He REFUSES to do his school/homework. I just want to cry! Positive Feedback NEEDED! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hope this get a lot of responces here... I was not sure where exactly to put it.

History:
DS-11.. has not lived with me 100%.
He is a very sensitive child.
He refuses to do his class work and homework.
Here it is Friday morning and he still has not completed homework from MONDAY!!!:
This is a new school, new friends this year.
DS says he wants to be homeschooled, and I just cannot do that financially, not to mention that he will NOT write 20 spelling words when I ask him to get his work done!

I dont know what to do!!!

It is not a matter of the work being 'too hard' for him, he just refuses to do it.

I have tried many things.. rewards for getting it done (playstation, gameboy, ect.)
I have tried taking everything away (TV, raido, above mentioned.)
I have sat with him and made a game out of doing his homework (see who could write spelling words 4X each faster, same with the math.)

I am just at a loss.

I can yell at him to get it done, I can beg him to get it done, I can demand that he get it done, I can cry and ask him to get it done.. NOTHING WORKS!!

He is not getting his work at school done either.

This makes it look as though there is no participation from home, and that is not true!

I have asked for a P/T meeting ASAP to see what exactly is going on at school.

DS would rather sit in his room from time he get home til he goes to bed doing NOTHING (minus dinner and bath).

I am so at a loss.. HELP


Any suggestions?
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#2 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 08:24 AM
 
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Have you considered that maybe there is a reason he is refusing to do the work? Maybe he is having trouble understanding it or reading something, etc.?

I know here we have a great place that opened up that Tutors kids after school - maybe you'll have to sign him up - he may be less likely to resist someone who is not mom or dad.?.?

Good luck!
xoxo

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#3 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 08:34 AM
 
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That sounds like my neice. She is younger (9), but has been refusing to do homework for 2 years now. It is a constant struggle for my SIL. DH and I feel that she refuses because she is trying to control her mother. I don't mean that in a bad way. SIL and her EX (they are divorced but still live together) have a very out of control life. I don't think my neice knows, most days, whether she is coming or going. When she refuses to do things like homework, chores, etc DH and I can see that she's just trying to get some kind of control in her life.

I don't know if that's the case with your ds though. Maybe he feels like this is one way he can assert himself in his life? You said he doesn't live with you all the time. Maybe that leads to a sense of being out of control for him?

I don't know. I hope you find the answers you're looking for.
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#4 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that a lot of this has to do with his life.
He has had trama after trama from the word 'go'.

He is in therapy.

I am at my end with this... I find myself getting super frustrated with him not doing his work and just want to pull my own hair out.

He is not laking in understanding.. he can tell me 'exactly' what needs to be done... and I do not see him having a strugle with understanding that he needs to write his spelling words 4X each.

I just dont know what to do and I am so frustrated. I need help and dont know where to get it, how to get it, or what help is really out there.

His therapist does not seem to be helping... not much has changed.

I am just lost! Afraid of my child not becoming an independant/healthy/productive adult!
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#5 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 08:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tummy
I have asked for a P/T meeting ASAP to see what exactly is going on at school.
Great! Good thinking.

It's the first week of school, right? Is he having some trouble making the social adjustment in the first week?

Or maybe he hasn't had any math or spelling tests yet.

It is a crummy way to learn, that kind of drilling; it's very boring. It's great that you are willing to jazz it up for him.

ETA: I see that you are worried that this is the result of the many traumas of his early life, a psychological malajustment, etc. Calm down a bit. It's not abnormal for a child not to want to do homework! Ramp down your anxiety. It's just homework. You and he can work this out. He may have other horrible issues, but this is not so weird. It's just going to require patience, negotiation and a willingness to try different alternatives.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#6 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 08:45 AM
 
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I don't know that I have any good advice for you. I'm sorry you are going through this.

Have you talked with the school psychologist? Maybe they can help?
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#7 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkinsmommy
Have you talked with the school psychologist? Maybe they can help?
Right, there is not one
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#8 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 08:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tummy
Right, there is not one
Ugh. Well that's no good then, huh?
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#9 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 09:04 AM
 
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My thoughts...

