By Debra Collins, Family therapist
I have a very intelligent third grader. He takes an advanced curriculum and does very well on his tests. However, my husband and I do most of the organizing for him, review his assignments and ensure his work is done. The math, science and reading doesn't seem to be so bad. The writing however is torture. He has reward charts and consequences for his writing being completed, and we are for at least now requiring he complete a minimum of two paragraphs in school. He is the first of three and is wearing us down.
What can we do to help him? How much can he help himself? It is almost like he has no work ethic. How much should we push him?
I would like to start with your statement, "It is almost like he has no work ethic." Your son is doing well in math, science, reading and testing. Since you mention that he works within an "advanced curriculum," I'm assuming that he performs above grade level. It is important to look at his overall accomplishments.
A third-grader is just learning how to put his thoughts together in order to construct a simple paragraph. Things such as topic sentences, sequence of events, punctuation and so forth, are more difficult when you have to write them yourself. Writing is a complex series of events, and the blank page can be daunting.
His teacher may know if he needs help with concepts, or if he just needs more experience at writing. A child may not develop at the same rate in all areas. Some tasks just need the benefit of time and practice before they are integrated.
I have worked with many children where the real problem was writing in cursive. Their fine motor skills were delayed and by the time they struggled to physically write, they had lost their train of thought. His teacher will be able to help you determine that.
Lastly, homework teaches children organization skills and responsibility. Let him do it first and then go over it with him. It is a fine balance between stimulating your child's growth and "pushing." If you are having power struggles, it seems that you are leaning in the direction of pushing, which can result in your son losing his enthusiasm for school.
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.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.