How do you get a very bright eighth-grader excited about doing his school work, especially homework? He has absolutely no desire to do well in school and rarely brings home his homework. School just isn't important to him. -- Puzzled


A discussion with all of your son's teachers is in order. Your son should also attend this meeting. The best way to lure your son into doing well in academics is to tap into his interests. For each class, he should be asked what would interest him in the subject. Does he have a passion for rocketry, baseball, sailing or some other activity? Find out if the teachers could direct some of his assignments toward his interests. For example, in English he could do oral or written reports about rocketry. This could lead him to do research and learn even more about this special interest.

Discuss also at the meeting if work online to expand the curriculum could be part of the answer. In addition, ask him if there is any area that he finds difficult to do, so help can be given.