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Smart child but lacks motivation
How do I get them on track

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#1 ~*Twilight~Zone*~

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:23 PM

Sorry this is long - once I start blabbering I find it hard to stop.  biggrin.gif

I was reading the other thread and a parent who was approached by someone telling them they thought their child was G&T.

Now this got me thinking about my DS.  I don't think he falls into the category of G&T but I do believe that he is quite smart, he just isn't interesting in learning unless it's something he wants to do.

For example - he plays the drums and can easily learn a new piece on it in one session and has a good ear for it yet he fails Music as school.  Currently they are learning to play the keyboard.  He doesn't like it so he doesn't try.  His Grandmother taught him a few pieces on the piano and he picked these up easily, yet again he refuses to try at school.  He tells me it's because he is bored or doesn't like the teacher.  These excuses are used for most things he doesn't want to do.

Another example - with maths, from an early age he could do addition and substraction in his head.  I can remember when he was 3 working out how many LCM's were left in the pack after 2 had been eaten.   At home when I'm working with him on his maths homework it only takes me one go to show him how do to something and off he goes - at school he is okay at maths and gets by.  Usually in the top 2 groups at school but it's not from him trying hard it's just because it comes easily to him but he does only what he has to do to get by.

He seems to have a unique ability to pick things up quickly but then does nothing with it.

He also does Ballroom dancing - his Dance Teacher is always amazed at how quickly he picks up the steps.

Always gets an A in sport and this is because he loves it.  It's fun and interesting to him, school work isn't.

So my question is how do I make School work more fun?  How do I get him on the right track regarding study?  He is in Year 7 this year so I need him to get more into his schoolwork otherwise he is going to get left behind.  He is more than capable of getting A & B's if he tries but he doesn't want to so he cruises along getting C's.

Also he is going for a Childhood Assessment mid Feb because I have suspicions of him having some ASD markers.  (excuse if I use the wrong terminology here as I have no idea)  Until I get the results from this I won't know if this is a reason.

Anyone have any suggestions?

#2 Ashtonsmum

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

sorry I cant offer any assistance as your son sounds exactly like my DS (8) His report card pretty much said the ability was there but his effort is what is letting him down.

I will be interested to see what others have to say.

#3 RealityBites

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

No suggestions sorry, but this sounds like my husband. He is much brighter than I am, but fairly academically unmotivated. He has found his niche with teaching, though.

#4 vanessa71

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:47 PM

Watching with interest as this is my DD. She was well ahead of where she is supposed to be in 5 subjects according to her end of year report, but effort was only just satisfactory. I want to know how to motivate her to put in the effort.

#5 Quill

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

Also he is going for a Childhood Assessment mid Feb because I have suspicions of him having some ASD markers.

Congrats, TZ - he sounds like a really interesting kid. original.gif

Resolving the question of ASD is the first thing.

The children who pick concepts up quickly and easily are really lucky - it's a great skill with higher maths, physics and chemistry. Many of these kind of kids have a great love of patterns in whatever they do - they can link up across different subjects.

My first and biggest piece of advice is to find the things that your child is really passionate about. What gets them excited and engaged? Don't ask the teachers - talk to your child about it somewhere other than home, preferably in an environment you haven't visited before. No matter what age the child is, talk to them as you would another adult. In advance, think of stories you can share that your child will be able to relate to.

TZ, you mention drums being a big thing for your son. That's something to really engage with. It's great for gross and fine motor coordination and will also assist with the understanding of maths within rhythm. He doesn't like piano? No problem. If at all possible, let him out of that - especially if he's putting in effort with drums.

Inspiring effort is about a multi faceted approach. If the actual teaching doesn't inspire, then look at home projects that might do it. Involve friends from school if that will help.

For instance - a kid who loves volcanoes, mainly the magma part. So some research about Vesuvious might be good. If there's an exhibition on about it - even better. Take them to see somewhere like Tower Rock (which exploded outward into the ocean - you can still collect little bits of volcanic rock at that site), or the sinkholes outside Lorne. Look at the Wolfe Creek crater, build a working model, measure distances that a volcanic blast would have, what happens underwater. So instead of it being a passing interest in one thing, suddenly you have geology, history, english, maths, prac work etc.

Presenting the work can be a lot of fun. Diorama's, sets, woodwork, videos - anything that makes your son or daughter feel proud and invested in something they have created and seen through.

Let me know if you'd like more pointers. original.gif

Edited by Quill, 10 January 2013 - 04:21 PM.

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