Why Do Kids Hate School?

Child hates school

Does Your Child Hate School?

A 3rd grader hates school and mom asks Dr. Linda what to do. The answers include finding out if she has ADHD, or a physical problem first. Having more fun with learning and physical movement both also help.

Dear Dr. Linda:

My little girl Tammy is already whining about school starting. She’ll be in 3rd grade. I’m not really sure why she doesn’t like school. She liked her teacher last year and has lots of friends.

Her grades were o.k., but I know she could do better. She keeps telling me that school is boring and that her homework is boring. And she certainly didn’t get too much homework.

I think she makes mistakes on her arithmetic and reading worksheets because she just doesn’t pay attention. So now she’s really not reading up to her grade level. And she doesn’t know her arithmetic facts for her grade either.

Do you have any suggestions? Thanks. Perplexed Mom

Dear Perplexed Mom:

Tammy isn’t the only little girl who finds school boring. Parents sometimes ask me why do kids hate school? So many factors can cause a child to say that school is boring or that they hate it. Some kids have learning disabilities and that makes school hard. They struggle in school. Other kids learn so quickly that they’re way ahead of their grade.

Why Do Kids Hate School: boredom, physical problems, ADHD

Even a physical problem or allergies can affect a child’s ability to stay focused and enjoy school. A lot of children are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD which affects a child’s ability to stay focused and pay attention to their schoolwork. Sometimes the problem is a simple as the child needs glasses.

So I suggest that before school starts you make sure Tammy has a complete physical exam with your pediatrician, including vision and hearing tests. Ask about the possibility of allergies. You’ll want to tell the doctor about Tammy’s unhappiness with school and ask if the doctor thinks there might be something physical or neurological that’s causing Tammy’s “boredom.”

However, lots of kids who are healthy and don’t have learning disabilities still don’t like school. All too often school just isn’t fun. And learning can be fun.

Need More Fun at School

In fact, research has shown that kids and adults too learn more easily and faster if they’re having fun while they’re learning. Sadly many schools aren’t aware of this research or how to create games and fun activities that promote learning.

There isn’t much you can do to change this situation at Tammy’s school, but you can make learning fun at home. I use learning card games to help kids with both reading and arithmetic. And it works. I’ve found that the children have such a good time playing the games they don’t realize they’re learning.

Games are simply more fun than worksheets or flashcards. Playing learning games is my favorite way for helping kids boost arithmetic and reading skills.

Moving Enhances Learning

Moving around also helps with learning. All too often kids are asked to sit still for too long. When Tammy brings home reading homework and math homework, let her do just one bit of homework and then encourage her to go outdoors and run around, skip, jump rope, or do any physical activity she enjoys.

Then when she comes back in the house, she can do the next piece of homework. If she needs to memorize something, it’s always easier to memorize while walking, skipping, dancing or even singing because more parts of the brain are working at the same time.

Use games to help Tammy get a head start on school. And be sure to include lots of physical exercise in between playing the games.

With best wishes for a happy and fun-filled school year,
Dr. Linda Silbert

P.S. Try these learning card games with Tammy.  You can get both arithmetic card games and reading card games.

Phonics Centered — Consistent with Orton-Gillingham — Multisensory