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Marieann September 21, 2012


Hi,

My son is in the 7th Grade,he is just not interested in his studies he cannot concentrate, he gets bored and then pretends to have a headache or stomach ache. I have tried everything but nothing seems to work. I am really worried, i know that he has the capacity to grasp stuff cause he remembers all the latest songs, all the football player, cricket etc. But when it comes to his studies absolutely nil. please help :(

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JPFondue October 22, 2012


My son can remember everything but school studies also. In my son's case, the video games have become number one in his life. Ever since he started playing an Xbox and talking to kids online, his studies have gone right to the bottom, so much that the staff now considers him borderline ADD. To get him to cooperate with school we need a reward system, but the only thing he wants is video game time. When we remove the game systems, we have noticed that he actually goes through withdrawl symptoms. Now last week he refused to do his homework, refused to go to school and in general, acting like a brat. This is from a kid who once played football and was quarterback for 4 years on the youth football teams. So now we are removing it forever, and I know this is going to lead to a war, but it will save his life and ours!

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greatschoolswi September 30, 2012


I agree. Hard to offer advice here as every child different. If he cannot concentrate, could be ADD (I have a child with a learning disability) and got help (tutoring). She could memorize any song and her memory was remarkable with areas that she found interesting. You can have your son tested. I did and found out about the ADHD and dyslexia. Even if you son has either of these, he can still excel. Often these kids are very bright. My daughter tested 2 years behind in reading last year. This fall she tested at ninth grade level in reading (2 levels ahead). But it took one on one instruction during the summer. She now loves school and her confidence is back. Or it could be he is just shy and if he doesn't understand something, he would rather just let say he is bored instead of getting help from the teacher. Have you talked to his teachers? I found you have to really get involved with the teachers as related to your child. It is so important that your son know you are there to support him. Most teachers will meet with students after school or before school. We did that too. It was a huge benefit!

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TeacherParent September 24, 2012


Has it always been this way or this new to his 7th grade year? Did he complain of being bored in 4th, 5th and 6th grade? And how have his grades been over the years?

Does he read well? I'm sorry to bombard you with questions but figuring out what's gone wrong with a child in school is much like a doctor trying to figure out why you have a sore throat and they ask similar questions - like how long has this been going on?

Many kids who just can't get on board with school often prove to have an underlying reading issue - they don't read well and schools don't pick it up. It's very hard for a child who doesn't read well to do well in school. Some also have or instead can have an issue with spelling and writing and a lot of school is about just that- spelling and writing.

A traditional approach to school is pretty much read the chapter, take notes on the chapter, copy notes from the board, take notes while the teacher is talking and then memorize everything in your notebook and then close the notebook and take a test on what's in the notebook.

That is boring. Strong students as well as those struggling with learning differences can find school boring. Some kids put up with it because they enjoy being around their friends but it can be that many kids if they're honest will say that school is boring. And some classes and some teachers are even more boring than others.

But in life as parents we sometimes have limited options. You could ask the school to test him searching out for an underlying learning difference that makes school feel hard though he says it's just boring. Is switching schools an option? Some schools have different approaches to education and some schools are more willing to be flexible or try harder to reach their students. Some schools have smaller class sizes and kids feel more connected to their teachers and their school work in a smaller school.

My son could not memorize textbook information - he could indeed learn - but not in the way that his school taught. He needed tons of tutoring, tons of help to get through a traditional school. He too said it was boring and it was but for him school was also Very hard even though all he said was 'boring'.
Good luck to you and your son. I hope you can puzzle it through and let us know how it goes.

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MagnetMom September 21, 2012


Hi Marieann,

This is a tough one. Clearly popular songs, video games and sports stats are more interesting than math and grammar. The trick is to find out whether it's just typical preteen distraction or whether it's something more. And it could be just that homework isn't fun. Talk to his teachers. And his pediatrician.

Rule out anything medical and then you'll know whether you can just be firm with him or whether he needs some sort of treatment.

Good luck!



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