We have been struggling with our 10-year-old son, who is definitely an underachiever. He has been evaluated recently and was not found to have any learning disabilities. His IQ tested in the gifted range.
Last year, it was a nightmare trying to get him to do homework. And we’re having a repeat performance again this year. Punishments or rewards simply do not work. Any recommendations on how to motivate?
Ask him what it about his homework that he doesn’t want to do. He may say that he doesn’t want to do what he already knows. In this case, you should talk to his teacher or teachers about making a deal to reduce the homework load provided he is succeeding on tests without this practice. Another alternative is to have him be given more challenging assignments.
On the other hand, if your son says homework is boring but he is not doing well on tests, ask what is holding him back on tests. He may say that he has trouble writing out the answers to test questions. In that case, he needs to be taught to organize his answers. Whatever he says is the problem, see that he gets help in this area.
Help him too, if he feels failure is inevitable. Some students need to learn that they are in charge of their progress.
High IQ scores are not always predictive of success in school. Many bright students need help in learning how to study or have areas of weakness that need to be worked on. Your son needs to learn the discipline of handling appropriate homework assignments. Consider tutoring for the help he needs now.
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