Unmotivated Fifth Grader by Robin Gorman Newman

What to do when it seems as if your kid does as little as possible to get by in school?

We had our parent teacher meeting tonite, and the teachers’ main concern was that Seth just wants to get by. 

At home, one of his favorite words has become “whatever.” 

He’s a tween…I realize that….but he’s entering middle school next year.  Academic demands will be all the more, and teachers will want to see him reach his full potential.  I want to see him reach his full potential.

He’s a smart kid.  But, if some of the homework is optional….that means he will opt out.  I’m sure there are kids out there who would do it.  Is it because their parents demand it? Do they want to please the teachers?  Or are they just natural homework doers who take pride in their work?

What is that like? To have a kid with that mindset?  Can you instill that?  Are they born that way?  Is it nature vs. nurture?

I wonder.

The new Common Core curriculum is causing a lot of grief for all involved.  Students are overwhelmed.  Parents are stressed.  Teachers are struggling to grasp it.  Many are protesting, and that includes kids, like my son, who do only what they have to.  His grades are ok, and he does ok on most tests (except for some math exams)….but it’s his attitude that is in question.

And, it’s not just homework….it’s work in the classroom as well.

What is your child like when it comes to reaching his/her potential with homework/classwork?  What do you do to motivate them?




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  1. One Response to “Unmotivated Fifth Grader by Robin Gorman Newman”

  2. A one size fits all education, made MUCH WORSE by Common Core, just doesn’t work. Common Core is all about CONTROL, not education. It imposes a politically motivated agenda & eliminates input from PARENTS & TEACHERS, much like Obamacare gets in between you & your doctor to decide what procedures & medications you can have.

    Does the Department of Education or YOU & your son’s teachers know what works best for YOUR child?

    As to his lack of enthusiasm, it could be boredom, work not challenging or too challenging, lack of attention, teacher’s time, or his learning style might not match his teacher’s teaching style. Have you tried sitting your son down & talking to him about WHY he feels a lack of motivation? It isn’t always easy to get them to open up but if he feels safe to express his feelings you might be able to glean some insight into what would make the educational process more productive for him.

    Good luck!

    By Carol on Mar 21, 2014