3 Weeks to an Organized Homeschool – Product Review

homeschooling, children, organized

Organized Homeschool?

How to Get Organized While Homeschooling Children

While surfing for tips on how to get my son’s homeschooling stuff organized, I found a book called, 3 Weeks to an Organized Homeschool: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organizing Your Schoolroom, Curriculum, and Record Keeping by Katherine Leigh.  It was exactly what I was looking for, according to the title.  I’m totally new to homeschooling and I’m starting mid year and need to get him caught back up, so I’m scrambling to learn everything I can and get everything set up effectively as quickly as possible.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Quick Read
  • Free Resources
  • Schedule of Tasks
  • Action List Provided
  • Great Explanation
  • Homeschooling in Your Car

Cons

  • Religion

Overview

In this book, Katherine not only lays out what you should do to prepare for homeschooling your children each year, but she even gives you a schedule to follow!  Granted, it’s just a suggested schedule for how to get everything done most effectively in 3 weeks from her own experience.  It took me about 2 hours to read the entire book.  You could also read little bits at a time if you read along while actually carrying out her action lists.

The author provides a free bonus for buying her book.  She allows you to download free templates for lesson plan sheets, grading sheets, student schedules, and more!  She tells you how to set up your binder and gives great details of why she’s suggesting each item.  She even wrote an appendix for those that travel a lot and find themselves homeschooling from their car.

I honestly couldn’t find anything I didn’t like about this book.  She clearly lives a spiritual life and teaches her children religion along with her curriculum.  I don’t have a problem with this.  The only reason I list it as a Con is because some people may not like that about the book.  In my opinion, it wasn’t overly used and to each their own.

Target Audience

This book was written for parents who are preparing a new year of homeschooling.  It serves as a great step-by-step guide to getting ready for a new year of schooling at home.

Price

You can download it to your Kindle for $3.99.  However, I was able to download this book for free as I am a subscriber of Kindle Unlimited.

Final Opinion

5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating!

I definitely recommend this book to other parents preparing to homeschool.  The price is right  for the great advice.

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The Decision to Homeschool My Child

What Happened?!?


My son is in 6th grade this year, his first year of Middle School.  We knew it was going to be a hard year for him as he will now have to transition to changing classes every hour instead of sitting in one classroom most of the day.  He was approved to stay in the Magnet Program with the school he went to for elementary school which meant he got to stay for Middle school as well.  But in order to stay in the Magnet Program, he had to meet certain academic criteria.

At the end of last year, we discussed that in his 504 Plan meeting.  The principal assured me that as long as my son showed effort that he was trying to keep up, then he wouldn’t be kicked out of the program and the school would support him.  While I hadn’t been thrilled with how certain teacher’s had handled my son in the past, overall the school had been better for him than the previous two schools I had him in.  So I was happy to keep him in an environment that he was already familiar with for Middle School.  However, my son and I had discussed this and I made him aware that we’re not going to continue jumping from school to

Shame

Enough is Enough

school.  This was the third school in six years.  If it didn’t work out at this school, I would homeschool him.  He dreaded that though and was absolutely against homeshooling as he did not want to be away from his friends.

However, he got halfway through sixth grade with pretty decent grades.  The very first week back from the winter holiday break, my son was called up to the Dean’s office and told that he had 3 days to pull his GPA up from 1.5 to 2.5 or he would be kicked out of the program.  This devastated him.  He came home crying and feeling like a complete failure, yet again.  His tics immediately started back up indicating that he was overly stressed and he cried off and on the entire weekend.  I was fed up and scared to death at the same time.  I’ve never seen my son that upset, that worthless.

 

Communication…or Lack Thereof


The Dean had tried to call me that same Friday, but I was in a business meeting and couldn’t answer her call right away.  I immediately left my meeting because I knew it was the school calling.  I called the school back but the front office had no idea who had called me.  And, as always, there was no message left on my voicemail at either of the numbers she called.  A few hours later, I received an email from her informing me that she had spoken to my son about his grades and she hoped I would work with him over the weekend on making up assignments he was missing.

