Why is my son all of a sudden not doing good in school?

Our oldest son is almost 14 and is in 8th grade and he has ALWAYS been an A-B student and never had an issue in school. We moved last year and we kept him in his old school as long as we possibly could (till gas prices made it impossible) it was a 35 mile drive one way. Ever since we transferred him to the local school we have noticed a drastic change in one his math class. It’s the ONLY class he literally isn’t turning in his assignments his grade is a flat out 0 for this quarter alreadyand he finished last quarterwith a 60 (only because he turned everything in the day before the end of the quarter to be graded for a late grade). I am able to check his grades and I do. We are constantly on him about it. We communicate with his teacher regularly as well (she has had him stay after school to help him even) he does his homework. The issue is he is supposedly loosing them in his locker. His exact words tonight were his locker is such a mess he doesn’t know where any of it is even. I’ve emailed his teacher to see about setting up an actual meeting to discuss the issue in person as well instead of just emails. I’m just completely lost on how to remedy this and get him back on track. When dad asked him what the issue was tonight he said he didn’t care. I honestly feel defeated like switching him schools wasn’t to best option. Any of you mama’s have any tips or ways I can get through to him.

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Why is my son all of a sudden not doing good in school?

Adjustments take time .he might be depressed over all the new surroundings!

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Sounds like he’s depressed from changing schools. I wouldn’t be too hard on him about grades, mental health is more important than school.

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Sounds a bit silly, but maybe he’s in the wrong set? Maybe he’s in a lower set because he’s new so they want to see how well he’s doing and maybe the work is just too easy for him. I was like that in my Lit class, if it’s something that’s too easy I’d find no enjoyment or no effort into doing it :sweat_smile:

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I don’t know how it works in your state but in Wisconsin they have gas vouchers to drive your kids to school. I’m assuming the county office would know or the school? 8th grade is a hard year to switch, my son had issues too.

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As a parent you have every right to go to the school and look at his locker to see for yourself if it’s a mess. If it’s not then deal with grades in person.

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He may not be understanding or struggling with math. Math is not taught the same when we were kids. Talking to his teacher to see if he needs extra support in place may give him the confidence to want to try. When we know better, we do better. No one likes to be looked as a failure or to see their “failing.”

He could also be struggling with the change in schools.

Behavior is communication and his behavior is telling you, even if he isn’t verbally telling you.

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U should check in with him about bullying. I had a friend go thru a similar issue and found out some really nasty things were happening at school… It’s since been fixed, but u should look into it

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Different teachers teach different maybe he is having a hard time with it

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Transition for kids can be hard. It’s not like you pulled him out of the other school just because and he may think you did. Work with him, come up with like a
Come up with a new routine with him

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One class and his teacher is a her??? Can he be hot for teacher and likes the one in one attention??

Talk to him and listen to his body language, how he comes across when he speaks. Ask questions you think he can answer without having to feel like you are drilling him for answers. He could be getting bullied, peer pressure, anxiety. It could be a number of things. Ask him if he wants to hangout with his mates from his old school.

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Most of us don’t like change and your son is no different/ making no friends / and the list goes on / ask him other than going back to the other school what can do/

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He didn’t lose his ability to do math, it’s not even about that! Look more into to cause, is there a bully in that class? What about the teacher? Tread gently but firmly, something is going on here and you need to find out what it is !

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Get him into some counseling. Go to school and check his locker. Have a heart to heart talk with him.

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I would def meet with her. Id try to get a syllabus from the teacher or find out how she posts work. My son is only 9 but I have his google classroom on my phone and log in through his school mail to see assignments. If its like paper assignments being handed out that he is losing-maybe set him up with a binder, sticker reinforcements, and the one of those small three whole punchers that goes in the binder. I would also ask for my son to have 10-15 minutes to clean his locker so he can start fresh.

