Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

Our son is a sophomore in high school and makes pretty good grades. However, if he wants a big ticket item, we tell him he can get a job and pay for it or make a straight A report card. We're kinda hoping he'll get a part-time job. Instead, he makes the straight A's even though he has to wait on the item until after we see his grades. We were wondering if this “sometimes” good grade situation will be looked at by colleges and will it keep him out of the better universities?

Most colleges will forgive and forget your son's roller-coaster grade slide as long as he keeps up their grade requirement for passing. But, major universities may see it as a potential problem that will lead to his failing and insist that he go to a junior college for a year or two. My daughter had spurts of good grades but she did not make it into the college of her choice. Once she completed two years at a junior college with a steady B average, she was able to get into the school she originally wanted. - John P. in Cincinnati, OH

FROM JODIE:

I'm sure you have already mentioned to your son the possibility of being alienated from certain colleges due to his on-again, off-again good grades syndrome. But, as you know, as parents we can try to drill our point home on whatever, but most kids need to hear it firsthand from the actual source before they will believe it. The best thing for you to do with your son is to go visit some of the colleges that he is interested in. The summertime is ideal to make an appointment with the academic counselor at the school. There are usually less students in that office during this time and one on one with the counselor is the optimal way for you and your son to ask questions. Another suggestion would be that if you've been the one to harp more heavily on the topic than his dad, it might be really helpful for his dad to take him to the appointment, if possible. It's a psychological thing. He will know right away that it's a big deal and should be taken seriously if “Dad” is taking time out of his work schedule to make the trip. The good news is that your son still has a couple of years to get this situation straightened out, especially if he talks to the counselor.

CAN YOU HELP?

We recently moved to a new city and state. Our son is in the fifth grade and doesn't know how to write in cursive. He can read it, but actually writing in cursive was taken out of the school curriculum a few years ago. It has been taught in the schools where we live now and the kids are really giving him a hard time. Most days, he comes home crying. How's the best way to handle this unfortunate situation? He doesn't want to get these kids in trouble because he'll be in school with them for a long time.

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