14yo and Schoolwork/Grades - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 02-12-2007, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I need help motivating my 14yo son to raise his grades at school!

The work is definately not too hard for him, its lack of organization and motivation. At every parent teacher conference I've attended, they've talked about how impressed they are with how well he can participate in class discussions when he hasn't done any homework. They thought for a while that the material was just too easy and boring him, so they put him in the gifted classes, but those classes only had more homework which he didn't do and therefore failed the gifted classes.

He's recently been suspended from some extra-curricular activities that he loves due to grades. Rather than motivating him to get his grades up, this seems to be just depressing him and further unmotivating him.

What can I do? The problem is he just does not bring home his homework. He's in 9th grade now, the teachers can't follow him around and make sure he brings home everything he needs from every class. I'm not able to pick him up from school myself to make sure he has everything. I've tried taking away privledges, offering rewards, just having a serious grownup discussion about the issue with him- nothing has worked!

Any ideas, please?
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#2 of 28 Old 02-12-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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It is so hard when they are in their early teens .My older kids use to say that homework was useless and they had things to do that were so much more important. How does your son test, are test grade good but the issue is homework or is it the other way around? I don't have any answers...really looking for answers myself, I am dealing with the same issues with my youngets dd ( she is 13) She received progress reports last week and she is failing one class and has a "D" in another. WTF!!! This is a child who has never missed a homework assignment until she reached 7th grade. The first semester she was on honor role( Honor Society)



ANYBODY!!!!!
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#3 of 28 Old 02-12-2007, 11:24 AM
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I can't wait to see the responses on this one!

I'm in the same boat. My son is 13 and in the 7th grade. He is in AIG classes and simply does not care to impress.

Last year I insisted that he sit at the kitchen table from 4 - 6 and do homework. When he complained that he had no homework, I told him to study for a test that was coming up in a week. When he had no tests or homework, he read for the two hours. It finally got to him that he couldn't get out of it and couldn't procrastinate. It ended the lies and excuses. His grades improved but it was a constant battle.

Not to mention that I have two other children that need my help in the afternoon, plus supper needs to get on the table.

Yeah - I can't wait to read some responses.....

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#4 of 28 Old 02-12-2007, 11:50 AM
 
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I really don't have any advice either. Another response watcher here.

I always said I would eliminate extra-curricular activities if my crew got bad grades, but I don't know if it would actually work or not. It worked for me as a kid, but all kids are different. I got one F in school in Geography and my mom used to make me study for two hours each day after school until the grade came up. If I had no homework, then I had to just read my text. I hated it.

My oldest is only 11.5, so I don't know that this would help at all. He is a very smart young man who has no clue how to study and he is getting low grades as a result. We get study guides from his teachers (they email them to us) and we have about a week to study with him. We just started the study guides with him for a test two weeks ago. We went over the guide every day. He got his test back and he got 102%. His highest grade ever in the class. He told me yesterday when he was proudly showing his dad that studying really does pay off. Is it possible to get some sort of study guide and study with your son.....maybe he is feeling overwhelmed and doesn't know how to study on his own. Maybe even sit down with him with his homework??

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#5 of 28 Old 02-12-2007, 12:40 PM
 
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kids seem to really have a "gotta go gotta go" mentality, and I think the reason they see homework as a waste in a lot of cases is because there is sooo much else they could be doing. Once it slides past a certain point, it feels pointless to do at all because its become this huge monster to tackle. Anything you can do to slow them down and keep it from looking like a "do I do homework or do I play video games" decision about using their time will make a big difference I bet.

My son is homeschooled atm, but what used to work for us (we had trouble w/ homework if we didnt do this) is a schedule. If you work, I'd do this when you're home so you can supervise. Just put aside a certain amt of time as soon after school is out as possible. We have a 1/2 hr period at 3pm when we do "chores" and we used to have 1 hour directly after school (right after snack) where my son would sit at the table and do his school work. Really talk to the teachers too (like it sounds as you are) to make sure that you know what kind of homework to expect (so your child is not having days w/ no homework and sitting there for a long time anyways). Most teachers are pretty routine about the amount of homework and the days they hand it out.
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#6 of 28 Old 02-12-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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This thread could turn in to a support group, easily. My 17 y/o daughter has the same issues. She thinks homework is a huge waste of time, as she gets A's on all her tests and knows all the material. In Saturday's mail we got deficiency notices for Statistics and Physiology - reasons: missing, late, and incomplete homework assignments. Lots of times she even does the work, just does not turn it in. Part of the reason is that she just HATES her high school, and is counting the days until she graduates (60).
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#7 of 28 Old 02-12-2007, 05:32 PM
 
