What can I do to teach my child (a boy) to stop hating school and learning?
Too much damage is already done by the system itself - and even though I consider myself lucky with the school he attends and the teachers (it's an excellent team), but the system in general is created for girls. Not only my son is a late bloomer, he is not very co-operative in the academic field. For him, everything should be hands-on, fun, entertainment, games. It's too much of a challenge for me - and I don't have the support of my ex who is a strict disciplinarian. Pure discipline makes my son detest school and learning by rite even more.
Buy him a few books that are just for fun. If a child finds one book they love, they will continue to read and find more books they like. It's how my brother and a few other young males I know got into reading.
School can still be 'hands on' even when it's traditional curriculum. Teach your son about becoming an active learner, which is to take an active part in learning without the help of a teacher. He can take notes, even when they aren't required. Even if he draws a picture to illustrate what is being taught, he's still engaging in learning besides sitting and simply listening. He can also ask or answer questions if he isn't afraid to speak up in class. By using more than one of his senses, (hearing, sight, touching the pencil or pen to the paper), he is actively engaging his brain, which may even help him learn and retain more.
While he may not be encouraged to play games at school, it doesn't mean he can't do it at home. Studying can be turned into a game by using flashcards, memory, making up songs about the lesson, reading his notes out loud, or making real world connections (the grammar he learned in English can be used to write an advertisement for a video game, etc.). When he goes to school, he'll then feel energized by knowing that he can 'play' with the new information when he goes home.
With my son, I always try to show him how learning a particular subject can help him at his level right now.
I see that you posted about him learning French. You can give explain to him that if he decides to visit France one day he will know the language and it will help him interact with people there. Or plan a vacation to actually go to France, maybe when he gratuates high school.
Show him how certain subjects are needed for certain careers. Sometimes they grow into wanting to learn. By the time they're 16 and 17 all of their peers start talking about careers and college. This becomes a motivator for wanting to succeed so they can be with their friends in college and beyond.
For now I'd advise you to just go along with each subject and help him as best as you can. He can also look for learning videos online which explains lessons to him without actually having to read them. Youtube has many great videos (learning videos) that can explain things to him which he might relate to.
Thank you very much for your advice - you just gave a great idea - once Daniel comes back from his dad - I'll make a hub with all the suggestions I can gather (the more the merrier) and I video tape Daniel's rebuttals. The child is resourceful beyon
The educational system in the West is poison, for the most part. The Rockefellers and their ilk only want obedient robots.
I'd love to have a school system that makes it fun for every student and at their own pace and interest. Find what turns them on and feed them that. Entice them with other subjects by appealing to their sense of fun.
I almost didn't learn to read in first grade, but I had a teacher who tutored me on her own time when she found out I wasn't a dummy. My math scores were out the roof. When I published my first novel, I sent her an autographed copy as a "thank you."
I had always hated history until 11th grade. Then it all changed because of what my World History teacher said on the first day of class. She would test us on dates, but that would not be the main focus. To her, the most important thing about history was motivation -- the reasons "why" behind the events. I was hooked. It appealed to the sense of the storyteller within me.
Perhaps find ways to relate subjects he's studying to the video games he likes. Really good teachers are so hard to find. Until we can get a better school system, we have to find our own ways to inspire our children with "what if's."
A video I saw yesterday has given me some inspiration on the possible future.
You can start by reading your own question and detail. He is a product of you. System is for girls. Son is late bloomer. Too much challenge. No support from ex. These are all excuses. Not for your sons behavior, but for your own failures. Feeling slighted or sorry for yourself helps nothing.
Your son is not co-operative. He obviously can't accept that life is not always his way or how he thinks it should be. Is he even old enough to know how things"should be?" He detests discipline and learning.
Before you even consider trying to teach your child a different way of things, you need to educate yourself and get honest with yourself. He is a product of your doing. You have to quit making excuses and trying to put the blame on others. It's not your ex's fault that you were totally dependent on him for discipinary skills that you didn't possess yourself. Develope them, don't run from them.
This whole scenario is far too common in our society today. That's why children are the way they are. Parents are quick to take credit when their child achieves something, but are quick to make excuses and not take responsibility when they don't.
I'm not trying to be mean to you, but if you are looking for sympathy or something, I'm not the guy. I'm a recovering alcoholic and self-pity, excuses and denial kept me drunk for years. Acceptance of my sickness and all that went with it , was the only thing that made it possible to move forward in a positive way. I learned from my mistakes and by facing them , it gave me a chance to correct them. Your situation is similar. Your thinking has to change before anything else will.
