My 11 year old is failing 5th grade: Advice?

My 11-year-old is failing 5th grade. He doesn’t do well learning on the computer. But in class, he is AMAZING with straight A’s. But on the computer, he cannot remain focused. I don’t know what to do. Is anyone else holding their child back? I don’t want to because he is literally 5ft 7 and about to be 12 years old and he is SUPER SMART. I’m at a loss. COVID sucks.


Get him a tutor… Work with him yourself… Ask another parent whos kid is doing well for the other kids help…

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Make a meeting with his teacher and make a plan ASAP. Check with with your school or district about new services. Our will be offering free tutoring, summer school and much more. But don’t wait.

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Don’t fail him because of a rough year that was out of his control. I’ve been there. It has an emotional toll on them. Makes them feel bad about themselves. They give up. Let him go on to the 6th grade. Let him regain his brilliance. Please don’t ruin your son’s future because he had a hard time adjusting to a difficult situation.

My daughter was struggling just like this. Failed miserably with the computer was a star in class. The school eventually went to a hybrid model where she goes to school two days a week and it’s helped SO MUCH.

My school offered summer school to help the kids who weren’t doing well virtual


Call your school district and see what they suggest as far as in person learning. Computer classes aren’t for everyone

You are not the only parent worried about their child. I feel so much empathy for all parents going through this. I agree with a tutor and/or summer school. Try not to hold him back it really affects a child’s self esteem.

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I was there. I took everything from him until he completed one class assignment. Took all day bc after the assignments he got to fidget with something but he eventually got it done. This isn’t his or your fault don’t fail him. Mine got to play with legos for 5 minutes after each section. Math everything in that category had to be completed. Is there something distracting him? I had to remove our cats out of the room till he was completed for the day. Others suggested tutor. Mention to him you are thinking of getting one. My kid didn’t want anyone in his class to know. He is now in 6th and in person thankfully but if not we would change rules again kinda. He hates staying home. 1 weekend home and his school telling him they are skipping all steps of their policy per his father’s and mine request his grade has gone from f to a b- in two weeks. But we got him a ton of help at the school. Told his teachers how you know to ask questions about him getting it. And most importantly telling them not to address it till after class bc if he is struggling asking for help he struggles with because he doesn’t want his teachers or classmates to think he is stupid. Ask his teacher for help to. Most teachers don’t want to see a child fail.

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Take away all electronic and outside meals till u get a report card that says he has improved. Only one hour screen time if he finishes everything for the day but no phone or video games. Take him outside though for a walk or to use a scooter or something. It takes hard work but it worked for my daughter.


Don’t hold him back! He’ll be behind the rest of school and college! Get him caught up with a tutor or get him in an online school that has been accustomed to online learning and knows how to do it.

He’s 11 stop stressing he has quite few yrs to catch up


Is the school not open where you live here in Texas where we are it is it’s been open for a long time now since like August or September of last year the kids wasn’t doing good when they were out but my grandkids haven’t had no problems going back to school they wear their mask everyday and are doing good they were failing when they were doing online school

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Sucks ur schools not open glad mine is even if it’s only two days

Seek help.
Go to the DR. For some attention meds.
Call the school-communicate with them.
Have punishments for the child when they are not trying- sit beside him when he is doing his work.
It’s hard on all of us right now. Hope you find what works for your son.

Are you helping him? Providing him with discussion on history subjects? A math tutor if you are not proficient in math?

Summer school? I know my son was not doing well while he was homeschooling but now back in school doing better

Find a high school student that does tutoring. I know my kids accept directions about school work better from other people than they do from me!

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Does your state follow the No Child Left Behind ? If schools open back up next year, send him. If not, then maybe tutors or summer school. If he excels in class, he should be able to catch up really quickly.

Try joining some homeschooling pages. I homeschool my daughter and a lot of parents who have to do virtual learning have joined on the homeschooling pages. There’s no judgment, nothing but support and helpful resources. Your not alone in this momma! This is new to everyone no matter what learning/schooling situation you are in. Thankfully a lot of the parents on the homeschool pages have been doing it for a long time so they have tips and support for both you as a parent and your child♥️


Might need glasses, or a tutor to show him how to work confidently on the computer?

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You might try to find a school that’s open to people. The one in my hometown is open to online school.

My suggestion is Summer school. I know that this really isn’t that great/ideal either. But, I really don’t know any other options/ have any other ideas/advice.

