Q: My 11-year-old son gets good marks at school and seems to thrive on his many activities. The problem is that he refuses to buckle down and get work done in class. He says he would prefer to do the work at home, but that just isn’t possible with his busy extracurricular schedule. I have explained to him that hockey, Scouting and the other things he likes to do come second to school, but none of it seems to be sinking in.
A: Why does he have problems settling down to do his work at school? That’s the real question here. I wonder if it’s because he needs some downtime: Maybe he’s saving his school work to do at home so that he can take a break from his busy extracurricular schedule. A project that’s due tomorrow is a great excuse not to attend tonight’s hockey practice. Or it could be that he sees school as an ideal time to relax, away from his active home life. In either case, I suggest you cut back on his extracurricular activities and see if his attitude changes.