Since I was upset, I waited until the following Monday to contact her.  I had spoken to my son over the weekend and determined that he had a few missing assignments and had earned a couple of zeros on group projects where other team members hadn’t done their part so the entire group failed.  There were four assignments that he admitted to not turning in.  So I instructed him to get them done and turn them in Monday.  When I emailed the Dean, I explained what my son had told me about some of the zeros and missing assignments.  I asked what would happen next.  Would they kick him out of the school next week or would he be allowed to finish the year?  Why had the teachers not been communicating with me about work not being turned in until there were only 3 days to do anything about it?  I asked very specific, targeted questions.  I copied the principal on the email because she had pulled me aside at the beginning of this year to tell me that the school was going to stand by my son.  “We’ll get him through it,” she said.School

Wednesday, two days later, I finally received a response from the Dean.  She had forwarded the email to the teachers as they could explain the zeros better than she could.  She told me her team would meet to make a decision and she would bring my concerns to the team at that time.  As for what happens next, they could either kick him out of the program altogether and kick him out of the school immediately, they could place him on academic probation for another quarter and reassess then, or they could release him from probation if his grades were high enough.  I never received a response from his teachers.

My son came home from school that day and told me that he had gone to one of his teachers and asked her if he could turn one of the missing assignments in to her the following day.  Her response to him was, “Why would I take it now?”  This made me angrier.  He did exactly what both the Dean and I instructed him to do, and that was her response.  That same day, the Guidance Counselor called him down and told him that she “doesn’t think” he’d be kicked out of the program just yet and that he’d probably be allowed to stay for the 3rd quarter.  So he gets to spend the next nine weeks worried about whether he’ll be kicked out after that quarter?  I don’t think so.  Not on my watch.

 

Homeschool


I called that very night and enrolled him into an Independent Study Homeschooling program.  I will teach him myself.  He has had his spirit broken down at school year after year.  How is he supposed to succeed at anything if he’s constantly being told he’s not good enough?  During the previous weekend, I had told him he was perfect to me.  That resulted in my son bursting into tears and thanking me.  Then he went to his room to sob…again.  At that point, I put my face in my hands and cried too.  I had never felt so helpless.  I can’t let them continue to destroy my son.  They will lead him to suicide, he’s already high risk just due to his disabilities.  I have to take control of his education and stop this nonsense.

I had him officially enrolled in homeschooling by the end of the day on Thursday and withdrew him from public school on Friday.  I needed to start doing damage control right away and get him built back up, his confidence level is at an all time low.  Since the principal had offered reassurance at the beginning of the year, I wanted to give her a personal explanation of what happened and why I pulled him out.  So I wrote her a letter and sent it to her via email.  It is entirely rhetorical and I am quite certain that I will never hear from that school again.  But I held my head high and explained to her my reasoning while getting everything off my chest at the same time.  This allowed me to close that chapter and move right on to the next.

Focused on Success

Focused on Success

Now, my son and I have just finished our first week of homeschooling.  It went pretty well and he is starting to get back to himself again.  He’s much happier now and is excited to learn again.  I think this was the right decision, at the right time.  That said, this may be right for my child and may not be right for everybody.  As parents, we have to understand that our children are unique and we have to find what will work for them.  I fought the public school system real hard for six years before giving up on them.  But I will not give up on my son.

If you are fighting similar battles with your own children and would like to talk or learn about potential options, please feel free to reach out to me.  I’m happy to share what I know and what I’ve tried in hopes that it will help another unique child.

Happy Parenting!

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Letter to the Principal

Plan

Far From Speechless

The Letter


Dear Principal,

When I met with you and the rest of the team last year, we talked about how hard the transition to middle school would be for my son.  He has always struggled with changes to his routine and it is well known that students with disabilities typically take at least six months to adjust to the changes from elementary school to middle school.  You were concerned about the amount of homework there would be and you worried that Zack would not be able to handle the 4 to 5 hours of homework per night that you expected there to be in the magnet program.  However, you assured me that as long as my son showed that he was trying, he would not be kicked out of the magnet program or the school.

We moved to this school district with the sole purpose of getting him into a school that seemed to have the student’s best interests at heart and would work to ensure he had the help he needed in order to succeed.  We came from a school that punished him every time he asked for help or didn’t do his work good enough.  The educational team here at your school seemed to care about Zack’s diagnoses and ensuring that his 504 Plan accommodated what his needs were.  The team was empathetic to the situation and listened as I worked with the medical team to figure out everything that was going on.  That said, it became evident in the last three years that, while the 504 team was on the same page for the most part, the teachers were not.  I have begged and pleaded with every teacher he has ever had to focus on positive reinforcement instead of constant criticisms about not doing good enough.  He is motivated by doing well and pleasing his authority figures.  But Zack has heard that he’s not good enough every single year in school, with the exception of 3rd grade.  He believes it now.

