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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Can he just get it together already??

You know, it is so hard raising a child who does not care one iota if his grades are poor. Hubby and I can talk to him until we are blue in the face and it doesn't faze him one bit. J turned 13 and his lazy attitude towards school is taking its toll on his dad and I.

J has three Honors classes this year, in 7th grade, and he's pretty much doing poorly in all of them. The only class he is getting an 'A' in is Computer Keyboarding. He has Math (which he claims is his favorite subject), Literacy/Reading (which I know he dislikes), World History (an Honors class), Language Arts (another Honors class), and Life Science (Honors, yet again). Before J started 7th grade, he had to be screened (he took a test at the school district's main office in town) along with a few dozen other kids. Only so many made it into the Honors program, and J was one of them. We did ask him, before he took the test, if he really and truly wanted to be in the program. His answer was, "Yes." In order to stay in the program, the grades for Honors classes can fall no lower than B-. He's averaging C's and D's.

What really gets me is that J doesn't give his all. He doesn't try. He'd rather do as little as he can to get by. This annoys the heck (for lack of a better word) out of me and my husband. I don't know if it's something that comes from his earlier childhood (before we brought him into our home) or what. He'd much rather play board games or torment his little brother than do any sort of school work.

This morning as hubby was looking in the boys' rooms for cleanliness (or lack thereof), he saw J's school notebook sitting in his room. Bad sign. J needs that book for all his classes. Since the notebook was here at home, we decided to look through it to see if J was following through on his promise to keep it organized - all papers in place and in their proper folders, sorted by subject. We found a Math assignment in the folder for Reading; graded papers which showed J's lack of knowledge and/or preparedness of the subject; scribbled pages; doodled papers. I know he has ADD, but he does take meds. He was recently re-evaluated and the meds do seem to be doing the trick as far as keeping him less hyper and loud, and he can stay on task when it's something he really enjoys.

The kids get out early all this week because of parent-teacher conferences. We already saw K's teacher, so today it's time to visit J's teachers. Sadly, I have to work and will be home when the kids get home, but hubby will go to the middle school and talk with all J's teachers and maybe get some advice or opinions on how to get J more focused on school.

Part of me wants to let J fail and fall deep into the pit he's been digging for himself. Part of me wants him to do that and then figure out how to get out. Another part of me wants to see him figure it out and turn himself around and be a good student. Sometimes I think a boot camp is the place for him. I don't know. Hubby and I have had numerous discussions on the topic of J's grades and lack of wanting to do well. We've taken away privileges (no Nintendo DS, no cell phone, no Wii playing) and it just doesn't seem to matter to J. We are at the point where we might put a lock on the game closet (where all the board games are), but that's not fair to K. It doesn't seem to matter to J that he doesn't have these things anymore. That's what is so irritating! What will it take for him to change his attitude? I have no idea.

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