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Is it maybe that the new school os teaching math at a more advanced pace then what he was familiar with at his old school? I think I’d be looking into tutoring most schools have programs just for that kind of thing. But as a 14 year old if he thought he new something was moved to a different place that does it different that can be very overwhelming, and on top of that he’s at an odd age where it’s also kinda hard to make friends as the new kid…I’d focus on mental health and the overall adjustment first then tackle the grade issue.

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Because 8th grade is a hard year for kids between finding themselves and losing/gaining friends. It’s easy to get lost in the mix.

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Just a thought … is he doing pot? I would also go to school and ask to see his locker. Maybe it’s messy maybe it’s not. If it is take it all home and make him sort it and set aside what needs turned in. If it’s not messy we’ll then he is not been truthful with you and that’s a whole other issue.

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This might be out there but is someone stealing his homework? Or is he selling it?

Have his father talk to him, in case the other posters are right about this being a possible crush. He’s more likely to open up to a man about that.

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It sounds to me he may be struggling to find his place at the new school. A move mid year is tough on any kid but is torture for a middle school student. He needs to find a new routine and friends. At this point kids have already clicked together and him entering a click isn’t easy. Kids can be so cruel.

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Switching schools at that age can be traumatic if he had close ties.

They’re already dealing with so much change in their minds and bodies, anything extra can be a breaking point.

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His whole life just got flipped. I can’t tell you why it’s specifically the math class he’s taking it out on, but that’s why in general. He’s already at a weird awkward age and now everything he thought he could depend on to stay the same while everything else changes has also changed.
Get him a talk therapist to help him process all his feelings

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Give him time. Give him attention and love and understanding. Don’t be dismissive and demanding during this time, it will only make it worse.

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I would be willing to be it’s him adjusting, or not adjusting well to the move and all the changes that happen with moving. He’s still a kid, change takes time getting used to and he might be a bit depressed from it. I agree with having a heart to heart and maybe some counseling. And just a reminder, mental health is much more important than schooling.

There could be a couple of things.

  1. Depression, the move, missing his friends.
  2. The class don’t challenge him. So he doesn’t care.
  3. Someone else was doing his work at his other school.
  4. The teacher rubs him the wrong way.
  5. He’s getting bullied.
  6. Has he found his group of friends? Is he doing what they are doing?

Besides a meeting with the teacher buy him things to organize his locker. Good luck mama!

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So back in school I never turned in my assignments. I just didnt do it. I didnt like the anxiety of it all nor did I care. I was more concerned with being cool or doing the wrong things to look cool. I also turned in assignments last minute.

  1. Could be a possible bullying situation; especially since you see him do his homework, yet it’s not being turned in. Is someone taking it?

  2. If he is going to fail please talk to the teacher about giving him a 50 instead of a zero, both are failing but one can’t be recovered from when averaging out the grades at the end of the year.

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Move him back to his old school

Moving and leaving old friends behind is hard enough on a child , but there is definitely an underlying problem here. If it is just his math class that he is struggling with( red flag) then you need to find out what is going on. I would be up at the school finding out what the problem is. I know with COVID it has made access hard, but you better believe I would find a way. My son was a straight A student who loved school until 3rd grade. Then all of a sudden he started hating it. I walked into the school bypassing the office and stood outside his classroom door. I heard his teacher telling the whole class how annoying and stupid they were. I was one livid parent, another teacher seen me in the hall and I motioned for her to be quiet but to come there. She heard the conversation too and fully opened the door revealing herself and I. Needless to say she lost her job. If your child is having issues find out why!!!

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Meet with the teacher. Check his locker. Something doesn’t quite add up, so start there. See what she’s observing in class. Or maybe the content was too much of a change when you moved schools.

Find him a therapist

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Are there other kids causing him to act out this way? So much bullying now and he wouldn’t want to tell you?

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That’s a tough age to move, and he did go through COVID and how things were taught. My son started tutoring a month ago, 2x week. Algebra… ugh. Best of luck. My son hates school. He was finally diagnosed ADD.