He maybe having trouble adjusting to all the recent changes in his life; home; school; all that ..yk..
My guess this is his way of dealing with it. Him going into his room and not wanting to do anything maybe a sign he is not adjusting well on the inside.
I dont know how to get him to do his work but ..I can only suggest as a friend who is worried for him and you that to just try to talk to him and see how he is dealing. Dont push it but tell him its ok to not feel good about all the changes right now and and its ok to be able to take the time to adjust and you are there to talk about anything..I know that he knows that and you know that but just to reiterate it to him could make some difference..

Much love
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#10 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 09:43 AM
 
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Sometimes children who have been through trauma can benefit from unschooling. Unschooling doesn't cost very much money, at first the child just gets to stay home and decompress from school. Children who have been through trauma, their brains just sometimes shut down. They can benefit from staying home and vegging out for a year. We call the transition from public school to unschooling deschooling. At first, you leave them home and make no requirements of them, just let them play and do whatever they want. Think of it as a vacation. Then, they get to pursue whatever interests them educationally. Also, children who have been through trauma, we are finding need extra help sometimes to get their brains working back again. There are things that can be done, brain exercises. The Dance Dance Revolution game for the Xbox (also other gaming systems like PS2) , stimulates the brain activity that has been effected by trauma (it's the poor mans interactive metronome), which is a treatment that works for children who have been through trauma and their brains have shut down.
We checked out a book from the library called brain gym. It is from interlibrary loan. It contains simple exercises that stimulate the brain. Also we are doing one hour of exercise a day which requires balance. Bike riding, rebounder, skateboard, Dance Dance Revolution, Brain Gym, Scooter, and workout videos. Exercises that require balance stimulate the parts of the brain that are damaged by trauma.

We recovered from trauma by remembering two words in everything we did: simple and sacred. Any thing that did not embody these two words, we removed from our lives.

Even if you decided to keep him in school, what helped us was to lower that bar of expectation. Set it on the ground so to speak. So, what really bad will happen if he doesn't get his homework done? If he gets by with D's, he will pass this year, KWIM? He could still do the brain exercises and try to rest and relax while at home afterschool, but it would be more challenging.

Good Luck Mama
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#11 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Christine..



Bestbirths, I am just amazed at your post.. thank you so much!
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#12 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 11:17 AM
 
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I agree, talk to his teachers and, if you can, his therapist and see about lowering everyone's expectations for awhile. He may not be emotionally capable of the work, right now. Lots of luck to you!
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#13 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 11:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths
Sometimes children who have been through trauma can benefit from unschooling. Unschooling doesn't cost very much money, at first the child just gets to stay home and decompress from school. Children who have been through trauma, their brains just sometimes shut down. They can benefit from staying home and vegging out for a year. We call the transition from public school to unschooling deschooling. At first, you leave them home and make no requirements of them, just let them play and do whatever they want. Think of it as a vacation. Then, they get to pursue whatever interests them educationally. Also, children who have been through trauma, we are finding need extra help sometimes to get their brains working back again. There are things that can be done, brain exercises. The Dance Dance Revolution game for the Xbox (also other gaming systems like PS2) , stimulates the brain activity that has been effected by trauma (it's the poor mans interactive metronome), which is a treatment that works for children who have been through trauma and their brains have shut down.
We checked out a book from the library called brain gym. It is from interlibrary loan. It contains simple exercises that stimulate the brain. Also we are doing one hour of exercise a day which requires balance. Bike riding, rebounder, skateboard, Dance Dance Revolution, Brain Gym, Scooter, and workout videos. Exercises that require balance stimulate the parts of the brain that are damaged by trauma.

We recovered from trauma by remembering two words in everything we did: simple and sacred. Any thing that did not embody these two words, we removed from our lives.

Even if you decided to keep him in school, what helped us was to lower that bar of expectation. Set it on the ground so to speak. So, what really bad will happen if he doesn't get his homework done? If he gets by with D's, he will pass this year, KWIM? He could still do the brain exercises and try to rest and relax while at home afterschool, but it would be more challenging.

Good Luck Mama

My thoughts exactly. We are so pressured (by ourselves, society...) to do well in school, get our homework done, get good grades...WHY? His inner self, his emotional well being, the way he feels about himself, his soul...these are the important things right now that need to be cared for.

f^*&*k school.