I am afraid you are too quick to judge. What you see in me is a reflection of you. You don't know me at all - not enough information. There are very few people like me even on HP - you'd probably have to ask my friends. No offense taken.
Im not judging you. I'm only observing what you have presented. I'm sure you are a good person, but not once in your question or comments have you taken any of the responsibility. He has to learn responsibility too. You have to be that example.
Let him learn the hard way.
I hated school until my Sophomore year of high school, where I learned that I probably wouldn't graduate on time because I kept failing courses. Well, I guess when I learned that, I hated it eve MORE...but, I got my act together and graduated on time. I ended up with the motivation and drive to do exceptionally well in college, too.
*Edit: I was also a child of divorced parents, so I probably had more in common with your son than you'd think at first-glance. From a child's perspective, a broken home makes anything else pointless. School was pointless for me, as was making friends, or continuing any extra-curricular activities like music and sports. No amount of force from a parent did me any good; I had to learn the hard way.
Thank you. He is a very sensitive, emotional child. For certain things I am waiting when he is ready, but I am constantly searching for ways to understand him and make him feel good about himself. MOTIVATION only comes from WITHIN. No forcing.
The change has to happen in his lifestyle..in the way he views himself not only as a student at school, but how he views learning. You need to find a way to get him in the habit of researching topics. Questions are a catalyst to developing a questioning attitute and what he finds out about them branches to new information that he hasn't been exposed to. It is inevitable because that's how a child's mind works. A question of the day..which you will leave scattered around the home, taped to his bedroom door, on the frig..in his way! Hide something he uses and hold it for randsome if you have to until he produces satisfying answers to your random questions (which could be related to what he is studying in school). Develop a problem solving behavior. Just a thought :-)
I don't know about systems being created for girls, if you are talking about that school then i guess since im not sure where that is but not around where i live. And I think the trip to France might be nice if you're rich. Being the middle child to single mom and my dad never being there much I know a thing or two about this stuff. And im sure you are a lot better off seeing how when I was in school we barely had new clothes each year, but I was still the basketball star, played 5 sports, was selected by the state to be a speech role model, and a lot more things as well. Constructive Criticism never works by the way, that will only lead him down a road of hating whatever you are trying to teach him, but positive reinforcement always will go along way in helping out with stuff. This would also depend on what grade your son is in, you say boy so im guessing before middle school? We didnt even have french in our school, so him knowing that is a big plus when it comes to education. I will tell a little story about why criticism never works and a way to think outside the box. This was told to me by one of my mentors and he is 7th in the nation in leadership. A little boy for several years pee'd the bed, and the Mom and Dad did everything they could to get him to not pee in the bed, they tried hounding him, criticism at its best, and his brothers picked on him for it, one day the Dad got an idea in his head. He went to his son and said how about we go and get you a new mattress that you can pick out yourself, the boy went and got to pick out his first bed. He slept in his new bed that night and the next day to their surprise the little boy didnt pee the bed, and never did again. I hope everyone can see the moral to the story. You can use that in any aspect of teaching. I hope this helps out a bit.
I agree with you - I tried to be stricter with him and that was exactly the result - bedwetting - what he could not say to me, still got out - his anxiety. I stopped immediately and his bedwetting was also gone. So, yes, criticism is not the answer.
encourage him a lot!! Do everything you can to make sure he knows that if he doesn't succeed in school he might not be able to get a good paying job when he gets older!
Your not going to like this because I agree a lot with IDONO. I have worked with kids on adolescent chemical dependency units and behavior modification for years and one thing I have learned is all to often what parents see as faults and excuses for their child are what they have brought to the table.
The system is created for girls, he "must learn" as if it were an order, "it's to much of a challenge for me", if it's to much of a challenge for you what the hell is he supposed to do, "no support" the support you should be worrying about is not what your getting but what is given to him. Sorry but if you think for one split second that all of this is not rubbing off on him and causing emotional breakdowns that he probably does not know how to handle, your wrong. Also blaming any part of his issues on his biological parent is the same as saying that he is the same, being he (no matter whether you like it or not) is a huge part of that person and probably despises the fact you talk about them negatively (even if they don't let you know).
