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Is there anything you can do about a young teen not working hard enough at school?

(4 Posts)
december12 Sun 07-Dec-14 09:40:46

I was a proper swot at school so I'm struggling with this.

DS1 (yr9) is bright enough - was apparently G&T at infant school. (He wasn't but he was top of the class, so he's not daft IYSWIM) and he enjoys school but his effort levels are nowhere near where I think they should be. e.g. most homework is done, but it's done with the sole aim of getting it done as quickly as possible rather than doing a decent job.

We fall out about it a lot but I'm wondering if I should back off and leave him to it. BUT ATM he's heading for B/C at GCSE and we he can't afford for that to fall further.

OTOH he's not a bad lad, does lots of voluntary stuff and is a pleasure to be around (when we're not discussing school work) and I don't think my nagging is helping anyway.

Is there a more constructive way to get him to work harder?

He's never in trouble at school except for a very occasional detention where homework has been "forgotten".

tigermoth Sun 07-Dec-14 09:46:28

It may help to show him the GCSE entrance qualifications to do A levels and BTECS at your local sixth forms. These details should be online. Even better if you can visit any of the sixth forms on open days. He will see exactly what he has to achieve to move on.

This worked a lot with my ds2, now in his final GCSE year. Having cruised along it was a real wake up call to actually see how better GCSE grades give you far more choices of subject and college/school at Sixth form level. I wish he had seen this info much earlier in year 9.

Timeforabiscuit Sun 07-Dec-14 09:49:37

I think you've done your job of instilling a work ethic, but now is time to withdraw as he needs to get the motivation within himself.

As hard as that sounds, its going to be far far harder being at his shoulder during GCSE and presumably a level and will probably do a greater degree of damage to your relationship.

If he's generally a good lad - it is literally up to him how hard he works. What worked for me was my mum pulling out the local paper and playfully getting me to work out how much rent was locally and what I'd need to earn to cover it! She also made it clear that once I was out of education a contribution would be expected to the household or I could move out IF I CHOSE TO (that was sneeky, I craved choice and she new it!).

It pays dividends in the long run, I was bright but not top of the class - but graft and staying power count for more imo.

Rivercam Mon 08-Dec-14 09:44:29

I think year 8 and 9 are strange years, they are not the newbies in the school, but the countdown to GCSEs hasn't properly started. I think all you can do is I still a good routine of homework etc, make sure he doesn't do too much so he's tired for school etc.

Has he any idea of what he wants to do when he leaves school? If so work backwards, find out what qualifications he needs and then encourage him to get these grades.

My son is in year 10 and I thought had 'got' the right ethic ( at last!). Then I found out he was revising for a test, without making notes, and just by reading the text. Grrrrr!

I think here's also only so much you can do at this age. They have got to take responsibility for themselves. Sometimes, a really bad fail in a test can spur them on to do better.

( note to self - take own advice!)

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