My son went through the same thing when covid hit and school became virtual. He was depressed. He stopped attending class , not doing his work and basically just failing everything. Thank goodness we live in a red county in a blue state. Our kids were the first to go back. And once football practice and wrestling started up his grade were amazing again. I should mention he is in all ap/ honor classes ( junior) . I would try and see about getting him involved with some more rec activities. It could be lack of friends in the class.

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Moving a child in teenage years in such crucial times I couldn’t imagine,kids these days are buttholes.I say move him back to his old school if you want to see him with better grades.

It’s very hard to adjust to a new school at that age

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My son was doing the work but never handed it in. I tried EVERYTHING to help him with organizing and being prepared. Eventually I just said well if you fail the class and get held back, don’t be crying to me! He’s been doing better but still doesn’t hand in assignments on time.

Go to school once a week to check his locker after school for one thing. Meeting with teacher and ask her to see if someone is bullying your son in that classroom. Also have a heart to heart talk about not putting his math in his locker if he going to loose it. There’s all kinds of things it could be. Momma you got this follow your heart you will get to the bottom of it. Don’t stop till you do though. Good luck Momma

Is this schools math class harder maybe? Maybe they expect more? I would try getting a tutor

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ADHD. COVID. Homelearning. Online learning. All of these things combined, how would you react?

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I feel for you with the cost of everything and having to move his school but he is at a pivotal time in life where friends matter the most, I’m sure this is way of showing he is mad you moved his school. The other thing may be the curriculum is different and he just doesn’t care to speak up because he’s acting out from the change of schools. I would meet with the teachers and have him see a counselor

My 13 year old switched from regular English school to LFI back in grade 6 and immediately stared struggling in math, which had never been an issue before. Fast forward 2 years she’s almost done grade 8 and we just had her parent teacher interview on Thursday and to both of our surprise she’s only getting 50%. And it’s almost all due to her not handing in assignments. Hers are all done over google something or other so loosing them is t an excuse however she tells us she does the work but struggled on a question or two so left them blank and doesn’t want to hand them in that way so she just doesn’t. Her teacher knows she is capable but is getting frustrated with her lack of care/effort basically and more or less told us that if she doesn’t shape up he’s going to have to recommend she take the special needs type math class first semester in high school then the regular one second semester, because that’s what her input will reflect on her transcripts.

She had a complete breakdown after the meeting and we talked a lot, rather than getting upset that she’s so far behind I told her I was proud of her for getting the 50% she had even if t didn’t fully reflect all the work she’d done because I know a few of her classmates aren’t even approaching 50%, proud of her showing up everyday when skipping a class you don’t like is much easier. Proud of her for being brave enough to face her teacher and listen to his somewhat less than favourable words. Proud of her for already having a plan in place prior to the meeting that make this last semester better than the ones before. And then also told her that I wasn’t just talking to talk to her teacher, I meant it when I said electronics are going f to go away for an hour each school day and 1.5 hours over the weekends so she can focus on school work and I will annoy her until it’s done and finished with the reason I was going to do that is because I’m not here to make her life easier…I’m here to make it better. I know she wants better for herself and just needs some extra motivation to do it for herself

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I feel maybe he’s depressed about the move?
Maybe someone is picking on him?
It’s very very hard being the “new kid”

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So…it’s the move. I went through this exact thing myself in 6th-7th grade. We moved from the city to the country and my grades dropped drastically. Making new friends is not easy no matter how “social” the child. I was picked on about the school I came from, my name, a birthmark on the back of my neck …all sorts of stuff. I went from an A student to C/D/F really fast. I was mad for losing my friends and mad at my parents for making me do it. Maybe the curriculum is different or they’re at a higher part of the curriculum that your son doesn’t understand. Sit down and talk to him mama. Listen to him and actually hear him.

