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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need help motivating my 14yo son to raise his grades at school!<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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!<br><br>
Any ideas, please?
 

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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)<br><br><br><br>
ANYBODY!!!!!
 

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I can't wait to see the responses on this one!<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
Not to mention that I have two other children that need my help in the afternoon, plus supper needs to get on the table.<br><br>
Yeah - I can't wait to read some responses.....
 

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I really don't have any advice either. Another response watcher here.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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??
 

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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.<br><br>
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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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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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>enkmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7279327"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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).</div>
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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! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
hope others have some ideas so i can <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">:
 

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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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some people may disagree.<br><br>
But I was alot like your son in junior high in regards to just 'not wanting' to do homework or lack of motivation.<br><br><br>
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.<br><br>
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$<br><br>
Worked out that between my mom and grandma they decided 20$ an a from there on out. And litterally that is the ONLY thing that motivated me in school to do homework.<br><br><br>
I could pass with d's and c's without opening a book, and that 'was' passing.<br><br><br>
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?<br><br>
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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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.<br><br>
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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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.<br><br>
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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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mtiger</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7286172"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.<br><br>
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.</div>
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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.<br><br>
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......<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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...... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the replies!<br><br>
Malachi would probably work really hard for $50, but I don't think I could afford that! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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'.<br><br>
At least I know I'm not alone <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Oh, I so feel everyone's pain.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> In particular, dd (who is very gifted) is very unmotivated. (I don't want to hear "maybe she is just bored" Nope, just unmotivated<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: ) What I have used with her are some of the things Howard Glasser suggests in his book <a href="http://difficultchild.com/sp-bin/spirit?PAGE=24&CATALOG=5" target="_blank">http://difficultchild.com/sp-bin/spi...E=24&CATALOG=5</a>. 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" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Anyways, she has been much more self motivated this year and things are better!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Something about the combination of "compulsory" with "young adult." They don't go together very well...<br><br>
Too few choices, too little real power.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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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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:<br><br>
1/2 hour video game time (up to 1 hour per day)<br>
Car magazines<br>
Shoelaces for his skate shoes (his idea)<br>
A new pair of jeans (this is what he is saving his tokens for at the moment)<br>
Bowling<br>
The bedroom to himself for a night (little brother comes in with mom & dad)<br>
Sleepovers<br><br>
Knock on wood, but this has been working pretty well for us this school year.
 

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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<br>
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<br>
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<br><br>
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<br><br>
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"<br><br>
*sigh* life is so tough, puberty, boyfriends, school drama, peer pressure<br><br>
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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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! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
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. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
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.<br><br><br>
Anyone successfully handled this one?
 

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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.<br><br>
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.)<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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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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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