He needs some lovin'!

chicken3.gifbelly.gifwow...i'm gonna have another one!!!
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#14 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 11:58 AM
 
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I was this way when I was that age.

There were things I wasn't going to do and it didn't matter what you bribed me with or what you took away, I wasn't going to do it. We had some current event thing you had to do in 6th grade(I am not sure because I never did one) every friday and if you didn't do it then you spent recess copying an article from the newspaper. I never did a current event, NEVER.

There were several classes (mostly in jr. high) that I flunked because I never did anything. A photo class that I never took one picture in, a theater class that I never memorized one line, english classes that I didn't turn in one paper for, ect. In high school I did better, I think because there were more choices.

In retrospect I can see that it probably was because trauma in my life (my mother died when I was 11, then we moved to my dads (they had been divorced), in another city, of course changed schools, dad quickly got married (because my grandparents were fighting him for coustody, ect).

If you would have asked me then I would have said "I hate english, spelling, theater, what ever. It is stupid." End of discussion.
From this viewpoint I think I see that I just thought that there were so many important things to think about, write about, talk about that spending time writing my spelling words 4 times or writing about some foriegn leader was no where near what my body or brain needed to be doing. That was just a waste of my time.

I did graduate from high school and I am a well funtioning adult (and if my sat scores matter I did very well(over 1400 combined)). On the other hand, I sure would have like a few months to lay on the couch and read and watch tv.

Don't really have any advice, just wanted to tell you I've been there.
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#15 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 12:09 PM
 
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You need to check out this website:

http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.html#null

Click on the image of Kohn's new book,The Homework Myth, and then listen to the audio interview.

Alfie Kohn is a highly-respected, thoughtful, literate, well-educated, extremely well-documenting social scientist. Check him out.
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#16 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 12:14 PM
 
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Bestbirths what a great post!

I was the same way when I was a kid, and you know what? I just didn't WANT to do my homework. My parents yelled at me, grounded me, took away priveledges, brought me to the school psychologist, brought the whole family to a therapist and only got me to go because they LIED and said it was for the whole family (it was all about me not doing my busy work)... I had a guidance councellor call me into his office, show me my IQ and tell me that there was "no reason for me to be getting D's and F's".

Think about it though, what bright person (kid or adult) would want to spend their time copying 80 words that they probably already know how to spell??

I would talk to your son about why he wants to homeschool, and I would do your best to listen to what he has to say. Take it seriously. If my parents had taken me seriously instead of just punishing me my entire teenage life, I really do believe that many of my talents would not have gone wasted. Maybe your son just wants the freedom to explore his own interests. Maybe he just doesn't WANT to spend hours doing mindless busywork. Maybe the social scene in his school is less than healthy (I know mine certainly was, and it caused me self esteem issues I am STILL dealing with as an adult).

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#17 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 12:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tummy
History:
DS says he wants to be homeschooled, and I just cannot do that financially, not to mention that he will NOT write 20 spelling words when I ask him to get his work done!
Have you asked your son why he wants to be homeschooled? Perhaps ask him if he knows what happens during homeschooling. Has he had any experience/contact with other homeschoolers? Once he tells you why, explain to him why you cannot afford it; i.e. mom has to work to make money to pay the bills etc.

Just as other people have mentioned, unfinished homework is not the end of the world.

Is this something new this year or has he been like this during past school years? If it's new then there must be something going on at school.

One day my sister's son suddenly said he didn't want to go to school and if he had to, she had to take him and pick him up (he was in jr high). It turns out that there were some kids being mean to him/picking on him and he didn't want to face that. He never brings home homework, claiming he finished it at school. I think he's pretty bored with school. Many public schools can be boring and boys definitely have different learning styles than girls; they just can't sit for lengths of time with no interaction/physical movement.

Of course there were times I was pretty bored with school and got into trouble many times in 6th grade for staring out the window.

I wish you and your son the best. You will both get through this, just keep the communication open and try to find out how things could be better for him.
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#18 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 12:52 PM
 
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Okay- I have taught kids like that- I WAS a kid like that, let me know if I'm on the right track.

He's smart.
The work is boring.
He feels smarter than the teacher.
The work is a waste of his time.

Do I have the right outline?