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This thread could turn in to a support group, easily. My 17 y/o daughter has the same issues. She thinks homework is a huge waste of time, as she gets A's on all her tests and knows all the material. In Saturday's mail we got deficiency notices for Statistics and Physiology - reasons: missing, late, and incomplete homework assignments. Lots of times she even does the work, just does not turn it in. Part of the reason is that she just HATES her high school, and is counting the days until she graduates (60).
this is my 14-yo son except he gets all B's (except 1 subject). it drives me INSANE. i feel for him not liking the school, but i can't get him in another one when he doesn't do his work and as a result winds up w/ some seriously bad grades on the report card! argh! :

hope others have some ideas so i can :

semi-crunchy mama to 1 unschooly, sometimes unruly, but mostly sweet and cool DS (17)
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#8 of 28 Old 02-12-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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Is there learning differences going on? I am dealing with this with both my teens. I homeschool . I find short sessions to do work are best. I find NOT taking away extracurriculars the best course to follow. This is what they truly care about and are motivated to do. There is a certain amount that needs to be sone. I fidn encouraging , focusing on strenths and seeing what the real issue is. Are expectations realistic? Sallie
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#9 of 28 Old 02-12-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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some people may disagree.

But I was alot like your son in junior high in regards to just 'not wanting' to do homework or lack of motivation.


Taking away privilages did nothing to make me bring the homework home. Something that motivated me was that my Grandma told me she would give me 50$ for an A.

I took this as 50$ PER A so I tried my hardest in every class. Got 2 A's some b's and a so on. So I expected 100$. Well my mom and grandma talked and she meant 50$ total, bummed me out but she still gave me 100$

Worked out that between my mom and grandma they decided 20$ an a from there on out. And litterally that is the ONLY thing that motivated me in school to do homework.


I could pass with d's and c's without opening a book, and that 'was' passing.


Bribery worked on me. don't know what your son is into. Could work out that he gets a Video game report card day for every 3 a's or something wich consolation prizes if he gets close?

Don't know. At that age it really was 'I didn't see the reward in grades' and the diploma college was too far off for me to realize it was just around the corner.

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#10 of 28 Old 02-12-2007, 07:34 PM
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I would be hestitant to pull an extra-curricular activity. If he truly loves it and feels good doing it, at least he has that.

As for the actual homework part- what are his test scores like? What kind of homework is it? Sometimes homework falls into one of two catagories: too easy and a complete waste of their time or too hard and no way can they do it alone. Not that this will help your son now, but we need to question what the purpose of the homework is. If your son does not see a connection between homework and success, maybe he is right. He might even have a study or two to back him up on that. Whatever the case, try to find what is the real problem. How does he learn best? How can the school best help him? What does he think is useful in his quest for knowledge and finding his place in the world today and down the road?
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#11 of 28 Old 02-13-2007, 10:48 AM
 
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What sorts of goals do these kids have for post-HS? Do their schools have any sort of online gradebooks? They can be invaluable to showing them how stupid stuff (not doing/handing in homework) affects their grades - thereby affecting their options post-HS.

My now 15yo used to always have one quarter in one class that he'd pull the missing homework, etc stunt. Using the gradebook, I'd show him exactly how that affected the outcome - his grade. In MS, it wasn't a big deal, except for affecting whether or not he'd be in Honors/AP classes in HS. Which would determine his options once he graduated. Better grades in more challenging classes = more varied options after graduation. He seems to get it.
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#12 of 28 Old 02-13-2007, 11:11 AM
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What sorts of goals do these kids have for post-HS? Do their schools have any sort of online gradebooks? They can be invaluable to showing them how stupid stuff (not doing/handing in homework) affects their grades - thereby affecting their options post-HS.

