How Do I Get a Very Stubborn 10Yr Old to Do His Homework?

Updated on May 02, 2010
A.S. asks from Weatherford, TX
9 answers

Ok here is the deal I have a very smart 10yr old son (that is really not just a mothers pride in the second grade they scored his IQ at 118)who is about to fail the fourth grade because he will not turn in his homework. The real kicker here is he does the homework. He has a reading level of the eighth grade but is failing reading because he doesn't like the books he is required to read. I have tried to impress apon him the importance of following the rules but he is a force of nature all on his own. I do not know how to get him to turn in his homework and I make him read out loud to me the books he has to read but I can't make him answer the right answers on a test and he answers them wrong beacuse he says the books are to boring to remember yet we have long discussions about the books he likes but he will not discuss the ones he doesn't. I don't know what to do anymore he has been grounded to him room for the last six weeks because of his grades and he still is not improving. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

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answers from El Paso on

You must take steps to fix this as quickly as possible. In 3rd grade my mom went through the same thing with me. The teachers set up an IEP with my mother to try and get me excelled a grade level for the next school year or to try and get me on an accelerated learning program. She told me no. I didn't need that because she didn't want my brother and sister to hate me for not having a learning disability like they have. By the end of the next school year I quit caring about school. I went from straight A's to straight F's. Imagine how miserable it is when you're able to complete all of your work before the class. Homework is done by the end of the day. You've read a book that was supposed to take a full semester in one night. Then you're always in trouble due to getting antsy just sitting with nothing to do or trying to talk to friends or for one thing or another. I finally just gave up. I wouldn't even do my work in class. I barely squeezed out a C average until 10th grade when I finally had enough and quit school and simply got my GED. I wound up missing only 5 questions total out of the entire thing.

I look back now and I'm discouraged at the fact I didn't get my diploma. I'm disappointed in my mother for not helping me to excel where I could have. Don't let your son feel that way to you. Get him the help he needs and deserves. Doing a search, I noticed there is a gifted and talented program class in your school district. Talk to your son about such a program. Then set up a conference with the teacher. The teachers cannot refuse a conference when a parent needs it so make sure to push and get it done for him if they are hesitant to set up one outside the normal times they have a conference. He deserves this kind of a program. Having cousins who were in a GT program in another town in TX, I know they will test him to see if he really does qualify for it.

Help him before he won't let anyone do it.




answers from San Antonio on

hey A.,i had a similar problem not that long ago. almost the exact same circumstances. the first thing i did was get the teacher involved and right behind her the school. your school should have a program for gifted children. demand your child get tested for that. and i mean demand. that is what i had to do to even find out about it. if your school cant offer your child what he needs than they need to offer your another school and they will make arrangements to get him there. next i would talk to your pediatrician about this and get his opinion. my son got diagnosed with adhd inatentive. he is now on meds. this is what i had to do to meet the school half way. but i went to his school and raisd hell. and i also went to the superintendant to let them know what is going on. things are now different.



answers from San Antonio on

You might want to do some research online about gifted kids. You can also talk to his teacher to see if she/he can give him some modified work to challenge him more. I am sure she would be willing to do this IF he begins to turn in his work. She may not know his potential. You will have to explain to him that he needs to show his teacher how smart he is AND how responsible he is so that he can begin to be challenged more. He also needs to know that sometimes in life there are things we don't want to do, but we have to. Instead of grounding him to his room, take something away that he treasures highly (playstation, TV, computer, bike, etc.) When he begins to make the right choices, start giving them back, but he needs to know they will get taken away again. It seems as though he needs more responsibility and accountability. He could also be testing the teacher and you right now to see how firm you are. Good luck!