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I’m pretty sure they are not allowed to legally hold back any student in elementary school. I would get him a tutor and look into homeschooling or maybe transferring schools to somewhere he can go in person (at least partially.) Maybe a private school.

My kids did horribly with virtual learning too. It just isn’t how they learn best. We recently moved to an area where they’re back in school full time and the difference has been astounding. I hope you find an easy way to help him.


I would have a meeting with whoever is over your online schooling and see if they have some resources for you and I would ask them if they thought he would be able to catch up if you send him on. You might also look into summer school programs or a tutor. The online schooling may even offer tutoring for free it just depends. My son is way bigger than the rest of the kids but he was struggling in in person learning and there was no way he could ever catch up if I went ahead and sent him so we retained him and it was the best decision we ever made. He was June baby so he’s always been the baby but always been the biggest kid lol. My husband and myself are super tall people so are kids are always getting mistaken for way older than they are. I would try to get the most information available and make the best decision for your son. No matter what you decide your doing a good job :blue_heart:.

I’m in the same exact boat, my son is the same age also. It’s so frustrating. And I’ve basically given up. The thing that saves him is he does amazing on tests but his grades are sour. I spent a lot of time trying to help him and it did no good, he’s just not getting it this year. I don’t believe you should hold him back for the simple fact that 90% of children are going through this. Next year the teachers are going to need to have a bit more patience with these guys. They are a year behind because of this. I spent to much time stressing about it and I finally realized my stress was only stressing him. I threw in the towel. This is not the end of the world.

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Is homeschooling an option where he goes at his own pace

private tuition it’s not expensive as u think on subjects his struggling with

I made the decision to not hold my kid back. Especially her going into middle school. It was a very difficult decision but we had her enrolled in in school learning… :disappointed: im terrified everyday. But the goal is for them to feel confident going into middle school.

This is heartbreaking!!! Can you arrange a meeting and explain this to the principal and teachers?!

Talk with the school and see what options they can offer, maybe look into a private tutor, summer programs. Also look into a different online learning platform, maybe the program he is using just isn’t a good fit but there are other options out there that would be worth trying before considering holding him back. Just remember we are in a pandemic and to give yourself some grace. This isn’t a normal situation at all and I’m sure the schools would also consider this when (hopefully) returning to school next year. Good luck and hang in there online learning is tough!

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Sounds like a hands on , visual child. I’m like that , I have a very hard time with on line learning. I need to see it , which you would think computer would satisfy that but it doesn’t. I as an adult cannot put a finger on it of why so I doubt if your son does either. Good luck but don’t hold back if he truly was a good student in person, it would be detrimental to his mental and emotional well being. Let him advance and next year it most likely will be integrated into the curriculum of what he is not passing. Food for thought, he is probably learning and retaining just not able to complete on computer correctly

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My son’s the same age with the same problem. I talked to his teachers about getting an IEP (independent education plan) which is the right of ANY student and we now have a list of skills he has to demonstrate to move to 7th grade (like write an essay, book report, presentation) and as long as we focus on them he’ll be fine to move on. Grades don’t really impact long term at this age so survival mode is winning the day. I just had to learn that my expectations aren’t feasible in the time of Covid and make them more realistic

Try wyzant tutoring $10 to $25 an hour online. Also frequent breaks out of the house help. Get.sunshine and air.

Dont hold him back. I believe every where it is up to the parents to hold the child back… with him being tall it might affect him with being held back. If he was getting straight As before online learning he might be able to bounce right back after getting back in regular school. My niece did.


Have you figured out what specifically is the issue with not remaining focused? Have you created a space that’s just for learning without distractions? Does his camera stay on so he’s more accountable? If he’s super smart, theres a specific reason and finding it out will help a lot.

Don’t feel bad if u decide to hold him back! I held my twin boys back in 5th grade cuz I didn’t feel like they were ready to move on and they made up for it in high school they were still able to graduate at 18!!

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I would hold him back,not in anger but so he can learn and do well in 5th grade. Hopefully the next school year will be in person learning and back to “normal”. My kids are struggling and I would prefer to hold them back. In high school it’s a bit different though.

My grandkids suffer from ADHD and online learning has put them soooooo far behind that I worry they will never catch back up.

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Can you get him an IEP, where his curriculum is done face to face?

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Online learning sucks!!! Worse idea they ever came up with!!! Reach out to the school they should have some ideas, they know some kids don’t do well with computer learning.


Everyone’s children are struggling right now. I would still let him move forward and if once he is back in class he most likely will be able to keep up.