My now 15yo used to always have one quarter in one class that he'd pull the missing homework, etc stunt. Using the gradebook, I'd show him exactly how that affected the outcome - his grade. In MS, it wasn't a big deal, except for affecting whether or not he'd be in Honors/AP classes in HS. Which would determine his options once he graduated. Better grades in more challenging classes = more varied options after graduation. He seems to get it.
I have driven this point home with my son repeatedly. He gets it. HE really does. He has taken the SAT and ACT this year in prep for college.

I wonder how many of the kids in these posts are confident. Mine is. Especially when it comes to his smarts. He just doesn't feel the need to impress. Plus he's a 13 year old boy, so his brains are on the floor most of the time......

He never made below an A until 5th grade. And then his first C came in 6th grade. He never had to study in elementary school The A's just came with little to no effort. Now that he is in middle school, he must exert some effort. Last year (6th grade) we were punitive and that just didn't work. So I tried what Yoseph suggested and tried to pay him for grades (which I hated!). That didn't work.

So now, I think I have finally hit on something that works. My son has been begging for Halo since 5th grade. I refuse to buy that crap! Not only is it crap, but it's rated MA.

I believe this is the carrot I need. I told him that if he got straight A's from now until the end of the year - I would buy the darn game. UGH! I hate the idea so much, I'm having a hard time even typing it. But at least he is older now than when he first wanted the game. And it's not as if he is asking for Grand Theft Auto...... :

I can actually see him trying. He is doing extra work to pull up his grades. In order to make things even better (since the end of the year is a long way off - and hard to grasp) I am offering $50 bucks for straight A's at each report period.

It's a work in progress. I've never had a 13 year old before. I don't know how to do it. My 9 year old boy is easy. I've already had two 9 year olds and one boy. No problem! But a 13 year old. I'm clueless.....

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
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#13 of 28 Old 02-14-2007, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies!

Malachi would probably work really hard for $50, but I don't think I could afford that!

The not doing homework effects some tests. He's good at things he can just figure out, like math. Things like history tests he does terrible at, where he has to know what happened at what date and why and things you can only know if you've actually read the chapter for homework like you were supposed to.

Forcing him to sit down at the table at a certain until its done doesn't work, it only makes both of us mad. And usually he hasn't even anything home with him to actually sit and do.

I've had many talks with him about it, he agrees that he can and should do better, he says he realizes grades are important, but he says he just 'forgets'.

At least I know I'm not alone
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#14 of 28 Old 02-14-2007, 01:51 AM
 
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Oh, I so feel everyone's pain. In particular, dd (who is very gifted) is very unmotivated. (I don't want to hear "maybe she is just bored" Nope, just unmotivated: ) What I have used with her are some of the things Howard Glasser suggests in his book http://difficultchild.com/sp-bin/spi...E=24&CATALOG=5. I read this book for a cont education class I took and got so much out of it! I told the person who was teaching the class it should be called "Transforming the difficult child and typical teenager"

Anyways, she has been much more self motivated this year and things are better!
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#15 of 28 Old 02-14-2007, 02:14 AM
 
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Something about the combination of "compulsory" with "young adult." They don't go together very well...

Too few choices, too little real power.

I think teens deserve to feel like they shape their own lives. They should have mroe than just follow-rules-or-fail options, like real options where the various directions each have real meaning. Unfortunately only doing what one is told has meaning at school. If you don't do that, whatever else you do instead does not count as success.

Sorry, but IMO school doesn't respect teens' developmental needs. Teens NEED to feel in control, more like an adult, and have more than one (school-shaped) positve direction available. Navigating the school reality as a parent of a teen takes beginning from understanding that the young person stuck in it involuntarily is in a tricky spot. I think a lot of teens lose it in high school because they just can't tolerate being pushed around and talked down to anymore. Highly intelligent teens especially often feel insulted by the way their lives are shaped by others.

