Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

He Dislikes School

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: My son, a high-school freshman, has lost all interest in school. He says that it's dumb and boring. His grades are much lower now than they've ever been because he won't study. I try to explain about college, but he doesn't care. Teacher comments are always "could be an A student but work is late or sloppy." How can I get him to take pride in and care about his work? We don't allow TV or computer games after supper on school nights.

A: A great place for you to start is by talking to your son in a non-judgmental way about exactly what makes school so dumb and boring for him. Just talking could lead him to see how he might be able to change some things to make school more interesting.

Talk with your son also about what he wants to do when he graduates. Doing this will build a bond between you so that he knows you want to be involved in his life and that his goals are important to you. Rather than pushing college, help him think about all the ways to implement his career goals. This will show him how a high-school education fits into his future.

It takes many students a while to get their feet on the ground when they first start high school. If your son isn't involved in any school activities, encourage him to take part in some now. Extracurricular activities make school interesting for many students.

Academics become more difficult in high school. Your son may have specific skill deficits that are stopping him from doing well and may need some extra help to bolster his skills.

While your son has no TV or computer games to distract him, is he using this time productively? You need to check that he has done his homework each evening. If you are not sure what his assignments are, it may be possible to check them out on the school's website. Or you can initiate a system with his teachers to find out what his daily assignments are.

In fact, the TV and computer are wonderful tools that can be used to reward your son for completing his homework satisfactorily. Do show him how to use the computer in his homework for doing research as well as making presentations.

More on: Expert Advice

Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks