My 7 Year Old Son Refuses to Do School Work.

Updated on January 23, 2008
J.J. asks from Athens, GA
13 answers

My 7 year old son refuses to do alot of his school work. My husband and I have him in a private school. I am frequently getting notes sent home about my sons behavior. Sometimes I don't even know about the problem until my sons principal calls me. I go in and she says your son has been getting notes sent home but he has been taking them out of his bookbag and leaving them on the bus. I am shocked at this point. I don't understand why he doesn't want to do his school work and then hides it from me. Please Help!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you to all who responded to my request. I got alot of great advice and will try it. The only thing is when he does his work it is all correct.he just gets in moods frquently to where he just absolutely refuses to do the work. We do his homework together everyday.I help him when he needs it but mostly he knows exactly what to do. He says he doesn't understand it at scholl but then he will bring the same thing home for homework and do it with no problems. He has even resorted to hurting himself at school just so he doesn't have to do his work.I have spoken with the teacher and principal/counselor. We are going to try regular contact from now on. I may also try to sneak a peak at school. Thanx to everyone!

Featured Answers



answers from Columbia on

Maybe he is aoverwhelmed at the amount of expectations he has to live up to. May try small tasks then move forward.

More Answers



answers from Atlanta on

I agree with the other women--you should talk to your son about the homework and behavior problems. I also recommend that you start a regular dialogue with your son's teacher. Set up a system with his teacher so that you are in contact daily or weekly (on phone or on email) with a report on his assignments and behavior. Tell your son that you will be doing this and tell him the reason for the contact is so that both you and the teacher can be sure he is getting the most out of school. A team approach (parent, child, and teacher) is the best approach here. After communicating with the teacher for a while you will have a better understanding of what is going on. The reason for the problems may be the your child's personality, the teacher, other children in the classroom, the subject of study. It's probably a combination of several things. Once you know what is going on, you can come up with a game plan for making it better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

There has to be an underline issue he's dealing with that causes this behavior. My older brother use to hide his homework under the porch for months alone with other things and most had stemmed from him feelings like an outcast from us younger 2 and b/c he wasn't diciplined properly.Maybe your son needs someone to talk to (someone he has no pent up anger or issues with) such as a mentor.Maybe it would help him if you got him into an extra activity he enjoys or get him a mentor from a local boys and girls club.When children (and even some adults) act out it's b/c they are dealing with feelings they feel no one understands. And without the proper guidence he will just continue to get worse. Approach it lightly and dont be offended that he isn't interested in dicussing his issues with you,he may even tell u when asked that nothing is wrong but put in the right setting with someone he feels he can open up to may bring out what feelings he may be dealing with.



answers from Atlanta on

Could be alot of things is he having problems reading understanding the math??? He doesn't want you to know about the notes simply because he doesn't want to get into trouble he's just a child. I'm sure it was a shock but you need to sit down with him and at eye level and not yelling ask him...simple just ask him...after his answer hug him tell him you can work anything out together and that he can always come to you and trust you...have a special code with each other for something serious like he needs to tell you "mom lets sit and have some hot choc time" you the same then he knows you need to sit and talk and be serious...until you come up with stuff like this then he won't know what to do...remember this all is a first for him too...(it sounds like)...Ask the teacher to email you, you'd rather not have him be the middleman of this information not that you don't trust him but then you'd have a record of communication to each other same for the principal. Only after you figure out what he is having problems with will you ever know how to tackle it (the not doing school work). Do they have seperate desk or all sit at tables??? Is another child talking all the time?? is he having problems focusing?? It sounds like you have some detective work to do be his advocate don't sound like a parent that is against him he may feels like the teacher is or the school is if he's having problems. I had a teacher when my son was in K for the first time and I walked in (he had learning issues) and she was yelling at him and was having him sit next to her on the floor not letting him do his school work because he couldn't focus and he looked around too much and was always wanting to see what others are doing...remember it's not always the childs fault...I ended up removing him and I waited to put him back in K at another school....maybe you should make some surprise visits and just look in the window at the school in his class room door a few times a week to get the fool picture...just some thoughts and my experience...I'm just shocked the school was not communicating to you in a different manner there's always the phone also...and my other question is how long has this went on have they been sitting on this and why do long if he's not been doing his school work??? Does your son need to have any one make an evaluation of his abilities in certain area of reading, math,'d be surprised that is' not always just the childs fault there's a reason he refuses to do his work I'm surprised since it's a private school that they haven't tried to figure this out without just sending homes notes. One last things have there been any family life changes deaths, divorces, loss of close friends, moving, illness that have affected him. Best of luck on your mission to find out then on how to obtain help...let us know some moms have great experience and ideas....I'm thinking of you and blessings to you and your family.



