By Dr. Michelle Alvarez, Consulting Educator
My son is in fifth grade and has always been a hard-working student. However, this year, both his teachers and I have noticed that he is not working to his potential.
He turns in his assignments late, and is putting forth very little effort. He is very bright, and while his grades have gone down, he is not failing, yet. He seems to be enjoying school but does not want to do the work. What can we do to get him back on track?
Here are some suggestions to deal with your child's lack of effort:
There are also some good resources online. The Aspen Education Group offers information on underachievement in gifted students and Prufrock Press also provides an article on underachievement among bright students.
I would also suggest enlisting the assistance of student services professionals at your son's school (school counselor, school social worker and/or school psychologist). It is important to find out what is at the root of your son's lack of effort in school at this time, especially since this has not been a problem in the past. School-based student services personnel will review your son's academic record, talk with teachers past and present, talk with you about what you are seeing at this time, observe your son in class and then talk to your son. This information will assist them in determining what might be at the root of the problem. Then they can develop strategies, along with the teacher, so that you and your son can address the issue.
Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.
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