Independent study? No zoom classes. You get text books and workbooks and assignments. However the parent acts as the teacher (you get teachers editions of texts) You can complete work on paper or on the computer. Then all work is turned in on the computer.


My 7th grade son is the same wa!

I’m having the same issue

I wouldn’t hold him back if he usually would excel if he was in an actual class. At 26 I still suck at doing any courses online, as I’m 100% better in class, I don’t know why but with virtual I just cannot retain anything :sweat_smile:. I don’t know where you are, but when my sons school closed last year his teacher made up monthly work packages. She would then post a daily short video with detail instruction for the day. Maybe there’s something similar in your area

Is his school closed or are you keeping him home out of fear? If his school is open than suck up your fear and let him return to school


Last year with my son having an IEP and these issues they wouldn’t hold him back. I’m pretty sure they’re not holding kids back this year. And for some reason even though things are harder for him to do his grades have improved because I’m making sure he turns stuff in. Good luck

It’s not just kids… I am an adult and struggle with computer learning. I have to take small breaks, mental checkins.

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I have ADHD and computer learning is HARD AF!!! I wouldn’t personally hold him back because I was the same way in school, my parents took me out and made me do virtual and as a result I almost didn’t graduate, everyone IS NOT capable of online learning

Talk to his school! Many many many schools have this same problem with many of their students. Talk to his current teachers and see what they can come up with before you hold him back!

The online system is flawed and teacher have little to no training on using it and teaching remotely, my grandsons teachers kept marking them absent even though they were logged on, so the teacher flunked him


I held my daughter back last year because of the pandemic, so she has repeated first grade. She is doing amazing now. I ended up changing my work schedule so I am home in day time to help with school work and be physically present (I now work night shift). The teacher and I have open communication and if any issues come up we address them right away. My son is in 4th grade and was struggling last year as well, now he is doing great and participating in the online sessions. I know it is hard, but if he can go in person even for a few days send him. He is missing the personal interaction. I would also talk to his teacher for advice and ask your son how you can help him. Sometimes we forget to ask our children what they need and how we can help. If you are able maybe have your son work with a friend in his class either in person or online and definitely try to have personal interaction with his friends or take him outside to play. He may be bored causing him to have no attention during online learning. Good luck. I hope this advice can help you.


My 9th grader, who always does well, is failing this year. We have tried everything. Looks like summer school and no football for us. This pandemic has been real flippin super. :unamused:

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I wouldn’t. He may catch up. Online learning isn’t for everyone. See how he does and then make a decision. It’s not COVID-19 it’s the dam people who think they can control everyone. Our kids education suck these days.


If they pass him through, allow him to catch up and if he doesn’t do well in the first semester, make a decision. If he’s really amazing in school, he just may catch up and you won’t be disappointed. Give him a chance to turn it around. He might surprise you.


Pandemic life is trash. The problem is no one; not us parents, not the teachers, NO ONE knows how to deal with this sort of thing. There is only so much any of us can do. Several teachers at the beginning of all this said, don’t worry they will catch up. I don’t think they knew or realized how long we’d be doing this for. I turn off internet to all devices except school devices during school time so they don’t have that extra distraction. Have them read for an hour a day and I also quiz mine on what they read so I know they actually read it.


Some states are not allowed to fail kids last year or this year because its not their fault and most kids are in the same boat. I would talk to the school. I would ask for him to do summer school in person to catch up. If your child has an IEP or a 504 plan this is especially true for them. If they are sill on line with my son I had to create and area in our home that limited everything else no phone no computer games no video games no tv no nothing until all work was done and I checked it every night and if there was something he did not understand I worked with him until he did. FYI many school when they go back are now mainly using the computers to teach. Personally my thoughts are why are they paying teachers if they are not the ones teaching them and only tell them go to this site or that site. Even though it is hard parents have to be involved and checking everything because they are kids and if not many will not do anything. My kids teacher told me out of 30 kids 11 were passing her class because the parents did not make sure they did the work.


Let him go I’m sure he won’t be the only one behind. When they are back in person this fall the poor teachers will have to do a lot of catching up. Maybe get him a face to face tutor for a few weeks in the summer as a refresher. You can likely find a few other moms in the same boat and split the cost.


Everyone learns differently. My kids learn better on the computer. They have auditory problems that make it difficult to learn in a classroom. Many kids can’t focus on a computer. You find the same things in college. Some kids do great and others struggle with that mode. I wouldn’t hold him back. I think there are going to be enough kids that struggled that they will implement remedial courses. Its vital that he still thinks he’s capable and intelligent.

