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jennarea
jennarea asks:
Q:

I have a 6 year old son that when asked to do school work just sits there and day dreams and doesn't do anything, please help

As a 5-6 year old he jumped a class at school to be with the 6-7 year olds, as he was more advanced than the children of his age.  

He can read and write perfectly well (bit messy as he is left handed, but in france they make them do joined up writing from the start), he speaks two languages (english and french), he is very sporty plays for the local rugby team and also does judo, and he also has his own horses so occasionally rides (he is more interested in brushing them than riding).  He has also won national art competitions with some fantastic paintings.

He is an amazing little boy, the nicest most thoughtful little boy, fun to be around and gets on very well with everyone from little babies to adults.

But at school he either gets top marks so 20s out 20s, or zeros.......this goes for writing and maths and anything that requires a little bit of concentration.  The teachers all say that he should be getting top marks for everything, as he is more than capable, but he just can't be bothered and just sits there staring into space half the time.  He isn't naughty, he doesn't disrupt the class, he just does nothing.  And no punishment seems to help.

THe teacher has told me to get him to do school work throughout the summer, as when he goes back to school after the summer the workload is gonna be much heavier......so I am trying, and he is all very pleasent about it saying yes he is gonna work hard etc, and then he just stares into space again.  



In Topics: Motivation and achievement at school, Helping my child with school work and home work
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Louiseasl
Aug 22, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk,

I sense concern in your letter and therefore, before trying to discern if there is a behavioral problem (such as intentionally ignoring a teacher or boredom) you may wish to consult with a pediatric specialist.  Perhaps, a school psychologist could observe in the classroom on a few occasions and see if there are any environmental circumstances which can be contributing to your son's difficulties?  Also, the teacher may be a great observer, too.  In addition, have you consulted with your child's physician about this situation? If not, perhaps it may be worthy of a mention.

Good luck!

Louise Sattler, School Psychologist

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Additional Answers (3)

estrenger
estrenger , Teacher writes:
Your son is probably bored; not interested or not feeling challenged.
Maybe there is a way to relate the subjects that he doesnt connect with(writing and math) to things that he enjoys. For example, writing exercises about his favorite sports or writing stories with illustrations so that he can utilize his drawing/art skills. Day dreaming can be good, maybe there is a creative way to sneak math into his subconscience.
> 60 days ago

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Karenmom
Karenmom writes:
Hi jennarea,

Sounds like you have a very amazing 6 year old son and I know you must be very proud.  As one of the others had answered, daydreaming can be a good thing - creative thinking.  Maybe you should encourage that he writes those thoughts he has on to paper to share and then praise his thoughts while you continue to encourage him to stay focused.  

I don't think you have any thing to worry about, he seems like a very well balanced, well rounded and educated young man who also knows his manners and respects those around him.  He is only 6 and I find that at that age "focus" is not one of their strong points regardless of their intelligence level.  They just like to keep things moving and changing as this is how they teach the younger children and it may be possible that since he is placed with older children that they are studying one subject matter for longer periods of time than a 6 year old wants or can hold focus on.

I wish you and your son all the best and feel comfortable saying that I believe that this is something that will "works itself out".  If your concerns become greater or you or the teacher observes changes in behavior or other flags, you may want to consult your pediatrician just for reassurance because I truly believe all is A. O. K.

Best Wishes!
> 60 days ago

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lynellen
lynellen writes:
Some children need more activity to keep alert.  Have you tried having him chew gum, suck on candy(make sure there are no choking issues), or sit on a large ball to see if he is able to stay alert and focus more?  There is a good book about children who need extra to stay focused called Sensational Kids by Lucy Jane Miller.  You might find a copy at your library and try some other of the suggestions.
> 60 days ago

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