Teenage Boy

Kelley - posted on 07/23/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have a teenage boy that is a horrible student and refuses to even try to do his work. He has been in continuation school for the last 2 years and just isn't getting it done. We've had him take the highschool proficiency exam twice and he still has not been able to pass it even after paying for a tutor. I don't know what to do to help him. Does anyone have any advice???

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[deleted account]

For teaching math start with NCTM website for standards for his age group (NCTM stands for National Council of Teachers of Mathematics). You should find sample worksheets - but at least you will get an idea of what he needs to know. Try your state's department of education's website for their standards, too. Depending on his age and skill level there are multiple websites out there, you might have to just search.

LISA - posted on 07/24/2009

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Sounds like there is something going on at that he doesn't want to be there. Maybe bullying. Wait 'til his senior year. It was the most horrible for me. Studies just aren't for everyone. It's harder on boys born in August, because the 6mos maturity doesn't kick in until second semister. I don't know that he's an Aug BABY.

Tara - posted on 07/23/2009

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My husband is ADHD and is not on any medication. One thing that helps him, oddly enough, is caffeine. A can of Pepsi or cup of cold coffee actually mellows him out instead of wiring him up like it does most people. As others have suggested, diet can help as well. ADHD isn't your fault, and it is really difficult to get help that isn't medication. Something you may want to consider if he is having difficulty with writing is getting him a good word processing program for your computer - my husband finds it easier to focus that way than if he has to hand write something, so that may help for your son.

[deleted account]

Kelley- I am sorry that you feel the school won't do anything! ADD or ADHD is not, I repeat, not his fault. (nor yours) and I highly recommend that you don't feel that you have to take away his music! That might be the key to getting him to stay focused to do his work. One of the other posts suggested diet/vitamins/meds - I also recommend that you and your family look into all of those to find which one(s) work for you. Break his assignments into workable chunks - if he has 40 math problems - do 10 at a time - five minute break - walk, stretch and get back to work. When one assignment is done - let him play his guitar for say 15 minutes -then the next assignment. Kids with ADD usually also struggle with writing - any and all types of writing. One strategy is to use a tape recorder - say the response, tape it and then your son can write what he said. He needs to know that he is probably brighter than a lot of kids - he has probably missed important info during his schooling. If a teacher had him removed when he became distracted - then he would miss the lesson. He is old enough to start monitoring when he is starting to lose his focus. He can learn strategies to stay focused through trial and error. I hope this is helpful.

Kyra - posted on 07/23/2009

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Something that helped with my son, I started talking to him about what he wanted for his life in the future. Did he want a car? his own place? cool clothes? a girlfriend? etc. that got us talking about what kid of job did he want, what kind of car, what his apartment would look like and so on. then it took us into conversations about how he was going to get that stuff, how much would his job pay him, how long it would take him to buy that car or get that apartment and what he needed to do to get that job he wanted.
this was not something that happened overnight. most of the time the responses I got were...uh I don't know. but it got him thinking about his future and what he wanted to do.
once we had that going, we looked at what was really going on at school. My son hated, and I mean hated, being around other kids in the classroom, not because he disliked them but because he was understanding the material so much faster and was bored stupid at the thought of having to work with other kids who were just slowing him down, so he just wouldn't do the work, which just baffeled me to now end and I wound up as frustrated with him as he was with school.
we were lucky enough to work with a good counselor at his school though and asked for an IEP (individualized learnign plan) that the public school he attends is REQUIRED by law to provide for any student that requests one, because at the rate my son was going he was not going to graduate from high school.
My son went from having failing grades in all his classes to high B's in a matter of weeks because the school counselor listened to what was saying about what he liked and disliked about his classes, and made the decision that all his studies could be done online.
so that is what he does. he goes to school, and does ALL his classes in the computer lab. He is self paced and can work on whatever classes he chooses to thru out his day, there is a teacher there to assist him if he has questions or gets stuck on something, but we found this was one of the best things for him.
He had his goal in mind to graduate early because he wanted to join the military. A year ago he was failing all his classes and was not even going to graduate on time,
he got that turned around in 6 months time, with the right motivation. His own goals and mine and his dad's support in attaining them.

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Kelley - posted on 07/24/2009

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Thank you so much Susan. I never would've thought I could find out so much information and help from Facebook. I checked out the website and it looks like there is a lot of stuff to help us out. Thanks again.

Kelley - posted on 07/24/2009

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Thank you Susan Kelley, I think you were closest at nailing the issue. Thank you for everything you said. My son is a recently turned Vegetarian. He is trying to eat better and to stay away from sodas and other junk. I think I should definately look into vitamins and see if that helps. I've recently been turned on to Herbalife and have heard that they have a supplement that is supposed to help.



I need to teach my son Math does anyone have any recommendations on where I could get help with that. I think I am going to try and home school him this next year and do what Susan recommended. If anyone has any information on where I go or what I need to do so that I can teach him myself that would be great. Thanks everyone for all your advice.

Alica - posted on 07/23/2009

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Have you tried changing his diet? My husband and I struggled with similar issues with his son, who just turned 18...was constatnly getting kicked out of school for this that or the other...unable to focus...we had him on ADHD meds...those only seemed to take the edge off. Also try vitamins. There are vitamins available that are supposed to help, but I did not learn about them until after he was already 17 and had left our home. Also there are several support groups for children with ADHD. Hope this helps.

Kelley - posted on 07/23/2009

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My son is ADD. We have had him tested for a learning disablity but the schools wouldn't help him. The said because his tests weren't low enough they couldn't help him that it was up to him. We have struggled all through school back to 1st grade. We have taken everything away and grouned him for long periods of time. He just can't sit and focus. He doesn't seem to have trouble focusing on playing the guitar though (which we have also taken away) but he can't sit and focus on school work. We have pushed and shoved and taken and rewarded. I just don't know what else to do. We even cried together. He is just as frustrated as I am.

Caitlin - posted on 07/23/2009

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If you haven't tried you could create an incentive such as a new game he wants or something of the sort. It can be as big or little as you want. Most people, even adults, are more likely to do something and do it well if they gain something by doing it.

[deleted account]

Like Linnette - I don't know what you have already tried or discovered- but...if your son has been pressured by his peers to do drugs/sex/alcohol and has refused, he might find himself on the outside of what he perceives to be the "social" crowd and therefore has just shut down. If you haven't already ruled out any learning disabilities - have him tested. And a final thought - has your son been or is he being bullied by anyone - that can really chew into self esteem if the bully appears to have gotten away with it. Some boys will never "tell" and unfortunately, it can have long range ramifications. I hope all works out well. (I also agree with Linnette's advice)

Barbara - posted on 07/23/2009

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Check and see if he has a learning disability. It may be that he can't do the work not that he doesn't want to.

Tara - posted on 07/23/2009

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Taking privileges away helps, but I read a thread one day (on a different forum) and the kid's mom went to school with him every single day until he started improving. Oddly enough, she said it took very little time - nothing more humiliating than having Mom your constant companion at that age LOL. Odds are that most moms couldn't do it that way (what with smaller children needing them, etc), but I thought that was a brilliant solution :)

Linnette - posted on 07/23/2009

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I don't know what you have or haven't done. but i know it always works when you take away privileges and XboX game systems or whatever he does have. Even if that means taking his free time away. He cant leave the house until his grades improve. But like I said b4 I do not know what you have already tried. Hope it helped.

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