Last week, he was told by the Dean that he had 3 days to bring his grade point average up from 1.25 to 2.5.  You and I both know this was not a possible task.  He was spoken to before anything had been brought to my attention and he came home from school devastated that, yet again, his efforts just aren’t good enough.  He’s made great strides this year as far as maturity is concerned and has been trying hard to stay on top of everything.  I have seen this first hand.  But yes, he has missed a few assignments.  Five assignment according to Progress Book.  But some of those zeros were not his fault at all as he was paired with other group members that didn’t do their parts and caused the entire group to get zeros.  There are assignments he knows he turned in that he has zeros on.  But the main reason his GPA is so low, from what I can tell on Progress Book, is that he’s making low scores on his quizzes and tests, as his Neuropsychologist said he would.

I paid several grand to have a Neuropsychologist sit down and evaluate Zack’s diagnoses and abilities so that we could determine where his weaknesses were.  I brought that paperwork to the school, I requested an IEP.  The school Psychologist reviewed all of the reports and agreed that they were consistent with what we were seeing from Zack.  The struggles he has in school are a direct reflection of what his weaknesses are due to his disabilities.  Yet, he’s been consistently told that he’s just not trying or he’s just not good enough.  He’s been given mixed messages and he’s been told things that have been presented to me differently.  For example, the Dean told me in the email that she spoke with Zack about how to check Progress Book on his own so that he can make up the work hadn’t gotten done before.  So the very next day, he asked his teacher if he could turn one of those assignments in the following day and her response to him was, “Why would I take it now?”  How would you tell Zack to respond to that?  How would you respond to that as his parent?  I sent somewhat of a long email when the Dean notified me that the team was meeting to decide if Zack was going to be kicked out of school, I copied you on it.  The Dean forwarded the message on to his teachers because  had very specific questions in there.  I have yet to receive a response from you or the teachers.  Sure, I defend him a bit in my email by calling out the teachers on not communicating with me and the reasons behind the zeros.  I also recognized that Zack didn’t do everything he needed to get done.  I am the only advocate that he has.  If I don’t stand by him, who will?

You told me at the beginning of this school year, “We’re going to stand by Zack, I assure you.  We’ll work with him.”  I’ve yet to see that happen.  Threatening to kick him out of school if he doesn’t meet the impossible expectations put in front of him within 3 days is not standing by him.  It’s not working with him.  And it’s not doing anything at all in his best interest.  Not responding to the questions, not communicating with me on what he needs help with before it’s too late, and threatening to kick him out of school is not standing by him.  It’s not helping him in the slightest.  Year after year, the school has destroyed his confidence, broken his spirit, and consistently made him feel worthless.  I spend every summer, every weekend, and every week night building him back up and getting him excited again.  His first day of school this year, he was so excited to tell you about his summer trip to DC where he learned so much of our history, it was a purely educational trip.  He was so motivated to get started learning again, he could barely contain himself.  Now he’s just ready to give up because this year was no different than any other year.  No matter how hard he’s tried, it’s just not good enough.

In reviewing his progress this year, I found that during the second 9 weeks, he brought his Spanish grade up from an 88% (B) to a 94% (A).  His Science grade dropped 2% from an 82% (B) to an 80% (B).  His History grade improved 3% from a 73% (C) to a 76% (C).  ICT improved 9% from an 81% (B) to a 90% (A).  Team Sports dropped from a 100% (A) to a 99% (A).  Math dropped 2% from a 62% (D) to a 60% (D).  Finally, Language Arts dropped drastically from a 75% (C) to a 50% (F) indicating that something major happened here, however, his conduct for that class improved from a 2 to a 1.  His conduct was a 1 in all other classes.  His grades year-to-date are as follows:  Spanish – 91% (A), Team Sports – 99% (A), ICT – 86% (B), Science – 81% (B), History – 74% (C), Language Arts – 62% (D), and Math – 61% (D).  As the neuropsychologist predicted, his troubles are in Math and English.  Despite that fact, these grades do not paint a picture of a child that doesn’t care about school or doesn’t put forth the effort.  To threaten him with removal from school the first week back from the holiday break was completely unnecessary and uncalled for.  Had the school called me and talked to me, we could have called a teacher conference and figured out what the problem was.  I would have been more tolerant of the school’s position if they hadn’t focused on his failures and completely ignored the improvements he made during the second quarter and if they had spoken to me before talking to Zack.  The message that was given to Zack was, “Even though you clearly made improvements, you’re still a failure.”  That’s not acceptable for any child.