OK now for the good part, which is you have already answered your own question. You stated he created and illustrated his own book and how great is was. WALLA there it is Find out what he is passionate about and support that. If it is writing have him do another one and if he is doing well in classes publish it online. Then if he learns French publish it in French. If he likes writing music, playing music, drawing, skateboards, doing hair, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT IT IS be supportive, interested, inspiring, and let him be creative.
To many parents want their children these days to be these unemotional, creative but only by their standards, non confrontational zombies and often give them meds to keep them that way. Let him be passionate about something he loves and show it. If he gets mad get him a punching bag, get him drawing pencils and a journal (that is his personally no snooping), and a give him reasons to want to learn so much his brain can hardly stand it. Stop judging him and others because they're not what you want them to be, Believe me when you get older you'll understand more.
Finally you and he both need to figure out where you are, where you want to be, and how you can make the journey there incredible. Life is not about finding yourself it is about creating yourself. Do a personal inventory of the good and the bad SidKemp has some excellent hubs on all of this or maybe a life coach/counselor.
Your child may have good reasons for hating to attend school. The architecture of the buildings, structure of the day, routine and surroundings are often more about control than about fostering the development of your child's potential. Many public schools are settings where children are trained to operate as a group and submit to controlling authorities. read more
Does your son have any friends in school? My son had difficulty learning in kindergarten but did well from 1st through 3rd grade and then started falling behind in 4th but got it back together before the year was up. I think, the group of friends he had inspired him to do well because they cared about their grades and sometimes did homework and projects together after school. The best way to get your son more involved in his studies is to set up a meeting with school administrators to discuss him entering into study groups. Speak to other parents about having some kids over to do projects together in each others homes. I hope this helps.
As a mother with the same problem (my eldest-now 25-is dyslexic) and a teacher I can honestly tell you that it is a combination of things. Firstly, how the teacher is responding to the child. If he/she is not understanding enough to try and encourage him by pointing out to him what he does well, then the child will feel like a loser and that he cannot do anything. Secondly, if there have been problems in the family, the child is affected by this more than anyone can understand. He cannot concentrate on studying; it may even seem futile to him. He may be frightened about what is going on in the family and may even feel responsible.
When my parents had fights I always felt it was my fault and was really scared and depressed. I have a student whose parents got divorced last year, the father was granted custody and the mother has the three children 3 days out of the week. The parents still have problems and my student (the oldest) doesn't want to do a damned thing. I work with him doing what he likes while trying to encourage him to do more, but without pushing. His name is Porfirios (it means Porphyry-purple) he loves the guitar and playing rock.
Perhaps working with what he likes and using it to read up on etc. would help.
I just read what you wrote in response to HoneyBB. For a child the parent's behaviour towards him/her is what he sees himself as. So if his father was constantly putting him down, then there you have it. The child feels that he is not worthy, that he is incompetent and that the family problems are his fault. If you can consult the school counselor or a social worker. Lavish your love on him as you already are and find things he can do that will prove to him how wonderful and competent he is. Without putting his father down, try to explain that his father truly loves him but that he's had very difficult experiences that have made him behave so harshly. All the best and know that I understand how you feel. When my John is down I feel like I'm dying.
PS: if he likes games, etc. he might be a kinestheic learner. That means that he needs to come into contact with things in order to be able to concentrate and learn. In any case he's probably cleverer than most and he's life in bloom. Celebrate it!
Thank you so much for understanding. I agree that academic knowledge is faster to acquire - it is the self-confidence and overall feeling about studying that far more pervasive - we must learn how to adjust to adversity. The same goes for adults.
I was a public school teacher and now am homeschooling my oldest child. I would love to homeschool indefinitely, but it will depend on our family's finances.
I strongly believe that every person loves to learn. Everyone has things that they are passionate about and want to learn more about. Children find learning exciting and just want to connect to the topics they're learning about.
Public schools are not typically designed in a way that allow for students to learn about the things that they are interested in. I would love to create a school in which the students could study and learn about the things that they are passionate about. There are schools such as this one around, but there are not many of them.
That's why I am homeschooling my daughter currently. Not only do we not waste time going over things that she already knows, but we can spend more time on the things that she enjoys.
I'm sorry to hear that your son is not enjoying school right now. There can be ways to engage every student and help them to enjoy it. I was able to reach each of my students in one way or another, but it took lots of effort, time, and patience. I hope that something will change for him to help him to learn to love it.