My 7th grader always struggles with school regardless, this school year has been horrid. I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not to hold him back BUT I decided not to. This decision is after seeing what many teachers have said across the country (that I’m friends with) and what my friends who live all over have said.

The reality is that this school year A LOT of children are NOT retaining much and are barely getting by if at all. Of course there are children who are doing well too. I figure that when we go back to in school learning THEN I’ll really decide what needs to be done because that will give me a TRUE representation of where he is. I have over 20 friends who are teachers (in many different states) and they have all said that this year is just to challenging to determine a child’s TRUE ability. This is so new to EVERYONE on all sides. Wish you the best of luck what ever choice you make.

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To me this year is a wash… we r all trying to SURVIVE A PANDEMIC. Honestly school is my last priority right now. The kids r going thru enough to stress about school. I have a 9th grader and 2 7th graders I’m just happy they are maintaining their mental sanity and are healthy right now. It’s tough times…

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My daughter is the same and she is in 6th but her problem is to many things going on at home and she access to her phone and tv. Hopefully you can talk to the school and get him some help. I call all the time to help my daughter and try to keep her on track


I’m with you! My 6 year old LOVED 4k. He did phenomenal. He’s super social and really loved being around other kids at school. This year has been rough. He doesnt focus at ALL no matter what I do. They’re returning with a cohort option soon thankfully but it has certainly tested my will as a parent :sweat_smile:

Is your only option virtual/online learning?? If not, send him to school. My son doesn’t do well on the computer either and prefers in class learning. He does a hybird situation. Goes to school Monday Tuesday Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays are virtual days. But, him having the opportunity to go to school, makes it better in both situations.

I feel you on this one. My 7 yr old did amazing in 1st grade with a regular classroom setting. Into 2nd grade with having to do work on an iPad … constantly on YouTube slacking off and not completing her work. Sucks to see kids that once loved school just not feeling it now because they miss their friends and such. I hope things can return safely soon.

I sat on w my 11 yr old. Went through all the assignments and cross referenced to all the homework portals and the grade portals. We sat there and did it all together. I failed 5th grade, it changed my life. I lost all my friends, changed schools, was then older than everyone and they knew I failed, that wasn’t fun.

Have a meeting with the teachers… I don’t think it should be fair to fail kids during this time.
It’s been a hard year and some kids are still adjusting. It’s taken a toll on the adults as well as the kids.


My daughter is in 1st grade and it’s so hard for her to learn through a computer screen. :sweat: I feel horrible for her. They are finally going back for hybrid learning April 12th :clap::clap:

You said he’s smart so holding him back may hurt more than help. I’m sure he can catch up in the next grade. Does his teachers have after school hours? They can one on one help him virtually like being in class.

My 3 grade boy is smart but was failing at home now hes at school only 12 kids in classroom only like 3 classes open mostly for special ed but teacher kept saying hes turning off his video audio and not doing work so she put him on list to come back nows hes doing better and offer him summer school

This is my 9th grader. Unwilling/unable to focus. Normally an A/B student. D/F this year. Just glad I am not the only one going thru this crap

Depending on state, schools won’t fail him based on grades.

How can you get straight A’s and still fail :flushed:
Different kids have different strengths and weaknesses. You can’t just say he’s not good at one thing therefore is failing. He is obviously focused if he can get A’s. Why would you hold him back

I say let him go to 6th grade…I’m having the same issue with my 5th grader…he is super smart but failing I think it will all go back once he goes back in person next year

I wouldn’t hold him back if this is the first year he’s had bad grades.

Not sure where you live ur son is 11 in grade 5 , my son is 11 in grade 7 heigh school

This school year has literally been the worst as our daughter is in the same situation. Thankfully, her school went back to in person in January and back full time in person March 1st.

If he is 11 about to be 12 why is he is 5th grade?

Can he go in person? A LOT of schools are now in person.

Ask his teacher for advice

We are in the same boat …online learning is not the same :pensive:

That’s how i feel about my grandson

The school my grandkids go to says as long as they are online they can’t be held back , because of the Pandemic. I live in California. I would send him through and work on getting a tutor, maybe another child his age to help out after zoom in the evening .

I wouldnt hold him back. He will catch up and be just fine.

My life exactly . . . . .

Yes covid does suck talk to him