replied 8 years ago.
Hello again, and thanks for your reply. Also, thanks very much for your patience, as I wasn't online when you responded.
First, I would recommend that you have your son tested by a qualified person, to find if he has any learning disabilities. Please don't confuse learning disabilities with intelligence; I realize you said your son is smart and I don't doubt it. He may have some obstacles which are preventing him from doing his work successfully, and he's getting frustrated, so he'd rather do something else. Typical kid behavior, yes, but in children with learning disabilities, they really can't DO the work properly and even though they may have seemed to do well up until this grade/age, now that the work is increasingly more difficult and more voluminous, it's not unusual for children to be diagnosed with some slight learning problems, at this age, and they can be remedied with the correct instructional methods and 'changes' in the way he's taught and he learns.
I feel a big part of your son's problem is the fact that the after school caregivers are inconsistent re: homework, etc., and he would rather do his work with you, so I recommend setting up a schedule on a chart, for him to see every day and you can go over it with him before bed, with which subjects of homework, for example reading, math, spelling, etc., he will finish with his caregivers and reserve one subject which YOU will do with him when you get home. Make it something relatively simple and short, because your time will be limited. Also, on this chart, leave room for other activities like TV, video games, reading comic books, and decide upon a time limit for those activities. As he does them each day, allow him to check it off and also, for a job well done, with homework, give a 'gold star' on the chart, and at the end of the school week, offer an incentive, like an activity (outside the house) that he enjoys, if he earns a certain number of stars. DO follow up with that activity even for a small number of stars, especially at first, so he sees it's an 'attainable' goal, and he's not 'working for nothing'. Having 'set' goals to accomplish, is very important and will help him learn responsibility. Also, he should be punished, with a favorite activity taken away for a day, if he lies to you or his caregivers.
Try to check his homework and other school papers every night when you come home, and if he doesn't have a 'planner', in which to record school assignments, get him one. It's like a journal with a calendar, with space to write school assignments on each day, when things are due, tests, projects, etc.
I hope things improve soon, and please let me know if you would like to discuss this further.
Cher and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you