Best ~ fitmom
I'm struggling with this, too. I say be in as much contact with your child's teacher as you can, and ask him lots of questions about his day. Not just about what he learned, but how was recess, who did he sit with at lunch, etc. Really just keep everything positive and try to help him find good things about his day at school to focus on. I agree that school is better adapted to girls these days, and the colleges would agree, too! I think it's 56% of college students who are women. But talking to your son's teacher can help. Mine is starting a positive behavior intervention with my son, and he is really excited about it. When my son does positive things, he gets stars he can use to earn rewards. Couldn't hurt; might help. Also, if he's a kinesthetic learner, you could try supplementing what he learns at school with hands-on versions at home (ex. science experiments, math manipulatives, etc.). I second the suggestion on the school counselor.
The first thing you have to do is identify the problem.
--Is he being bullied.
--does he have trouble seeing the black board or its equivalent, and perhaps need glasses.
--is he having trouble reading or with math because of some unsuspected problem like dyslexia.
--are there any problems at home that is affecting his concentration.
--is he left out of everything by other kids--and perhaps need counseling.
--is he having trouble in gym class because of the lack of coordination or some physical skill.
Any one or a combination of several could cause problems for your child and the teacher is not always going to catch it. Do some research. Talk to the guidance counselor and talk to your son.
You might be amazed at what you discover.
I was going to say the same thing Larry. My first thought was bullying. Definately talk with your son. Take him out of the house and talk. This way you are in a neutral atmousphere where he will open up better.
My thoughts were the same. We had similar issues and actually had to repeat a grade. We found that my son needed glasses and was being bullied. I eventually changed schools though where my son no longer had a label but that is the extreme last choice
The best things is probably to portray to your child that you love learning!
I'd like to say this is just off the top of my head and I'd probably write more or think of more but it's late night....maybe ask him what he most wants to spend time doing ? Then see if there is a way or if there is even any time to incorporate some of it in his life. Often really intelligent kids have a hard time being in school...they get bored. As I'm sure you know. Maybe he'd feel less bothered in general if some of his energy and time went towards a major interest or two. You might already be doing that.
My kids were off and on home-schooled - if the school was being especially retarded during any particular year we'd just bow out of that classroom and my kids got a home school year. If things were fine and so was the teacher then ok.
Also, I put my kids in martial arts. They did extremely well, but watch out and go to some of the classes. Not all schools are well run. I'd recommend kung fu but get a teacher with an impressive background.
But this sort of thing might not be for your child, maybe too much "school" added to what school he is already enduring. My kids really benefited in so many ways from the martial arts and also can defend themselves.
Quote: "He is a very sensitive, emotional child."
I've been working in the Education industry for a few years now. So far, I've always noticed that a very sensitive and emotional child learns quickly when given the freedom to do so. It's usually in a quiet manner that they learn best.
I was once a sensitive, emotional child myself and my whole perspectives often evolves around my emotions. Sometimes emotions can be so overwhelming that they may turn to illusions. But it is due to adversities in life that I learn to perceive the world through another lens - the objective lens. This view allows me to see the bigger picture in life.
I never liked history in the schools because I hate remembering them. I'd prefer subjects where I could apply creativity and imagination, usually I excel in Arts and Music subjects. But now as an adult, I find history to be very useful in understanding where I came from and how we have all evolved.
If you need a reason to tell your son, find some stories of historical figures whom he could relate to (if the content is not too difficult for his age).
Instead of standing in front of a child and telling him what to do, why not stand beside him and take him on a journey as his guide... ?
Thank you, haikutwinkle - I agree with you, I am trying. We were watching eagles from our window - and he immediately came up with a story - "It's a bald eagle! It has just been on our balcony!" - exaggeration, of course, but I loved his enthusiasm!
Eagles are magnificent creatures.
Imagine yourself like eagles, soaring, protecting, flowing with the wind, anticipating the changes in the wind but will always manage through it all....
found this 'eagle poem' online, please enjoy!
Ayiaa, you have a handful. I know because I have also experienced this problem. Perhaps not the best advice, but I waited it out. It turned out that my son was being severely bullied. He switched schools and now he is happy if not confident going. As parents, we all want our children to be the best that they can be. I sense that your kid isn't being bullied as mine was, but that he learns differently than how the system is teaching. Schools expect to put children, personalities, talents and learning in a box and so if you don't fit into that box, it is your problem and not theirs. Truly a harsh dilemma and my heart goes out to you.
Have you checked into an online school? My son, who is a freshman this year, started online schooling and although it is taking a bit of time to adjust he is doing fairly well.
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