very beneficial, I wish I had started French much younger, I might have learned it in a better way and studied it longer.

        Parenting is hard! But you are rocking it!! I know you’ll make the right choice for Munch, like you always do. Just take it to prayer and you’ll get an answer and some peace over it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary is also in third grade. It also seems that a lot of this shift and the fact that some days are super great, and some are super not so great, but I think a lot of this might have to do with teenager-dom getting closer. I’ve noticed more mood swing in my daughter too, so that might be some of it. But i think 3rd grade is really pivotal too in the way that Pre-K is to kindergarten. Developmentally, they have all these singular concepts, but ages 8-9 is kinda when they start liking all of these puzzle pieces together and they start seeing the full picture, if that makes sense. They should really make that “Wonder Leaps ” app for prepubescent kids! LOL! As far as homework and math goes, the “no failing rule” although i get it, is that even fair to our kids? And if the teachers know that some of the kids are doing sub-par (so to speak) are they adjusting and accomodating, or are they kinda like, “Well, they pass anyway so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯” and that bothers me. But keep doing what your doing. I’ve always felt that giving up on our kids or on our drive to help them is not an option. I’m certain you feel the same way. Keep up the killer momming friend! You’re nailing it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Sammie. I think you’re right. He told me a couple of weeks ago that he’s almost a pre-teen. I’m like “Stop rushing it.” The other night he sucked his teeth at me. I almost lost my mind. I was hot. Get over it kid. I totally get the failing thing so that bothers the heck out of me that the pass him. Send it home so we know where we can extend more resources. He needs to know that failure is part of life, but you need to make sure that you’re doing your best at every turn. Thanks so much for the encouragement and sharing. We need this in order to know we’re not alone. It is a real sanity check.

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  5. Learning a second language is definitely very beneficial to him. I hope he will be willing to continue with French Immersion. I hated Chinese school when I was little, but now because of my ability to read Chinese, it has opened a lot more doors for me.

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