-Angela
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#19 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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I know you asked for positive feedback, but I have to be honest; this sounds a lot like me between the ages of ....oh, 6 to 18. I was diagnosed with ADHD (which I now take with a grain of salt). I was on ritalin for most of elementary, junior high school, and some of high school. It really helped my be a better student, although I don't think it was worth it. My appetite suffered, and I was kind of a robot.

I graduated high school on time, with a college prepartory diploma (as opposed to the standard HS diploma, which is really just a certificate of attendance), but it was a real struggle. I got mostly C's. It was because I didn't do any work. I don't want to rain on your already wet parade, but I had a really hard time. I think kids like me don't belong in public schools. I thrived with individual attention. I realize this may not be feasible, but I think it's the only answer.
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#20 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 12:55 PM
 
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What a difficult time. I agree with the pps who said that it's just homework. In the grand scheme of things, it really isn't that important. It sounds like your son is engaging in some kind of power struggle (either with you or his teacher) or it could something totally different, like being depressed.

IMO, you should talk with his teacher (like you are planning to). One of my friends has a son who refused to do homework. When she "forced" him to do the homework, he wouldn't turn it in to the teacher. When my friend confronted her son about it, he said, "you can make me do it, but you can't make me turn it in". Well, this was all about a power strugge with the teacher. The parent told the teacher that she (the parent) was not going to be involved in the homework at all. The teacher was free to penalize the child or handle it however the teacher wanted to at school, but the mom didn't want all the negative interaction at home. I think that was wise. When they are public schooled, we spend so little time with them. It is best to make that time count and be positive and happy; not to spend it nagging and fighting with them over homework.
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#21 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 01:00 PM
 
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I agree with a couple of the previous posters - it sounds like he's bored with his busy work.

I know that's why I never did any of mine. It seemed pointless to me - I knew I could pass the tests without the mindless repeitition the teachers claimed the other students needed.

The only year I did every assignment I was given, was the one year I was allowed independant study. If I could do it all at my own pace, it wasn't as bad - I gobbled through the coursework with no problem.

Unfortunately, that was at a small Catholic school that shut down that same year.

Could you talk to his school, and see if you could place him in a more advanced class, or let him work at a faster pace?
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#22 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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BTW- I thought it was worth mentioning that not all homeschooling is "school at home". I'm saying this because you said:

Quote:
...not to mention that he will NOT write 20 spelling words when I ask him to get his work done!
There are so many different options for homeschoolers, there is bound to be a method that suits your DS's learning style. Neither me nor my son are the type that enjoy sitting at a desk for long. The curriculum I found for him that seems to work is literature based- loads and loads of reading and he LOVES it.

Bestbirths mentioned unschooling, which is another option that might suit your son. There are loads of people that homeschool on a very limited budget, most of us don't buy full boxed curriculums that cost tons of money, and we manage to put something appropriate together. You should join us in the Schooling at Home and Beyond board if you have any questions!
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#23 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He wants to be homeschooled so he can stay home, have noone telling him to do work all day.. so that when he doesnt do his work he wont have to have his teacher tell him that he does not get recess.


Its not just his homework that he will not do.. he refuses to do his class work too.

There is still work from the first week of school that he has yet to complete.

BTW, school started here the first week of August, so this situation has not just started this week.. its been weeks!
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#24 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 01:32 PM
 
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It sounds like an interesting experiment on his part. Possible hypothesis: the work I'm given at school has no intrinsic value. Observation: so far the only consequences to not doing the work are made-up ones on the part of adults, like no recess or no tv. Conclusion: There's nothing to indicate that the work has any intrinsic value (maybe it doesn't??). If he's a bright kid, he may be finding that interesting.

You may want to bat that around with him. If the work doesn't have any value in and of itself right now, is there some other reason that makes sense to HIM to do the work, e.g. future plans?
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#25 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 01:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tummy
He wants to be homeschooled so he can stay home, have noone telling him to do work all day.. so that when he doesnt do his work he wont have to have his teacher tell him that he does not get recess.


Its not just his homework that he will not do.. he refuses to do his class work too.

There is still work from the first week of school that he has yet to complete.