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The mental health of your child is more important. Figure out the gas issue

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A few things stand out to me: you say you kept him at his old school 35 miles away for as long as you could. Commendable for the effort, but unfortunately, that was the first mistake. He’s obviously upset that through nothing HE did wrong at his old school, you pulled him away from his friends and his familiar teachers and dropped into a learning environment with a bunch of strangers. So he literally doesn’t care about the new school.
No one knows him, no one there knows that he was the best and brightest at his old school. Now he’s just another new kid trying to find his place in the pecking order of the new school.
It’s entirely possible that this acting out is in the vain hope that you’ll break down and send him back to the old school. Since that is not an option, talk to him, not at him about it. Get to the heart of what’s bothering him. You may even want to engage the help of a family therapist. Another possibility: if he had any really close friends from the old school, reach out to their parents to see about maybe getting together for a weekend activity?
Another thing that stands out to me is that you say he’s doing the homework, but he says it’s getting lost in his locker? There is really no reason for that to happen. Did his old school not have lockers? Loose pages of homework should never be placed in his locker. In this area, help him out with developing some organizing skills. Get a note book with some pocket inserts. Label the insert for each class. Homework goes in the pocket insert. Notebook goes to class. Nothing gets lost in the locker. At least that part of the problem is easily solved.

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The move. Or a girl/guy whichever. My husband has a legacy of being a dumb hillbilly. He moved from the hills of Tennessee to South Texas. He is IQ Genius, buy it wasn’t “cool” to be smart, so he was a smart ass, and he was still is extremely popular. I on the other hand struggled due to a wicked step mom and ADD undiagnosed or
Untreated.

That is a hard age in general! I noticed a bug different in all my kids around that age. Now with that being said different schools have huge difference in what they are working on. If this new school is way ahead of his old school he might not know what to do? He might be at a loss, and not understand the work. Can you afford to hire a private tutor? Can you call the school and ask for help? It also could be depression? It would be many things. Problem solving with kids this age is the hardest. Good luck and best wishes. My heart is with you and sending you positive vibes. This won’t be easy. Prayers for your son. Does the dad or a grandparent live in the old school district? If you know someone close in the old school district like dad or grandparents I would offer him the choose to live there and come home to you on weekends so he can return to old school.

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Also dear. Please have him tested for ADHD. His locker is a mess. He can’t find anything. He is losing everything. All signs of ADHD.

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Well don’t put too much pressure on him, but also know it’s one class & there is room for him to make a come back. I feel like you’re focusing more on your disappointment instead of the fact your kiddo might really be struggling with moving. Or he isn’t getting the same acadamic quality in this math class as he was in his prior schools

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Send him back to his old school

Locker organizers are a thing. Make each shelf for each subject. Sound alike you can possibly fix the problem yourself. Colored folders could also help with keeping track of his papers

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Young one - his locker being a mess and math problems- two problems that seem nothing in common- math is built on steps - miss one - and the rest of the steps become harder - results in frustration. Now the locker problem - organizational skills are required - but unless these skills are taught - the locker becomes mess - things are just stacked - then shoved.
Help him get organized that way he can follow through with the independent reinforcement aspect of the lesson( homework) then his teacher will be able to help him more.

be patient with him. I struggle with math and at 15 had a math teacher belittle me and call me stupid and I dropped out that day. Now granted I was already homeless and had a lot going on but I can say if I had had some support and love from my POS parents I would have keep pushing.

I’d personally go too the school make sure his locker is cleaned up and then after that it would be a daily thing for me too make sure he is understanding his work and turning it in. if it is pure laziness stopping him from turning stuff in I’d line out some appropriate punishments. like no video games/cell phone/friends houses until they are turned in and graded.

Set an appointment with a councilor to discuss the matter with you and your son.

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Maybe he was such a good student before that he felt he was expected to be perfect all the time.Maybe because he’s struggling now at Math he’s not sure what to do and his messy locker could be his only way to rebel against that expectation of being so perfect Sometimes the most perfect housekeepers have a car that looks like a junkyard inside it. We all need a place where we can let go and feel like we can falter And losing his Math papers in the abyss he calls a locker sounds a bit contrived I think he may just not want to do his work for fear it is incorrect and he doesn’t want to admit that to himself or his teachers Math gets hard for some as you move into the higher grades after all.

