He says he wants more/harder work, but he can't focus - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 09-09-2014, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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He says he wants more/harder work, but he can't focus

DS is in first grade and loves school. He's pretty smart, but has trouble sitting quietly in class and can't sit for homework, which is less than 20 minutes of effort on any given day.

He says that it's too easy, which is probably true, and if nothing else it's very repetitive and therefore boring.

So instead of happily doing his work in 10 minutes, it's an all-afternoon struggle that I'm just not willing to engage in. I yell more than I want to already... I can't add daily homework fights for the next 11 years.

I'd let it go and allow natural consequences to take over, but I don't want him to think that boring means it's optional. Help?
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#2 of 2 Old 09-09-2014, 05:07 PM
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How long has he been in school? It's very normal for the first month of school to be largely review. The question is, does he pretty much have typical 1st grade material mastered. Is he reading? Can he add and subtract comfortably? How is his writing? Personally, I'd give it two weeks and then schedule a conference with his teacher. If you have any proof of higher ability at home, bring it... a book list, a story he's written, math problems he's asked for "for fun." If you don't have anything, that's OK to. The conference is a good chance to find out where the class is going, will there be an ability grouping, etc.

Homework tip to try... don't expect him to sit the full 20 minutes. Instead, break the homework up. He doesn't need to sit for a whole page. Set a goal of half a page. Let him know in advance that after 1/2 page he can go play for 20 minutes. Then bring him back for the other half. It that doesn't work, talk to the teacher about some alternative work. Maybe more challenging material will hold his interest.

Married mom, DD 18, DS 15, and a Valentine's surprise on the way!
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