BTW, school started here the first week of August, so this situation has not just started this week.. its been weeks!
He's 11 years old. I think that this is between him and his teacher. I'd talk to his teacher to let her know what's been going on at home and that you feel he's old enough now to deal with the consequences so you won't be doing anything other than providing a time and place for homework. The rest is up to him.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#26 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tummy
He wants to be homeschooled so he can stay home, have noone telling him to do work all day.. so that when he doesnt do his work he wont have to have his teacher tell him that he does not get recess.
Honestly, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable attitude to have. Schooling is supposed to be about learning, and coercing kids into completing a stack of dittos by threatening to take away their recess doesn't seem like much in the way of learning to me... JMHO

Quote:
Its not just his homework that he will not do.. he refuses to do his class work too.
Classwork in a public school setting isn't all that different from the homework. Except in the case of experiments and group projects, it's still a matter of giving the class a task, and letting them complete it during class time while the teacher sits at his/her desk and grades the last class's papers. Your son might thrive better on more one on one attention and in more engaging activities.

You might get some more information to work with once you meet with his teachers. Maybe he IS being given a hard time by other kids and is just too embarrassed/hurt to talk about it. In my experience, the teasing would have been reason enough for me to drop out and homeschool, even independantly of the fact that the school wasn't meeting my educational needs.

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#27 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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WHY should he do the work? Is he "falling behind"? Are there things he "should" know how to do that he doesn't?

-Angela
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#28 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 02:26 PM
 
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I have lurked here for a bit but never posted before, since my first child is not due until December.

However, I am a high school math teacher, so I've have had some experience with children. Your son's not doing homework is the symptom of a problem, not the problem itself.

Does your son have friends in school? How does he feel about other children in his class? How do they feel about him? I am more concerned about you mentioning that he sits in his room alone than with missed homework assignments. Also, how does he see himself, his place in the world, his future?

I am wondering if there is a family member or adult other than you who could talk to him about this. Sometimes children open up more to a favorite grandparent, uncle, or sports coach. The missed assignments themselves are only a symptom of other issues.
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#29 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
WHY should he do the work? Is he "falling behind"? Are there things he "should" know how to do that he doesn't?

-Angela
Ok, in Florida we have the FCAT... children in certain grades have to pass this test to be pushed to the next grade.

My son was held back in K cause he was not "emotionally ready" according to his teacher.

Last year, he failed the FCAT.... he was pushed up to 5th grade due to being held back in elementary already. Had they held him back again he would have turned 16 the summer of 8th going to 9th grade.
That scared the every loving crap out of me.. I honestly can say that if I was able to drive myself when I was in middle school I would have quit.. and that scared me for him.

He is not 'behind'.. he is very bright. The things he 'should' be doing are all the things that the school board expects him to do.

I think I am going to have to look more into this HS/USing thing.

I thank everyone for all the information and support.!!!
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#30 of 49 Old 08-25-2006, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by juliansmom
I have lurked here for a bit but never posted before, since my first child is not due until December.

However, I am a high school math teacher, so I've have had some experience with children. Your son's not doing homework is the symptom of a problem, not the problem itself.

Does your son have friends in school? How does he feel about other children in his class? How do they feel about him? I am more concerned about you mentioning that he sits in his room alone than with missed homework assignments. Also, how does he see himself, his place in the world, his future?

I am wondering if there is a family member or adult other than you who could talk to him about this. Sometimes children open up more to a favorite grandparent, uncle, or sports coach. The missed assignments themselves are only a symptom of other issues.
Congrats on your new one.

He sees himself... "I will live with you forever, I wont need a job, when you die I will just live off of the money you leave behind"

He has not ambition.

He does not have a lot of friends.. a couple.

Children tease him... children are mean!

My son is 11 yrs old and weighs a whoooooping 55lbs.. he is the same size (wears same clothing) as his 7 yr old brother.
He is teased because of this. :cying.

He has NO self-esteem and that is one of the reasons I put him into therapy. I am so afraid he is going to become an unproductive adult.

He gets super nervous when doing something new/new places, people, ect.

He has absolutely no desire at all to play any team sports, but does want to.. OH WAIT, let me correct myself..

He does have a goal.. he wants to be in the Olympics..

Being super tiny he is a super fast runner. He wants to run in the Olympics... the issue I have with this is.. there is nothing around my area right now that offers any running teams for his age.
In January there will be a track team start up for children.. Hershey-something another.
He is excited about this.
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