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School subjects

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Prolific scribe

School subjects

My girl is 14 and has been failing at maths for well over a year. I have been advocating for her with the maths teacher and getting nowhere. I asked T1 for all of her maths books tests etc. It only took her a term typical teen so I had a look at the previous 6 tests they have done. Her twin sister 14 is SN, she is getting higher marks every week. So T2 decides to tell me how the system works I asked her for her maths as well. I had a look at what they learn in class and the tests just back that up. Very repetitive. T1 spends her time screaming she doesn't understand draws and writes all over the tests every week. The teacher gives her A's.. Keeps her in the highest group and my girl is a perfectionist so it is one of the  major MH issues in her life. How do you convince a teacher to accept there is an issue.

She is also a top English student mid gr 9 level she will spend her time writing and drawing. That is fine but she won't concentrate on other subjects. She has been reading my medical books very intelligent and our conversations are amazing. I like her to have time out but 12 hrs in her room drawing the same face is doing my head in.. The maths issue is making me feel very frustrated that I have been unable to even get her tutoring. She has got a scholarship but it hasn't started yet.

Super frequent scribe

Re: School subjects

@Lily17, I understand your frustration.


I spent endless hours and money getting tutors, online programs, after school help for my daughter in maths when she was that age. The teachers were always too busy to give her one-on-one assistance, and I completely understand that. With the education curriculum these days, and class sizes, teachers just don't get the time to spend additional time with a student if they haven't grasped the work.


We were lucky. All of a sudden one day towards the end of year 10, things just clicked with her. It was like a light bulb moment with her and from that point on she improved. 


All I can suggest is to give her as much support as you are able, and let her know that even though they say math and english are the most important subjects, there are ways and means of getting further education once your mind is ready and tunes into it.


Keep us updated.  



Prolific scribe

Re: School subjects

Hello @Lily17


Mental Health is always a priority as you know Smiley Wink That would be my first point of call. Like you, I looked into my "less mathematical/more artistic" daughter (after also checking in with my older and more mathematical one!) and also with her teachers. I speak with all of the teachers when I can, not just the Maths one in hope that they will dialogue (at some point?!) about her and gain a better insight into her overall person.


I have been working towards finding out of school inspirations for my kids as school can become so tedious for so many reasons. I've looked at a LOT! (In fact created an FB page and website just to keep track of them!) I still haven't found "the thing" for her though, but my motivation is upheld, by recognising that I have at least now made her aware that she can seek her own supports, directions, inspirations and aspirations herself too and I will support her!


Hope this helps, you might like to join the online session coming up (this week I think @Ngaio-RO?) on Mindfulness?

eyintas/Empowering Youth in Tasmania
Super contributor

Re: School subjects

Yes @taziness Spot on, the Mindfulness Wednesday Wrap is tomorrow night.

I highly recommend it. The special guest is an ex-colleague of mine who is one of the best practitioners of mindfulness when working with adolescents that I have experienced.


@Lily17  I get the feeling from your story that the teachers are not picking up on the issues because your T1 is well behaved in class, is that accurate? My experience is that 'naughty' kids get noticed because they have to be 'managed' and sometimes, fingers crossed, a good teacher and good school will unpack the behaviour to look at what's underneath. But even in good schools, they seem to be too stretched to notice kids who may be struggling but aren't bringing attention to themselves.


I had a similar situation as @Big_Crab with my eldest where she had a seemingly magical transformation between Yr 10 and Yr 11, going from failing to topping classes, but it was prefaced by her asking to be moved to another school.  Without her input, I would have been at a loss. When you discuss this topic at home with your teenagers, what sorts of things do they say? Are there any clues there for you?

Prolific scribe

Re: School subjects

Thankyou everyone for your comments and wisdom.


She is a well behaved student who rarely gets a suspension and they are allowed to use headphones if they can concentrate better. The teacher has been fine with this as long as she is learning..


Teachers are so busy (I used to do it but got clever and left) the kids so rude and no time for help. I got in contact with another teacher who gave me suggestions which was helpful for me!


I have only this year managed to finally get T1 outside interests which she adores. T2 gets so jealous - she has no emotional regulation. I am firm but it is what it is.


Teens are so complicated aren't they..


T2 asked me if I missed picking them up and cuddling them like when they were babies. I said absolutely not - she started crying. But, I look back - they were still in sz 0 in Gr 1 and little we got to pick up and cuddle for many years. Something to ponder I guess.


T1 is a quiet and willing student who takes on extra work, she has been invited to a writers festival which will be good for her. Maybe I am just worrying about it a little to much. Just seems to be an endless fire that won't be put out.



Today is a huge day - I am trying to prepare myself as the paed and psych are going to put her back on medication.. I must remember to go shopping for a lot of ice cream and chocolate! T1 and I are going to need it..

Frequent scribe

Re: School subjects

Hi.  Wondering if you have considered having her checked out by a developmental paediatrician.  The reference to the headphones made me think of my son who was diagnosed last year with inattentive ADHD.  This type of ADHD is commonly undiagnosed as it doesn't have the hyperactivity that most people associate with ADHD.  Girls and brighter children particularly can fly under the radar with it.  Anyway, not saying this is what is going on but may be something else learning related.  


Otherwise tutoring can be a really good idea.  Can help her enjoy some success which breeds confidence and interest.  

Prolific scribe

Re: School subjects

As her sister is the queen of SN diagnosis she has been to a lot of early development with her. No problems which is great bc she wasn't supposed to survive either. Her grades in primary were high unless she was under stress.


I have sat down with her these holidays and we have put a Goal plan into action. She is getting tutoring through her scholarship and with a tutor 3 times a wk. She has seemed a little lost this year in her education so I figured I better get my parenting brain (wherever that is) into gear.


We have turned the plan into a each day, week, month scenario. It was a good exercise as she wants to get some music theory exams done. So I have been tutoring her to sit for a higher grade so that she can continue for Yr 11/12.  It's been a worry for her so now she has structure and knows what she needs to do I think she will excel once again. At least I hope so.


Re: School subjects

hi @Lily17 that plan sounds like a really good place to start. Sometimes even just knowing you have a plan and some structure to adhere sets you on a more positive path.


I really hope it helps your daughter.

Casual scribe

Re: School subjects

You should try an outside online program or tutoring. My high school soon did kumon and Beestar. He is a special education student, and how the question breaks down work out for him.