answers from Odessa on

I hope that you don't mind me getting on my soapbox. I have a child exactly like you are describing, only she is an eleven year old girl. The reason that we had to start homeschooling, is because she just would not perform in public school no matter what kind of consequences she faced. We have homeschooled our children since she was in the first grade, and it has been a wonderful experience. We don't pressure her to do a lot of bookwork, but what we do is allow her free rein of the library so that she can read as much as she possibly can about everything. Because of this, she has chosen for herself, and read in great detail, far more than she would have been required in history, science, art and literature. It is wonderful to see this wild, unashamed learning take place every day. We do math together, because that is the unavoidable, and that is about it. Even math can be made more entertaining. In my opinion, public school is not for the highly intelligent child, or the child with special needs. It is a one size fits all program that works for some, but not all of our children. If you have a chance, go to, and look up famous homeschoolers. You will be surprised at all of the people from past and present, who have made great contributions to this country, who were either homeschooled, or simply self educated because they did not have the funds or the opportunity to attend school. Thomas Edison's mother took him out of school when he was a very small child, because the teacher did not treat him well, and look what he has done for us.



answers from El Paso on

Hi A.,

Your son sounds like my 10 year old daughter. She also is gifted and very smart. Try talking to the school counsler. That is what they are there for. There are many teaching and motivating techniques that they can bring to your sons teacher.

We have tried severe, moderate, and light forms of consequenses for not getting the work done. The counsler suggested to use the most natural consequense. Such as only those who finish their homework/school work will be able to go to the birthday party on the weekend. And most importantly - stick to it! While your son is not able to go, he must be in a location - your house or a good friend's or family memeber's house and do his work. Once he's done, it is also important that he's not able to do something enjoyable until everyone is back from the party.

My daughter loves to go places so this works fairly well with her when we follow through. I have noticed that we are not able to motivate her no matter what we say. But when she has a goal, she's quick to get there!

Talk to your school counsler, they should help you and your son. God bless you and don't stress out.




answers from Killeen on

Hi A.,
I am in the exact same situation you are--literally, but my son is only 7 and in the first grade. He is so bored and unchallenged at school--he is being tested for TAG in a few weeks. He put absolutely no effort into his classwork or homework this past semester and came home with all B's. I was expecting a lot lower since his teacher and I communicate on an almost daily basis about him not wanting to work. I have even made an arrangement with the assistant principal to let him come to his office and work when Dyllon needs quiet. I am hoping that helps. This past weekend I took him to Sylvan learning center to have him tested. I am hoping that being in their program they can increase his motivation and make him see that not all work is boring, that there is some fun stuff too, but you have to do it all. It is very expensive, but I figure that if he is already hating work because it is too easy, how am I going to get him all the way through to graduation and then through college : ) Anyway, just know that I feel your pain and frustration and if you find the magic answer please do share : ) Good luck



answers from Amarillo on

I had this problem as a kid. I was really smart and I hated school because it was boring. Most likely he's too smart, or too far ahead for the stuff he's doing. I would suggest putting him in some sort of gifted and talented program if available.


answers from Oklahoma City on

I agree with many of the people here who have said that you should have him tested. I did with my daughter and she was found to have a very high IQ but was also found to have some different ways of learning and a vision problem that was fixed with a few months of therapy. The learning specialist at school works with her on her special ways of learning and things have improved a great deal!



answers from San Antonio on

Have you discussed this with the teacher? Principal? Is there a gifted program in his school? Seem like he would be a candidate for this. Sounds like he is just way too bored with that level of learning and he should not be punished -- he needs more challenge and encouragement! The school counselor might help as well. Another option to explore is home-schooling him.. Why hold him back when he could soar at a much higher level?

If your elementary does not have a gifted program - call another school and speak to their GT teacher to find out about this and what level of support there is out there for kids such as your son. This may be normal for a child of his ability not to want to do the reading /homework. I also have a 4th grader who is a bit bored, but we are lucky that she has a teacher who gives her some more challenging reading and activities. I could give you the name of the gifted teacher at our school-- feel free to call me if interested. - ###-###-####. There is also an organization called Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented - they might help or provide some support. Good luck! P.

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