There are a number of things that can affect a child's ability to focus so it is definitely worth asking your GP to a referral to Paediatrician or an Educational and Developmental Psychologist. They will be able to advise you whether your son is "just not clicking" or if might be any specific learning difficulties, developmental conditions or other factors that are affecting his ability to keep up with his peers. While getting a child assessed can be worrying for a parent, I believe it is always better to know what is going on so you can choose the most appropriate responses for your son.
When there are problems with attention and schoolwork, there are often behavioural challenges such as temper tantrums, forgetfulness and restlessness. So children with attention or learning difficulties often receive lots of negative attention from adults ("Stop!", "Don't!", "One more time...") and are more likely to be on the receiving end of parental frustration. So in addition to thinking "I'm no good at reading" they sometimes start to think, "I'm no good!". A way to counteract this is to "catch them doing something right". Look for the things your son does right — times when he is helpful, polite, is kind, or shows any behaviour that is valued by your family — and praise him for it.
Finally, look for the things that your son does well and provide opportunities for him to do them. So, for example, if he is good at football then sign him up for the local footy club and encourage him to be involved. So even if he needs extra support in some areas such as reading, he can display his skills and talents in other areas. This will help him to develop a balanced, healthy, self-esteem.
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