answers from Atlanta on

This website has been a lifesaver for us.



answers from Athens on

My son is 6 and he does the same thing. Problem is that I think he is bored. The work is very easy for him and he doesn't see the point in doing it especially when he has done the same old thing in school all day. We are sending him to what I hope is a more challenging school next year. I hope it gets better for you and for me!



answers from Atlanta on

Hi J., I was having a similar problem with my son, and what I found out is that he was unhappy where he was and how he felt he was being treated. I am sure that it is a great school and and your family feels secure in his education there, but maybe he doesn't. Find out if he is not understanding the work. Is he falling behind in his grades? Or maybe he is bored and he finds the work too easy and not challenging enough for him. My suggestion is to sit him down and find out what's really going on with him and you both come up with a solution that together.



answers from Savannah on

Have you sat him down and asked him why? I can understand the note hiding, he doesn't want to get in trouble. But there is a reason why he doesn't to do his work. He is in what 1st or 2nd grade? School work isn't hard yet by far!! Welll, unless your school is using Everyday Mathmatics to teach the kids math-that is the worst math program I've seen yet!! But you need to sit him down and talk to him. Don't yell, don't threaten to punish if it continues, talk to him. Talk to his teacher. She is the one that sees him for 8 hrs a day while he is at school. You need to find out why in order to fix the problem.

Good luck!!



answers from Spartanburg on

Hi J.-

Is he actually REFUSING to do the work? As in "No way, Mom, I refuse to do that work!" Or is he just not doing it?

I went through this personally in 5th grade- I just wouldn't do the work. Everyone would ask me why I wouldn't do the work, but I didn't have an answer for them. I know now, though- I was bored to tears. I can remember clearly getting a homework assignment, doing all the answers in my head, and just not bothering to write them down. Heck, maybe I was ADD. I don't know. And I can assure you he doesn't know, either.

I don't know if this is the reason, but even if it's not I can tell you what NOT to do- stop asking him why. He doesn't know. Asking him over and over is just going to make him feel terrible without offering him any help. I had a meeting with ALL of my teachers, my parents, guidance counselor- talk about feeling ganged-up on! It was a nightmare, and it didn't help. My grades were just awful in fifth grade- I should have failed. I'm lucky I didn't.

Whatever the reason, now is the perfect time to start some study-habits he'll use forever. Get a notebook for him to write down his assignments. Ask the teacher to review the list he makes every day before he goes home. Review the list with him when he gets home and help him "map out" how to tackle his assignments. Keep a calendar for his long-term assignments, like book reports. Make sure he has plenty of school supplies. If he has an assigned desk at school, go see how he keeps it organized- he might need help with that, too.

Good luck- I feel for you and your son.



answers from Spartanburg on

Could him have dislexia? Sometimes if the children can't do the homeworks (and they don't know why they can't) they experience a sense of failure that they try to avoid the next times. Dislexia can be treated successfully. If this is not the case, perhaps he is having bad relationships with teachers/mates??Did you talk to him about it? Good luck.



answers from Charleston on

I recently read a great book that I am going to use with my kids called "123 Magic" by Dr. Phelan that my Peditrician recommended. It addresses both stop behaviors, such as biting or hitting and start behaviors such as school work. The reviews I read on it were really good and my peditrician says he uses it with his kids. At first I was skeptical that it would work, but the moms I know who use it say it really works. It is not expensive and you can get it on

Good Luck



answers from Atlanta on

I agree with most on here. You need to sit him down, and help him with the work. Tell him it is OK if he doesn't understand. My daughter was the same way. She would rather get in trouble at home than let anyone at school know she didn't understand something. She would play it off as not wanting to do the work, but in the end, we realized, she didn't want others to know she really didn't understand. Once we finally understood the problem and started working with her at home, WOW....I was surprised. Not sure if this helps, but I do wish you luck.


answers from Atlanta on

Have you had him tested he may be ahead of his peers. He may need more challenging work to engage his mind. Good luck and God Bless.


For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches