There may be something going on neither of you are aware of. Yesterday, my optometrist told me that lots of kids who go untested for their vision struggle being motivated at school, not realizing they can't see well. Also, there could be bullying going or a teacher that is not working well with him at school. Sounds like you need to really talk with him about what is going on at school that might be bothering him emotionally and possibly get his vision checked. 63573
My son is a smart kid but started failing his classes. I didn't know until the semester was over and report cards where mailed home. I found out that all those times he told me his homework was done, he hadn't done it or wouldn't finish it. He wasn't studying for tests and just didn't care about school. I knew that I had to get more involved day to day and micro manage all his home work. I first gave him the speech about what life had to offer him if he kept the I don't care attitude going vs if he would try his best and make the grades that I know he's capable of. He didn't want to hear anything I had to say, but after me getting the serious tone in my voice and threatening to take everything he likes away, he sat for a few minutes and listened. I made it point every day to check his homework planner and make sure that I looked over every piece of work that he did. If it wasn't correct or he said he didn't answer something because he didn't understand then I would spend time teaching him or proving to him what the correct answer was. I also logged on to his school's website daily to look at his grades and find out what tests were coming up. At the beginning we would fight a lot because he didn't want to his work nor did he want me over his shoulder making sure it got done. After a couple of times of taking away his video games, he got that I wasn't playing around. I would make sure to study with him before a test. (we fought a lot at the beginning during those sessions too.) His grades immediately started improving and he is now getting A's, B's, and a couple of C's (trying to get those to B's). 63636
I agree that you should check on things as the other two moms suggested and not to be negative, but I think you may also want to talk to him calmly and one on one to also make certain nothing traumatic has occurred. Hopefully that is not the case and other considerations are the academic 'atmosphere' of your son's grade/class, his teachers' and/or the school's opinion and expectations of him .... basically there are a # of variables and I think they start w/a calm, caring conversation with your son. Ask him if he wants to switch schools, is he missing his father, does he feel like he just doesn't measure up to his sisters and he's giving up on trying ...... Kids are much more complicated than we think and can have a lot on their minds. I'm guessing at your son's age (btwn 10-14??) .... I have an 11-yro son who is very bright but cld easily be a below-average student if left to his own devices. We check his homework, assignments, and grades weekly .... it's a pain but it keeps him on track. Hoping that once we get thru the MS years he'll be more on automatic pilot. I also teach and can tell you that 5th grade - MS is esp. challenging when it comes to keeping boys on track. 63648
My daughter was having a hard time too. I finally had a full neuro-psychiatric testing done. They didn't find anything specific like a learning disabiltiy so I hired a tutor. I had a math tutor come once a week over the summer and then hired a 19 yo college freshman to meet with her twice a week to help her get organized and to tutor her in all the subjects. They focus on her homework mostly. I used to try and tutor my daughter myself, but it always ended up in tears, misunderstanding etc. Hiring the tutor is the best money I ever spent. The pressure is off me (I work FT and have other children) and she responds much better to the 19 yo girl than to her mother. The tutor has the dual advantage of acting like a big sister/role model. My daughter is doing very well in school this year and feels better about herself! Best money I every spent!63649
We are just working out of this type of mess. Immediately get an appointment with the teacher (s) and find out how he is REALLY doing. What happens is they blow smoke and then get so behind that it takes a big push to catch them up. Our son has one job now. Raise your grades. Everything, and I mean everything else comes next. Sports, friends, electronics, TV.
We spent days catching him up and he complained and was unmotivated at first. As he caught up however, he saw the light at the end of the tunnel and is now more committed to keep up. A lot of kiddos don't write their homeword down in middle school. This needs to be job one. Figure out a way to confirm with another kid, parent, etc that your son knows what he has to do. Then help him break it into pieces based upon when it is due. Many kids are very disorganized at this age and it doesn't get easier in high school. They have to learn to be independent and some need help getting the habits to manage themselves effectively.63664
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