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Please Advise...My 8 year old refuses to do his schoolwork

Please Advise...My 8 year old refuses to do his schoolwork, and has even stopped his favorite pastime at home, which is creative writing. He wrote his first screenplay when he was 6, and now he wont produce anything. There have been no major changes or traumatizing experience..Im so frustrated. Hes so smart and talented and I see him holding back. Why is he doing this?

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Asked by Toy211 at 10:25 AM on Jan. 26, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (13)
  • He eight maybe he just wants to be a kid. don't pressure him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:31 AM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • When you say schoolwork what do you mean? School homework, school work at school? Or homeschool work?

    Answer by SusieD250 at 10:35 AM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Yeah, having the info Susie requested might be helpful to people trying to offer up help. W/o that info.... the best advice I can give you is that he's 8 ---- it's normal. Kids go through phases... maybe he's burnt out, maybe he's bored, maybe he's rebelling. There's really just no telling.

    If he's in public school & not doing his classroom work, that's something that you, his teacher, and the schoo's counselor should address together. If he's not doing his homework --- simple discipline: he doesn't get to do anything else until the work is done. Period. He's get tired of staring at the wall eventually. The explanation that if he doesn't do it, he'll repeat the whole grade again might be motivation enough. If he's homeschooled --- you have a little more flexibility. You could go with the 'simple discipline' approach or change up your teaching style. There are countless solutions to try if you're homeschooling.

    Answer by Laura1229 at 10:42 AM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • He will do his homework, but wont produce a thing while AT school. He ignores the teacher during lessons, has told her that he's too smart for third grade, and sent the entire school into panic mode when he walked out of his classroom last week to find his mentor. He is well behaved and does his chores at home, but he refuses to do anything at school. And now he's stopped writing for fun at home. We're thinking of counseling.

    Answer by Toy211 at 10:44 AM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Sounds like boredom to me.

    If it were me, I'd have him tested for a gifted/talented program & move him to a more challenging class/school or homeschool him.

    He's probably stopped writing at home because since the schools have had to implement that "No Child Left Behind" disaster, writing, reading & math is ALL they're doing in school any more. That & teaching to the test. He's probably just sick to death of it.

    He sounds like he might benefit from a more hands-on & creative learning environment.


    Answer by Laura1229 at 10:52 AM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Interesting. What a great kid! Consider first that maybe he is A. Smarter then his teacher. B. Can't focus in that classroom.
    Describe your sons wierd quirks. All of our kids have them. Look into sensory integration issues. BUT LAY OFF THE PRESSURE. (As long as he does his work at home.)
    My son told his teacher she was stupid and then he stopped working in second grade. When I observed him at school, I realized he wasn't the same kid as at home. At school he could NOT concentrate. They wanted him to take meds. I had him evaluated outside of the school system and turned out he has sensory processing disorder. Good luck.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 10:53 AM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • I would talk to his doctor. It is not normal for kids to suddenly refuse to do things they like doing. Also, it is a major problem if he is refusing to do schoolwork. Even if he is gifted, they will not put him in advanced programs if he is refusing to do his regular work. The school will not work with a child who is not trying. They simply have too much going on.

    Answer by kemclaughlin at 11:30 AM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Maybe hes holding back but hes realizes that hes smarter than everyone else and hes desiring to be a normal kid. ALL gifted children go through this at somepoint in time. Once they begin to accept who they are and what they are capable of and that its okay and its good, then usually they go back to being themselves. All of us desire to be like everyone else and not be different. We just have to embrace that we aren't that way.

    Answer by momofsaee at 12:43 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • It sounds like your son is bored... I agree with Laura, have him tested as gifted/talented child and find a school that will fit him and his talents...
    He knows he is smarter than most and has talents, so being in an ordinary school most likely is extremely boring and lacks challenges he needs...

    Answer by gmasboy at 1:28 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • I checked out some websites on sensory processing disorder...and many of my sons quirks and habits ended up being on the symptoms checklist. My mom says she can find a disorder to fit anybody's personality (her perfect little genius grandson could never be dysfunctional!). I had never heard of SPD but we will definately look into it...My son too is a different child at school than he is at home...Thanx Susie. Ive gotten lots of feedback in regards to testing for gfted/talented, but it's hard to test when he provides no "proof", puts forth no effort, and seems to lack motivation. I appreciate all of your comments.

    Answer by Toy211 at 2:07 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

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