My Smart Student Isn’t Trying

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Remember when your son first started school? He was thrilled about his new class, his teacher, his school supplies, even the idea of assignments. It made him feel grown up and like his older brother. He was so eager to learn! Fast forward a few years; how did this precocious child become so lethargic about school? A gifted child with natural intelligence, fully capable of taking honors classes- and doing well in them –is now struggling to maintain a C average.

If this sounds like your student, you are not alone. I speak with parents everyday who are in similar situations. They have bright students with the ability to do well, but the child lacks motivation towards academics and it is reflected in the grades. These parents have tried everything from rewards and consequences, to meeting with teachers, to therapy and counseling. Perhaps mom or dad has devoted hours upon hours to helping with projects and study guides, which only leads to tension, frustration, and meltdowns. These parents are at their wits’ end and just want to help their kids.

Motivation towards school (or the apparent lack thereof) is often a complex issue. Perhaps it stems from such an immense sense of feeling overwhelmed and underprepared that is it easier to just all together give up. Many students are embarrassed to ask the teacher for extra help or, more often than not, they don’t even know what to even ask for. They understand the material being presented in class and are frustrated to receive poor grades on tests and quizzes time and again. These kids are in need of organized and structured support to help them develop a plan of attack for academics. They need help setting up organizational systems and finding the right calendar device. An academic coach can provide this support and help the student reach their full potential.