One of the many comments I often hear from parents who come in for an assessment is “I just thought my child was being lazy,” or “I just thought he needed to try harder.” Many times these comments come after parents have had their child evaluated for special education and he or she does not qualify. This situation occurs even more frequently if the child is highly verbal and is able to hold sophisticated conversation with teachers and other adults. “He’s so bright. Why doesn’t he apply himself?”
It has been my experience that all kids want to learn. All kids want their parents to be proud of them, and if the child suddenly appears unmotivated or “lazy,” then it is our job to figure out why. More times than not, it turns out the child needs to be taught to read in a different way. The child needs specific instruction on phonemic awareness, followed up by explicit, systematic phonics instruction.
I thought this article did a nice job of talking about different reasons why a child might appear lazy as well as giving parents ideas on how to talk with their child about homework and school.