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When my son was in 6th grade we moved away from his school. He was making straight As. The new school was a disaster. His grades fell , the teacher kept him from recess and lunch and he was constantly struggling. So after several visits with his teacher we put him back in old school. No more problems, grades came back up and he did just fine.

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Moving at any age is tough on a kid. At 14 is especially hard. He is probably depressed. I would see about getting him into counseling. I would listen to him and see if he talks about hanging around with any kids in particular or making any friends. My guess is that he’s isolated and misses his friends from his old school. If he previously made good grades, it could be some kids ride him because he’s smart. It happened to my kids, to the point my daughter sabotaged herself out of the gifted/talented program. But I would suggest counseling. If the school has a guidance counselor, you could start there, but I suggest outside help. He might feel better about that. He may not want the other kids to know he’s getting help.

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This is also a sign of intelligence. Before I was tested and put into a gifted program, I lost everything! Could not keep track of assignments to save my life. If it’s mostly just in the one class, either something is going on in the class or he might not feel challenged. Could also be ADHD like someone else mentioned but if it’s mostly an issue in one class and not all then that wouldn’t make much sense.

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Could the locker issue just be an excuse? Maybe this math class teaches things differently than his old school did and he’s not understanding the material like he did at his old school and he’s just embarrassed to admit that he has problems understanding the curriculum.

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Time for a teacher conference. Is there bullying ??

Change is hard for kids. Keep checking in 9n him see if he needs help.

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Poor kid! It’s not good to switch schools! Yeah sometimes it HAS to happen but just know it’s VERY hard for a kid

If it’s just this class it might be the teacher or the kids in class. Consider switching class or getting a Tudor

Talk to his teacher. Maybe he needs a tutor to catch him up to the level of everyone else is at. All teachers teach differently and depending on how big or small the class is they Massey just be in a different level of the teachers plan for that year and he probably just needs a little help just catching up to the level that the teachers at

The move to a new school can be hard to adjust to. Maybe he is depressed because of the move, the new school, and trying to make new friends. Thats one thing you never mentioned, does he have new friends? For some people its hard to make new friends, and maybe he feels alone with no one to talk to. Try signing him up for extracurricular activities so he meet new people.

If my 16 year old son would switch schools it would be a disaster for him.

Could be the new teacher has a different teaching style that is not clicking for him. I wouldnt believe that he doesnt care. To me that feels like a standard response when he is disappointed in himself and now has your disappointment on top of that. Teens are not very forthcoming when they are struggling. I would go so far as to talk to him about the teacher specifically also. Is there something going on in class that isnt sitting well with him? Could be as simple as comments being made in front of the class about students not turning in assignments, etc. Is there another math class with a different teacher that he could be moved to? That may be worth a shot but I would ask him first to make sure it wont make the problem worse. I would think it has to be something with the class and/or teacher if he was doing well in his old school and now isnt doing well. Different schools teach their curriculum in different orders as well so if he was switched in the middle of a school year it could be they are working on things he doesnt yet understand because its not what they working on at his old school. I moved a lot as a kid and that was a problem for me when I switched schools.

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I would have a talk with the teacher. I would also ask for the next assignment and have him complete it at home see how he does. I have a gifted child didn’t want to do the work do half the work didn’t care. Teacher didn’t realize what was going on till she went to a teacher conference, she said they was talking about kids doing the same she then realized that was him. It was not a challenge and he had no interest whatsoever. Good luck

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Moving schools at that age would play a huge part in it. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed for something to go wrong. Have you asked how this has affected him

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I have to say, the exact same thing happened to me.

My dad was military, so we moved around a lot. I was use to it, so moving wasn’t the issue.

When I was 14, we moved from Hawaii to Arkansas. Talk about a culture shock! I was able to make new friends, and I did okay in all of my other classes, but the math class threw me. In Hawaii, we had a very relaxed atmosphere, and we spent most of my math class period playing chess & other games. I was in an algebra class for the first time, but I don’t remember ever doing any algebra.