As teachers and professionals that have dedicated their lives to working with children, I would expect each of you to know that putting those kinds of expectations on any child is setting them up for failure.  It is not helping them.  Your jobs are to encourage them and do everything you can to help them succeed academically.  It is truly disheartening and sad to me that the kids that seem to need the most encouragement, the most positivity, and the most compassion from their teachers seem to get the least of it.  Sure, everybody loves the perfect kiddos that never cause any problems and always do everything right.  But there are plenty of truly unique, very compassionate, highly talented kids with super personalities that don’t fit that model and they seem to be the ones that get the worst treatment from the public school system.  My son is not a perfect student.  He struggles with a few things.  He doesn’t always get everything done on time, if at all.  But when he’s tried the absolute best that he possibly can, he’s told it’s not good enough.  Why would he keep trying?

I fully recognize that teachers and school staff have hard jobs.  I know that the standards that the schools have to meet are hard and that it has jeopardized the quality of education our kids can receive.  I recognize that there are bigger classes and less time to teach, less time to give students individual attention and that all of my son’s needs cannot be met by any one teacher.  I’ve always recognized this.  I’ve asked for very few accommodations.  Extended time on tests and assignments was the main one and that was due to the issues with his processing speed.  I have no way to verify that this was actually given to him so I give his teachers the benefit of the doubt.  I’ve asked that he be allowed to go to the office and speak to the guidance counselor when he’s overly stressed or having a bad day.  But it’s evident that unless he asks to go, nobody cares enough to make the suggestion to him.  I say this because it was just last year we found out he had been bullied for three straight years and it took Zack to lash out twice in order to figure it out.  He’s never felt like he had any help at school because he’s always been criticized and put down.  So why would he ask to speak to anybody when they’re just going to tell him how he failed?  When he finally did tell us what was going on, the bullies were removed from his class temporarily before being put right back in his classroom.  But he had to threaten to kill somebody before he was able to get even that temporary help.

Instead of communicating with me when he’s failing at something, he’s been allowed to continue failing until it’s too late to make much of a difference and then it’s left up to the Dean to handle.  The Dean then sits him down and tells him he’s fully capable of doing what he needs to do, which is simply untrue as proven by the neuropsychologist, and that if he doesn’t fix it in three days then he’ll be kicked out of school.  So he goes to fix it and the teachers refuse to work with him…again.  To my son, this translates to, the world is going to crumble and fall apart in three days.  Have you ever watched a child sob for three days straight because they’re not good enough?  It is absolutely, by far, the most humbling, frightening, helpless, and earth shattering feeling I have ever felt as a parent.  In those moments, it occurred to me that my son is on the path to becoming another suicidal statistic, he’s been at his lowest low this week because of all of this.  Now I am quite sure that wasn’t the intentions of the school, the teachers or the Dean.  But I’ve begged and I’ve pleaded for too many years for this type of stuff to stop and it’s clearly not going to.  I will not allow the school system to continue tearing my son down.  It was nice of the guidance counselor to call him in this week after all of that, and after my original email, to talk to him and let him know that he’ll probably be allowed to stay for the 3rd quarter.  But it was too little, too late.  The damage had already been done and at that point, the school is just jerking him around.

Since you took a moment out of your day at the beginning of the year to tell me that your school will stand by Zack, I wanted to take a moment out of mine to tell you that you were wrong.  And to give you an explanation as to why I withdrew him from your school today.  You see, I’m not going to allow “the team” to make the decision to give him another chance.  He was never given a chance in the first place.  Therefore, I will be homeschooling him as I can do so while building him back up and not destroying his spirit.  I really do appreciate your words of encouragement at the beginning of the year.  I appreciate that you seemed to want to help.  Unfortunately, it just wasn’t good enough.