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#16 of 28 Old 02-16-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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How about incentives other than money? Is there something that your child(ren) are particularly interested in? We have resorted to using a token system for my 12 year old son. For every piece of homework that is turned in, he gets a token. The tokens are used as currency to buy something he wants. Different wants have different price tags. His current wants are things like:

1/2 hour video game time (up to 1 hour per day)
Car magazines
Shoelaces for his skate shoes (his idea)
A new pair of jeans (this is what he is saving his tokens for at the moment)
Bowling
The bedroom to himself for a night (little brother comes in with mom & dad)
Sleepovers

Knock on wood, but this has been working pretty well for us this school year.
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#17 of 28 Old 05-15-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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honestly, i can say i am a 14 year old girl who is not doing well in many classes at all
i don't know why i don't do my homework, i just don't feel like it or get fed up with teachers and feel they "don't deserve" my time and effort
its hard for me because i KNOW i'm smart enough and i can have a 95 in every single class if i try, but i don't. i'm getting sick of going to public school and i feel that its making me way to stressed out

i'm not sure if i should just suck it up and do it, but i really don't want to because i think homeschooling would be much better although my family is not in the situation where that would be possible considering my mother is a single parent and works from 8am to 9pm some days to get enough money to support my brother and i

i don't know if any of this has helped but i also feel that i get way to stressed out with the situation my parents are in, the way my dad acts (smoking cigs, drinking, constantly with his slutty girlfriend) and sometimes it just all gets to me. sometimes i think that i just want attention but i think that i'm just being stubborn and want my parents to realize that i am still a kid even though i'm struggling with being my "own person" and "growing up"

*sigh* life is so tough, puberty, boyfriends, school drama, peer pressure

i don't think yelling and screaming for hours is going to help, but it does help for me when my mom sits down and pays attention to me and when we can have our own little girl time and realize that we "gotta do what we gotta do" and i feel so special and important when my mom pays attention to me for just 10 minutes everyday and it makes me feel so much more motivated to make her happy and to keep up my grades
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#18 of 28 Old 05-16-2007, 01:43 AM
 
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It's heartbreaking, but I honestly don't know how you can motivate him. Maybe show him examples of people who didn't do well in school.......not counting the president!

When I was in high school I was an A student, but I didn't challenge myself or try to graduate mid term, which would have been smart. I was just trying to survive the daily drama at home and be old enough to move out.

There is a real dumbing down in our society and somehow we have to get our kids to understand that a college degree is the bare minimum required to get a decent job. Sadly, at 13-17 they know it all.


Anyone successfully handled this one?

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#19 of 28 Old 05-16-2007, 09:52 AM
 
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When I was 14 I did not do well in school, I was too busy hanging out and trying to be cool to do my homework. I could get good grades on the tests and I could participate in class, so to that extent it seems like we are the same. I was always super bored with school.

1/4 of the way through my 9th grade year I was failing, and got sent to an alternative school for zero tolerance disciplinary reasons (first time I had ever been in trouble at school, but for me boredom turned into recreational drugs.)

In the alternative school all the teachers were beside themselves to get a student that could do long division and cared about history/literature so they gave me a whole lot of leeway. It was there that I started doing my homework in class, while still participating in class.

Once I got to "real high school" I found that teachers went to great lengths to make sure students could not do homework in class. I would keep my math book on the floor and do tomorrows homework while looking at the teacher so she would think I was taking notes, I photocopied a few chapters of a book once so I could do problems out of it without using the book. I even went so far as to break my Government teacher's password on his computer so I could look up all the homework assignments for the rest of the year. I know creative "cheating" like activities just to do homework is ridiculous, but it was sooo worth it, because life was sooo much easier for a high school student if you got straight As and you can bet my homework was not going to get done on "my time". When you are flying through their class, teachers trust you more and give you much more leeway on things like tardiness, bathroom passes in the middle of class, extra credit, stuff like that. All teachers want to do is feel like they make a difference, and I deliberately manipulated them into thinking they did. Once I realized what teachers wanted in order for them to leave me alone and let me do what I wanted, I was much happier in high school.

As a bragging side note testament to the effectiveness of this scheme, I ended up getting a full academic scholarship to the school of my choice that included full tuition, books, and a housing allowance. But more importantly I got a lot of experience at giving people what they want without compromising my own wants and needs, and that skill hs served me better in my life than anything else I learned in school.
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#20 of 28 Old 05-16-2007, 10:44 AM
 
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Our school system allows us to log onto a computer program that shows us each day's class assignments, tardies, grades, missing homework and so on. I check every day and go over it with DD. At first it made her mad that I could keep track of everything but finally she has accepted that I am watching and everything has to get done.
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#21 of 28 Old 05-16-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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I'm glad I'm not the only one!