So when we moved to Arkansas, they put me into the same level algebra class, and I was lost. I couldn’t understand the teacher (who was an older woman with a tight hair bun & glasses at the end of her nose … who struck the fear of God into everyone in the class … she was never encouraging, always criticizing, and no matter what you did, it wasn’t good enough). I shut down.

Every day after school, my dad would sit with me to try & teach me … he was a college math tutor in his spare time, so it’s not that he wasn’t qualified.

I never could get it. I had a mental block. It’s not that I wasn’t trying … I just couldn’t get it. I flunked out the first semester, so they moved me to a science class instead. At that time, we were only required to have 1 math & 2 science credits, or 2 math & 1 science credits, so my counselor thought it would be better for me to take science.

I didn’t take my required math class until I was a senior, and I took a consumer math class that didn’t require algebra. I still, to this day, have a mental block about algebra. Can’t do it. Don’t like it. Don’t need it. I’m 61, and still have the block.

Changing schools at that age can cause all kinds of problems … trying to make new friends, leaving old friends behind, trying to fit in, trying not to bring too much attention to yourself, etc., but it also can cause learning blocks if the teachers have a different technique than they are use to. Not to mention the blow to a kid’s self esteem when he starts to struggle … he feels stupid, and embarrassed … and like he is always on a different page than everyone else in the class. It’s overwhelming, frustrating, depressing, embarrassing, and the kid probably feels like nobody understands him. I was a straight A student … through all the moves and all the school changes … until we moved to Hawaii & I got involved with a wrong crowd. I had overcome it, and gotten back to being a straight A student before moving to Arkansas. I graduated in Arkansas with a “C” average, and I was okay with that. I just felt fortunate enough to graduate at all.

Talk to your son … let him know YOU ARE ON HIS SIDE … and talk with the school counselor. When he says he doesn’t care, he DOES care … he just feels stupid & feels like he is lost & feels like he can’t do the work … so he is giving up.

Good luck … and best wishes for your son
I’ll be praying for him.

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Maybe missing his friends, Don’t like his new teacher. Could be many things, but definitely the move of schools is a challenge for anyone

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When I was in school in 9th grade I had problems with poor grades got kicked out of an Art School only missed the gpa by like a half point. My mom than stuck me in a private school. I dropped out of it 18 weeks in because all the people picked on me cause i was to fat to wear the short shorts and was being forced to learn French before the end of 10th and I dropped out, by this point I was 2 years behind in school. I found a High School that offered a program you didn’t have to sit and listen to a teacher all day it was on computer at my own pace. I ended up getting 2 years of school done in 1 year. The only requirement of the program (as it was for people that hadn’t finished on time was that you couldn’t graduate till the class you started Kindergarten with graduated. Well the year I finished was the year they graduated. I always liked doing the work on my own. I know he is young but when I was changed schools I didn’t do good either.

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Come in after school and have him stay and organize his locker. He may be missing friends and depressed. This sounds like depression. He doesn’t care. More time visiting old friends? Encouragement to make new friends? Possibly therapy and medication.

You have moved him away from everything he knows… It will take time for him to adjust.

So as a person who has taught middle school and high school I will go ahead and say one part of this is just the age. I know it sounds terrible but kids at 14 start to feel a need to push away from what’s expected of them to push against what’s expected of them and become a bit apathetic. It doesn’t mean it will always be that way and if you are all very much with him and not hard on him but steady with him there’s a great chance these things will turn around. You just have to keep talking to him and keep paying attention to what he’s doing and making sure that he knows he’s loved and that you’re concerns are out of that love, my guess is he will turn around. But please believe me this is not abnormal behavior. Especially knowing that he just changed schools he’s probably full of feelings that he’s not comfortable with talking about. Just keep talking no matter what just keep talking. And keep letting him know how much you love him.

When I was in the 8th grade, I switchedschools & my grades fell. I remember the teaching styles were very different. It took me all year to get used to the new school. The same classes were harder than the old school.& I didn’t have friends that would help.

Have him watch khan academy math videos. The new school is probably ahead in math over where the old school was. Rather than tell you he thinks he is stupid and cannot do it, he just doesnt do it!