Sincerely,

Empowered Parent

**Names were removed from this post to protect the identities of the parties involved.**


The ADHD Child’s Teacher – Communication

Problems At School


SchoolThis school year started off like all of the rest.  My son entered 4th grade, I forewarned his teacher by providing a letter that outlined his diagnoses and what types of things she should expect along with my expectations of her.  It was very friendly but to the point.  The idea was to let he know that I’m on her team and need communication in order to keep my son on the right track.  I did not get a response from the letter.  Communication is the key when working with an ADHD child’s teacher.  Two-way communication between parents and teacher is extremely important.

A month or two into the school year, I get an email from his teacher.  We need to talk.  We set up a telephone conference where she explained to me that my son wasn’t staying on task in the classroom and he was having a lot of trouble focusing.  She uses a hole punch to punch holes in a piece of paper called a Behavior Chart for her students when they are doing something wrong.  If they get more than 4 punches, they get no recess for the week.  During this call, she informed me that she reached an agreement with my son that he would start punching holes in his chart for being off task and losing focus.  She said this would serve as a physical reminder to him to stay on task.  (ADHD doesn’t work that way)  I told her we would give it a shot but that I didn’t think it was going to be effective.

ADHD Punishment


RecessI start noticing that the Behavior Charts aren’t coming home to be signed.  If they aren’t returned on Fridays without a parent’s signature, no recess.  If the child has more than four punches, no recess.  One day, my son came home super excited because he only got one punch the entire week.  I praised him and told him fantastic job and told him to get his chart so I could sign it.  He tore his backpack apart and didn’t have it.  He left it at school.  I wanted to cry.  He didn’t, I did.

With ADHD kids, we try to celebrate every success.  We’re so used to the kids having a hard time conforming that they miss out on a lot.  It’s not fair.  He earned recess that week, but he couldn’t go because he forgot the stupid paper.  LOL, I’m still frustrated with it.  Anyway, I apologized to him and he kind of shrugged and said, “Oh well.  I don’t care.”  I hit the brakes, hold up, what do you mean you don’t care?   You don’t like recess anymore?  He explained he’s only gotten to go to recess 3 times this year (out of 18), so he’s found other ways to have fun during that time.  Oh.  Well…that’s not good…for many reasons.

School Meeting


MathSo I sent a letter to the school formally requesting an Evaluation for Exceptional Education outlining how my son’s Section 504 Plan was not being followed as he was being punished for ADHD symptoms and excluded from class activities.  A meeting was immediately scheduled for two days later.  I met with the school principal, staffing specialist, school psychologist, and teacher.  The teacher expressed concerns that he was severely struggling in math, not turning in assignments, homework, or tests.  His math grade went from an A to an F in 9 weeks, but primarily because he didn’t turn in two tests.  And she was concerned about self-abusive, aggressive behavior that he was displaying in class.  She said, in math, he just doesn’t care to learn anymore.

I signed the consent form to begin the 60-day evaluation process.  We talked about positive reinforcement and the teacher assured us he was getting it.  The principal offered to set up a meeting with her, my son, and his teacher.  She suggested they give him a pep talk, set some expectations, and help him understand what he needs to do to meet those.  My son’s perspective was that the teacher was always mad at him because she kept yelling.  He’s sensory defensive to sound though so we have to take that into consideration.  I explained in the meeting that when he’s getting bad sensory input, he’s going to shut down.  If he thinks she’s yelling at him, he’s not going to respond or perform.  That’s exactly what was happening.  I provided them a report from his neuropsychologist confirming the same.

Teacher Communication


SilenceThe following day, I advised my son to begin communicating with the teacher.  I told him she wants to help him succeed and that she doesn’t hate him.  She just doesn’t understand what’s going on with him and he needs to be able to communicate that to her.  She needs to know that he cares.  So I advised him to go to the teacher and specifically ask her what he could do today to earn a stamp toward their “Star bucks” party.  He came home and reported that she told him, “Nothing, we’re going to talk about that tomorrow.”  Every day after that, I asked if there was a meeting and there wasn’t.

A week later, there was still no meeting, I told him to go to her again and ask her what he could do good.  He said, “No mom, it’s too late.  The party is tomorrow and I don’t get to go.  But it’s okay, I’m not upset, I don’t deserve to go.”  Well…I have a problem with hearing my son say he doesn’t deserve to participate with the good kids.  My son is one of the best behaved kids around.  He’s far from perfect.  But he’s very well behaved.  I asked him why he thinks he doesn’t deserve it.  He burst into tears and said, “Because I only got one good stamp this year.  I don’t know why, I just can’t do anything right this year no matter how hard I try.”