I have twin sons in 7th grade. They are both very smart, and do well in school, but both forget to turn in assignments (even when they're completed!) and forget to bring work home. Their school has been issuing planners and teaching the kids how to use them since 4th grade, but it's an uphill battle with my kids.

This week they both had to do a demonstration speech - teach the class how to do something. I wouldn't have known J had the assignment if B didn't have the same class. J just plain didn't want to do it - he couldn't think of any ideas, and he doesn't like to stand up in front of people (funny, since he had been MC at a Scout meeting the night before, and did a great job). I asked if he planned to do the assignment, or if he was simply going to tell the teacher he didn't feel like it. I never did get a straight answer to that one. He already has a D in his advanced math class (where he had the highest grade in the class unilt he blew off a huge assignment), and hated the feeling. I offered many, many suggestions for his speech, but of course they were all stupid.

We've had to start checking their planners every single day. If the planner is not filled out, no computer and no TV for that day. We have a homework hotline that is updated every day, so we can get assignments for each class; if they've forgotten to bring home their books or papers, they go to school early the next day to get it done.

It makes me mad that I have to be SO involved - they are bright, responsible kids in so many ways. I don't feel like I should have to hold their hands to get them to do their homework and hand it in, but I do. It frustrates me,a nd I don't handle that very well; I get much more mad at the boys than I should.

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#22 of 28 Old 05-16-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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I have a daughter in 7th grade who needs me to micromanage her schoolwork. I've tried not to, but when don't stay on top of her every single day, I find that she isn't doing her work at all.

For her, these are the things I do-
1. our school has an online system where I can check grades and homework assignments. These are only after the teacher enters them into the system, so for some classes 2-3 days can go by before I know that an assignment wasn't completed or that she neglected to do her classwork. I try to check this a couple of times a week and if I find that she hasn't done an assignment I do my best to make sure she completes it and hands it in even if it's too late to get credit for it. In my opinion, it wouldn't be right to let her simply not do it at all

2. When that doesn't work I've had her do behavior contracts with the school. Each day the teacher signs off on whether or not her homework was turned in and what her homework will be for that evening, then I know exactly what is due and when and i can prevent her from taking a 0 for that assignment and help her to remember to do her work. When she seems to be doing well with this system, I take her off of it and allow her to manage her homework on her own, hoping she will do well, but sadly each time we go off the contract she begins to fail again and we have to go back on it. This is our second school year doing it this way.

3. Email the teachers frequently, find out if they have websites with daily assignments posted, ask the principal for assistance from the school, maybe they have some sort of incentive program for kids who forget or neglect homework. Most of the time, teachers don't take the time to get in touch with you to initiate any sort of partnership in helping your child. If you are having struggles it's always worth talking to the teacher and brainstorming with them to come up with ways to motivate and help a child.
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#23 of 28 Old 05-16-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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Two words about kids that age and homework- Boarding school! :
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#24 of 28 Old 05-16-2007, 05:31 PM
 
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Heh-- I went to boarding school and loved it, but still didn't do my homework consistently until I was seventeen. I just couldn't stay on top of it very well. Looking back on it, I could have used more micromanaging and/ or a tutor (peer or older, a lot of college students do it for extra cash).
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#25 of 28 Old 05-17-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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some people may disagree.

But I was alot like your son in junior high in regards to just 'not wanting' to do homework or lack of motivation.


Taking away privilages did nothing to make me bring the homework home. Something that motivated me was that my Grandma told me she would give me 50$ for an A.

I took this as 50$ PER A so I tried my hardest in every class. Got 2 A's some b's and a so on. So I expected 100$. Well my mom and grandma talked and she meant 50$ total, bummed me out but she still gave me 100$

Worked out that between my mom and grandma they decided 20$ an a from there on out. And litterally that is the ONLY thing that motivated me in school to do homework.


I could pass with d's and c's without opening a book, and that 'was' passing.


Bribery worked on me. don't know what your son is into. Could work out that he gets a Video game report card day for every 3 a's or something wich consolation prizes if he gets close?

Don't know. At that age it really was 'I didn't see the reward in grades' and the diploma college was too far off for me to realize it was just around the corner.

