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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My son is 8 and in 3rd grade (November baby so started K at

Customer Question

My son is 8 and in 3rd grade (November baby so started K at 4). He is a very smart and above his level on all subjects. Throught out school his major issue is staying on task and using his time wisely. Since starting 3rd the issue has gotten worse. He usually had the most problems during math. (Although GE does very well in the subject and understands concepts taugh), he has said many times that GE does not like math....I have tried many approaches to help him understand the importance of this subject to ni avail. When given incentives at home he does work in 5 minutes that other times has taken up to 2 hours! He has always loved school and has always been an A student effortlessly, he has been reading well since kindergarten and LOVES to read. He is a very good kid respectful and kind to others, he not a a fighter and loves sports as much as he loves school. I have discussed this with the school principal who reassures me Joey is just acting his age. But his he gets sent home daily having to do lines where he rights 15 times what he did wrong. I am very concerned now because he is starting to voice that he doesn't like school. Also last week he received an F for the first time on a math test because he chose not to complete it...yesterday he complained of stomach ache early in the morning and actually threw up. I kept him home and later in the morning he said he felt fine and wanted to play. Of course I told him that if he felt better and dud not need to rest in bed he could then do assignments from work books I have at home (i gave him mostly math) he did all of it with much prompting and occasional reading breaks. Around noon he felt he was well enough to go to school but I kept him home and we followed my plan of doing work and reading with meals in between. Im at a loss as to how to help him get over this aversion he has for math and his disruptive behavior in class when he chooses nit to do his work. HELP! P.S sorry for spelling errors am typing on my phone.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the mathematical and behavioral difficulties that your son is experiencing. Could you be so kind as to provide a little more background information so that I can understand the situation better. Does your son have the same teacher for math and reading? Have you discussed the issue with his teacher? Have you observed your son during class time? Does he know his basic facts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division well? Has a close friend recently moved away? Thank you!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He has not had any major changes in family or friends. Yes I have discussed this issue on an ongoing basis with his teacher. He has I teacher all day. He knows all his math facts well, his teacher also recognizes that he knows and is capable of doing his work he just chooses not to do it because he doesn't like math..
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
With regards XXXXX XXXXX math issue, you and hopefully his teacher must make it fun and challenging. If the material is too easy at school, your son will become bored and then behavior problems will result. Make sure the mathematical instruction is differentiated and tailored to meet the needs of your son. To help at home, you can visit a website called Khan Academy. There are entertaining instructional videos that kids love. Also, you may purchase educational computer games to foster a love of math in your son. Get ahold of the math situation first. Visit the school and observe your son during math time. One or two visits can tell you a great deal about what is really happening in the classroom. Something or someone is causing your son's aversion to math. It is more than just a maturity issue because he sounds very bright. Maybe the teacher said something one day that hurt his feelings. Maybe he is not at the top of the class when it comes to testing and he is putting too much pressure on himself. Make sure that you are not putting academic pressure on him as well. He has many years of schooling to come!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have already sat in on his class and did not observe anything irregular, actually as is expected sonetimes when someone is being observed, he was in his best behavior. In 2nd grade he had similar issue and behavior problems occurred during math...was given 3rd grade math did well but still would require unlimited prompting to complete.....problem continues. As far as resting, he scores 95-100% even after not doing assignments in class all week. Oral math exams high scores as well. All other subjects averages 100% all the time. I ask about how his days go he is always honest and admits to his not completing math assignments and occasionally others. Since start of 3rd asked him on a daily basis about teacher Ans his feelings towards her...always positive, yet thus issue arise early on into third grade
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
I would suggest that you speak with the school psychologist. He/she can observe your son and then schedule counseling sessions with him so that he is held accountable for his actions during math time. If he is performing well without putting forth the effort, then he may be naturally gifted in math. Has your son specifically stated why he does not like Math? You need to connect math to real life situations so he can see the value and importance of knowing math.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
He does need to be put on a behavior contract at school with regards XXXXX XXXXX He seems to know how to manipulate this situation. He needs to be rewarded when he does complete assignments and put forth the effort. Try not to focus so much on the negative because that route does not seem to be beneficial.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Have had many talks about the importance of math and gave many examples of real life situations where he would use it, he is very science focused and wants to be a marine biologist and paleontologist knows what it would require has talked to paleontologist on one of many trips to museums and they and I have stressd the importance of math. I have a very open communication with my son I am a single mom work full time since he was 2. Nothing is different no new people in my life to cause stress. We talk openly about many things because his reading involves mostly nonfiction. I really have tried all the common sense stuff and as I said earlier tried some behaviour mod to no avail because after a while it stops working and he reverts to the undesirable behavior. I have not found the reinforcer that would change the behavior permanently or even for significant time span. He is otherwise an amazing smart interesting little man. Can hold a conversation on many subjects even math yet refuses to do much in first I was not extremely concerned because he was in the high 90s in testing but now refuses to do that. Im at a dead end feel helpless and unable to help him who is my only concern.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello...your son is probably bored with the way math is being taught. He needs to be provided with innovative ways to be taught math. Also, a tutor may be quite helpful to motivate your son's interest since he is not responding to you nor to his current teacher. The tutor can provide enrichment activities. You may want to invest in a private tutor or a local tutoring center like Kumon if that is in your neighborhood. Your son needs stimulating math activities to make it fun. Actually, many children dislike math but develop an acceptance of it. Third grade is a critical grade of learning many new concepts as is fifth grade elementary school.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hope all is going well!