I sent a long, concerned letter to the school about the meeting not happening yet and my son’s confidence level being at rock bottom based on what’s going on at school.  I ended with, “Where do I go next to get my son some help and encouragement in the classroom?”  I received a response the same day and the meeting with the teacher and principal Communicationwere the following day.  I received an email from the teacher and from the principal that day of the meeting.  The teacher’s email was very long and expressed concern that my son had completely declined during the week since the original meeting.  She addressed each of the concerns I had brought up in my email.  And her side of the story was very different from that of my son.

She stated she had told him specific tasks he could do to earn stamps and he didn’t do a single one.  She had given him all of his behavior charts for the year to bring to me, upon my request, and he hadn’t given them yet.  She had given him a permission form for the hearing test for the evaluation I requested…but he never provided it to me.  He completely stopped turning work in and she hadn’t seen any homework.  Something wasn’t adding up.  I realized at that point that things aren’t quite as bad as my son is reporting.  However, they wouldn’t have gotten to this point had the teacher been communicating with me to begin with.  This isn’t a foreign concept.

This is the biggest tip I know of to help your child succeed at school, open and regular communication with their teacher(s).  It bothers me a great deal that my son’s teacher was concerned about self-abusive behavior that she considered to be highly aggressive, but she didn’t feel the need to communicate that to me.  She had every number that reaches me plus my email address.  It turned out that the behavior is a tic and it’s not self-abusive, it’s something he can’t help.  But it should have been communicated.

Parenting Plan


When my son returned home from school that day, it was time to have a talk and get to the bottom of things.  I was very strategic with how I approached this talk.  They say to get the right answers, you have to ask the right questions.  I hadn’t been doing that.  I was taking most everything at face value from my son.  That was a mistake on my part which led to an apology to his teacher.   I apologized for my level of frustration and asked for more communication.

I asked my son for his Behavior Charts.  He gave them to me.  As I looked through them, I asked him how many stamps he’d gotten toward the party he wasn’t allowed to go to.  He told me again, one.  I looked at him and asked, “Are you sure you’ve only received one the entire year?”  He said, “Yes.”  I said, “Then how come I’m counting 16 on your behavior charts?”  He said, “Well I only remembered one.”  I see.  Sixteen in 18 weeks is a lot easier to digest than one.  My son just confirmed for me that things weren’t as bad as they seemed.  It wasn’t the teacher just being mean, like it seemed.

PlanSo as I explained to my son, here’s what we’re going to do, as soon as school starts again after the holiday break…things will be much different.  I will be printing math pages off of the internet for him to practice each night with his homework.  This will help him practice his math skills.  For every day that he forgets to bring his homework home, he will get two extra sheets  of practice.  I don’t figure it will take too long for him to start remembering.  I will be emailing his teacher each and every week asking for a status report on his class assignments and tests.  For each assignment not turned in, he will have two extra assignments at home.  He has until the end of January to get back on the right track, or he loses outside play time on week nights.

His behavior chart will be put in a sheet protector in his binder each week where it will stay until it’s time to turn it in.  This will help him to not lose it and will ensure that I see it each week.  He has asked that I print off a reminder to add to the front of his binder reminding him to put his homework in it each day.  We did this when he started chorus because he kept forgetting to go.  After two weeks of doing it, he started remembering on his own.  So I’ll gladly accommodate his request and I praised him for helping think of ways to solve the problem.  He is now excited about school again and understands how the little details can have a big impact.  (We had a long, serious talk.)

I will be writing a behavior contract that he will sign, I will sign, and his teacher will sign.  It will outline the expectations we have for him and the consequences of not meeting them.  It will explain how to meet those expectations and how to earn privileges back once he’s lost them.  I will put a checklist on front so he can keep track of the expectations and put a copy in his binder so he can check it each day.  We’ll see if this gets him back on the right track at school and helps the communication between his teacher and I.

I will write up another post at the end of January to give an update on how this is going.  Happy parenting!

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If you have any questions or would like to share your personal experience, please be sure to leave a comment below by clicking on the response link next to my name.  I welcome all feedback and will respond to each comment.