Daughter in 2nd year of highschool and grades are slipping :( Help!

Avatar for Abby_76
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2014
Daughter in 2nd year of highschool and grades are slipping :( Help!
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Thu, 01-30-2014 - 8:47am

My daughter did fine in 9th grade, but this year she isn't doing as well with Math. I'm a single mom, and really to find a fun, flexible, and positive tutor or program that can help her. I don't want to see her fall behind and then struggle the rest of the way through highschool. Please help! Any suggestions?

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

Is it that she's not doing well in math, or are there other issues as well?

10th grade is an odd sort of year in high school.  The novelty of high school has worn off, and applying for college seems so far away.  Much of the excitement and motivation is gone, and 15yos are at an age of questioning, "What difference does it make if I do well at math?  Or a foreign language?  Who needs science?"

Can you tell us more about the situation?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001

I'm going to assume you are in the US and base my thoughts on that system.

First define not doing as well.  Was she an A student who is now getting Bs?  Or does not doing well to you actually mean not doing well (Ds or Fs).  Bs are not a terrible thing.  Cs for many kids are acceptable too, but a tutor may be a good idea.  Ds and Fs require some serious help!  

If she's getting Bs or Cs I'd start by encouraging her to get into or form a study group.  This might mean having to branch out with her peers if studying with her besties isn't a good idea (too much social time not enough studying).  My eldest could rarely study with her besties, but my younger daughter has no trouble with her closest group of friends.

If she does indeed need a tutor, I'd start at one of two places.  Either ask her guidance counselor for a recommendation or contact a local college and ask for the name of a Math Education Major. 

Then what math is she taking this year? If she is taking Geometry then she will need to keep going through Algebra 2 (many work force jobs require that level of competency and some states require it to graduate with a normal diploma).  If she is taking Algebra 2 this year then I'd seriously look at her math options for next year.  Many schools offer something other than tradition courses for Juniors and Seniors.

My eldest chose to take duel credit community college math classes (College Algebra and Statistics) her junior year rather than continuing with the Trigonometry and then Calculus track.  She did not take a math senior year year.  Unless she changes her mind and decides to major in a science or tech program (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Engineering, Computer Science, etc) she won't need the advanced math.  That is HIGHLY unlikely though, she's an International Development and Business double major, with an art minor.

Avatar for Abby_76
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2014

We are in Vancouver actually. She has always held As or Bs in Math. She is in Algebra 1 now and her grade is BARELY holding a C. I need to find a way for her to WANT to stay engaged with her studies. Besides her telling me she just doesn't really understand what is being taught, and she feels like she is always 2 steps behind what they are doing, there seems to be so much distracting her this year ( I guess that is typical of highschool though). I need to either get her a tutor or find something that can ease her frustration and keep her moving forward. Even if Math isn't huge in the degree she decided to go after in college, she ATLEAST needs to get through highschool with decent math grades. 

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Has she said what is distracting her? Is she asking questions in class if she is feeling 2 steps behind, or has she met with the teacher after class to discuss? There is a website khanacademy.com that has tutorials on all different subjects, it may help her to look through what she feels she is lacking at home to help with homework. She may be distracted because she is lost.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998

I second the recommendation to check out Khan Academy online. Lots of kids who struggle in math have found some free help there. (Wish I'd known about it when my daughter encountered her archenemy, Algebra II, in 10th grade. After a very ugly start, she persevered and managed a B+ for the year, which was something of a miracle.)

When it comes to math, I do think a lot depends on the teacher, more than in any other subject. Can your D switch to a different section with a different teacher? This one may not be explaining things the way she needs to hear them.

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998

In our area, we call it the Sophomore Slump. It's pretty common though I know, commonality doesn't make it less worriesome in today's competitive college admissions world. My eldest had a drop in grades Sophomore year but in her case, it wasn't so much a particular subject as much as a poor overall schooling environment. However, seems every kid we know struggled Sophomore year in some regard. 

What math is she in? Sometimes, kids are simply better at Geometry than Algebra, for example. The grade drop might simply be the subject and next year, she'll be back into a math that she connects with better.

Make sure to check out the school resources. Many high schools have before, after or lunch tutoring in math. Shoot an email out to the teacher and ask for suggestions. Sometimes it's nice to hire a college student... they aren't as expensive and they can be more interesting to a teenager.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
I have a Sophomore in the midst of the slump too. He is now frantically trying to dig himself out of this hole he has gotten into this year. I am beyond angry with him, but not much I can do, He is actually working with a therapist outside of school that is helping get more organized and keep things in proper priority. He is involved in sports, scouts, music and more, so he has to keep on his toes if he wants to get into a decent college.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!