In my job as a therapist, the halfway point in the school year sometimes means a lot more referrals from school departments who are concerned about kids who have fallen behind. It seems there are plenty of them who are slipping through the cracks and they are in danger of staying back.
Sometimes they get labelled as behavior problems. At other times, teachers say things like, "He just shuts down." And parents will say things like, "I just can't get him to do his homework." I often hear how these kids come home from school in a really bad mood.
These are usually not "bad" kids. Instead,they are kids with learning issues. And they don't like school. It must be dreadful for them to get up everyday only to sit in class for hours while feeling confused and frustrated.
There are things that parents and teachers can do to help these kids learn. Just because the traditional environment doesn't seem to be serving them well, it doesn't mean they are stupid. Kids need to be given the message that they can still learn and are completely capable of doing things on their own, they just might need a different method to help them get there.
I recently reviewed a great book talking about just this issue. Nowhere to Hide; Why Kids with ADHD & LD Hate School and What We Can Do About it. It provides practical solutions to help kids who hate school. I wish more parents, and especially teachers, could read this book and learn how to reach these students.