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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:08 pm 
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Well, I've posted before about my incredibly lazy son but need some more advice please. Last time I was advised to leave him to it and make his own mistakes, but I don't really fancy a lifetime of free burgers so think I need to be a bit more proactive. He starts his gcses ( year early..he's year 9..but doesn't sit them for 3 years ) and I really thought he would start working hard but he dashes his homework off in two minutes and then announces he has nothing to do. If I suggest he looks through his work or does a bit extra, he looks at me as if I'm mad and then tries to make out his teachers actually told him not to revise or do anything extra..apparently it's counterproductive. Could this be right?

His last piece of homework was a bar chart which he scribbled without using a ruler. DH ripped it out of his book and made him do it again so ds was grumpy all day. His last report said he showed flashes of brilliance but generally thinks it's okay to put in the minimum of work. His work in comparison with his little brother is sloppy and I can see the difference in effort ( although I haven't told him this ).Over the last few months he has been unwell and was investigated for a range of lymphomas ( all clear ) but he was molly coddled a bit and I think is still playing on this. We met up with friends recently and the DC all played cricket..he actually got himself a deckchair to sit in whilst he played!

So, should I leave him to it and hope he improves or check what he is doing? Give him a motivational speech? Are boys like this?!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:24 pm 
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I was talking about this with my brother and sister in law at the weekend. They have boys and I was wondering about the motivational thing (for 11+ in this instance). Their eldest has always done the bare minimum as well. But he's now 15, in has started to get an idea about what he'd like to do with his life, and has therefore started to work. Perhaps your DS just needs to see a reason for his bar chart etc.?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Thanks Bananas. :D just worried it'll be too late when he suddenly twigs!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:43 pm 
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Yes, so were they, to be honest. They thought a subsiding in hormones also helped - he grew a lot very quickly, but seems to have evened off a bit now. And before that they thought he was just getting used to the new level and volume of work!

Perhaps talk to his teacher(s)? I bet they've experienced it a million times over. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:48 pm 
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Y9 boys are the hardest to motivate - another good reason not to start GCSE early!

Has he any idea about what he wants to do?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Yes, he is really motivated to study architecture and has been for a while. He will have to reapply to join the sixth form at his school and seems to be aware of the need to work and get good grades . Maybe he thinks he can just pull it out of the bag at the last minute like the 11 plus.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:12 pm 
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I'm just wondering if it's an older child thing. My nephew is also the eldest, and, like DC1, can't see the bigger picture, or that other children are working far harder; whereas my younger nephews and my younger DS are fiercely competitive and I can see are already more motivated to 'win the competition'.

Not sure what the answer is. Perhaps some kind of mentor your DS would respect might motivate him? Could the school organise an architect to go and talk to the boys generally? There's probably an alumnus of your DS's school who's an architect? This might inspire and galvanise him?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:37 pm 
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My DS is now in Y11 and for the first time EVER has revised when asked. He actually goes over practice questions and writes and isnt just staring at his blackberry. I think now it really has come down to the real thing and he wants to go to uni he has decided to work. All our nagging in the past did nothing, we just all ended up tired and emotional. Like your Ds he would come out with things like,you can revise too much, which seemed to meanhe didnt have to do anything! Y9 does seem to be a dipping point though, I think its all those hormones . It will get better if mine is anything to go by.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:55 am 
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Maybe he is right and he will not have to work very hard to get great gcse grades. Trouble is it is so hard to know, and not a risk to take lightly. Is he doing well in the aspects of his school work which require understanding, and does he remember long term things he has learned? Is he up there with the children at his school who will get a string of great g c s e?

If he does achieve easily at the moment then maybe you can focus effort elsewhere right now while things do remain a doddle? Architecture is a tough one to get into and come out the other end with a job. And you did used to have to draw a lot of straight lines with rulers too! Probably no longer, so this will not help your dh on his ruler mission I am sad to say.

Perhaps he could read some threads on the student room relating to architecture. He will come across some very highly motivated individuals on there at all stages of the quest to be an architect. It may help him plan a way forward now in terms of developing relevant skills, work experience, extra reading etc.

And if he continues to annoy you with his general overly laid back approach send him to live here. We can't even find any of our 100 rulers in all the general clutter and debris. He will soon be back at your door and working hard with impeccable presentation.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:05 am 
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I think it is down to continually giving the message that hard work pays and not focusing on results. If you can find some ways to show him this then all the better. Ask him to experiment with home works for a month. Tell him to try putting extra effort and care into one subject and to carry on being lackadaisical with another, and to compare results at the end of the month.
If his school is very results focused rather than effort focused, that could be causing a problem. Good luck, I am sure he will shine through in the end.


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