Yeah, I have to agree - rewarding my son was the only way to get him to become serious about schoolwork. He is 12, and went though the "nomal" phase of not bringing homework home, not studying for test, etc. And, he just plain doesn't like school. We had (and still have) serious discussions about why doing well in school - and just doing your best at everything - is wise. But we also added the incentive of something that he really enjoys doing, which is going to a Chuck E. Cheese type place near our home. This place gives extra tokens for good report cards, and this proved to be a real incentive for my son. The only time we go is at report card time.

I don't check our school's homework hotline, and I don't check ds's planner. We actually even began letting him decide when to do his homework instead of me telling him. Not only has it taught him valuable lessons in time management, but it gives him a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. And I have to say, it's all worked. Before we started doing all this, he got progress reports for low grades halfway through every grading period. Since we've started, he hasn't gotten a single one in the two grading periods since we began our little system. I can really see his motivation beginning to change from just doing work for reward to doing work and taking pride in it - because it's something he's done all by himself. We've made the change from "get good grades and make us happy" to "get good grades and make YOURSELF happy."

A happy woman
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#26 of 28 Old 05-17-2007, 01:46 AM
 
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This is going to be unpopular, but I don't bug my kids to do homework. I remind them and ask them about it. I make sure they have the tools they need to complete it. I help them if they ask. I monitor their progress, usually via emails with the teachers. But if they don't do it and they get a 0 or fail a test, I don't ride them about it. We also offer a monetary reward for the kid with the best report card each year. My boys could both be honor students but they choose not to be. My oldest graduates grade 12 this year and he isn't any kind of special student and won't win any scholarships. He's had a long tough road, but he pulled up his own socks in grade ten and has taken summer school every year - even this year he's taking it after he graduates. And next year he's back taking high school courses in order to qualify for uni. HE finally decided he would do what he needs to because he realized he had to.

I think a huge part of the problem is the educational system. It isn't personal enough. I am happy that my kids do want to stay in school, and I'll be happy when they all graduate, and I have post secondary education money for them. But the day to day hassle of forcing them to do homework just isn't worth it to me. Learning is much more than schoolwork IMO. I want them to be happy, and they aren't happy, and neither am I, if I have to spend every evening riding them to produce homework that they won't even remember after a test.

I was an honor student, and I think it was because of the competition factor. We were told our rank every report card compared to our schoolmates. There were monetary prizes every year for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. We had a smart class, a middle class and a 'dumb' class, and we all knew which one we were in. None of that exists any more, and for a lot of kids, that results in them not caring how they do in school.

I try to keep the end result in mind. For me, that's an adult who is doing something they want to do and has achieved that on their own. Doing three pages of algebra just because a teacher says they have to every night isn't really contributing to that goal.
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#27 of 28 Old 05-21-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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We had a discussion about life goals when my son was 14. We asked what kind of lifestyle he would like to live. We explained that school was his job right now. What he did in school would determine what he will do in the future. Future employers/colleges would look at his high school record. Bad grades - probably would translate to a low paying job. If that was his desire, it was okay with us. We said in any job there are things you may not like, just like in school there are subjects that you may not like. The subjects are offered so that you get a broad education and every student can have exposure to an area that might become an interest and passion.

His attitude changed. He is a motivated student who comes home from school and sits right down to do his homework.

Your kids need to do homework for themselves, not you. We do not pay for grades although for some it might help. We found it not necessary.
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#28 of 28 Old 05-21-2007, 07:44 PM
 
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Suzukimom, I did the same thing with my middle daughter who did great till 9th grade. 9th & 10th grade she wasn't doing anything. Actually, that's a lie. We didn't have a discussion about life goals. I got mad & said "You don't get it. I don't have to go to school. I'm through unless I decide I want to go back. It won't hurt me. It will hurt you. It will affect every aspect of your life, whether you buy all your clothes from a thrift shop, never drive anything but beater cars, go on a vacation to Hawaii or overnight to Galveston, or buy your makeup from a department store or the 2 for $1.00 tub by the cash register at Walgreen's. It won't change my life for the worse if you keep on slacking off, but it will change yours!". By 11th grade she decided she wanted to go to a good school, won an award presented at a big city-wide banquet for the kids in high schools who were most improved. She then got into University of Texas & all the other schools she applied to & finished her degree in 4 years. They have to make up their minds to plow through & do their best; you can't do it for them.
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