My oldest son (S1) is currently starting his third year of learning Gemara in yeshiva. The first year (as is traditional, I suppose) was spent learning Eilu Metziyos. Last year, he did a perek in Bava Kamma. He went back to school this week, only to find out that he's going to be learning another perek in Bava Kamma this year.
I haven't had a chance to talk with S1 about this, but I've been informed by my wife that he is bored with Gemara. It just doesn't hold much interest for him.
Now, I know he doesn't really have a problem with learning in general. He will easily learn Nach or Chumash on his own and is currently learning Mishnayos with me (Moed) for his Bar Mitzvah without complaint (sometimes he even comes and asks me to learn it with him).
I'm wondering if maybe he's just bored with the topic of civil law. I know, personally, that of all the areas of halacha, that is the last one I'd voluntarily approach. Knowing who is liable when someone's ox gores another ox is not terribly interesting to me. (Yes, I understand that it's not just limited to oxen per se; but the whole idea of civil law just never interested me, even at the secular level).
During my first four years of learning Gemara in yeshiva (way back in the day), we covered Eilu Metziyos first, but then went on to learn Makkos, Kiddushin and Gittin (in that order). I must admit that I was certainly exposed to a wider variety of study than my son is currently being exposed to. If I had to learn Nezikin (and when I say Nezikin, I mean Bava Kamma, Bava Metziya and Bava Basra -- not Sanhedrin, Makkos, etc.) for the first three or four years straight, I probably never would have picked up a Gemara again in my life.
I could always bring this up with the yeshiva, but they're not going to change their curriculum once the year has started. I suppose I could always try to learn something else on the side with my son, but he's got quite enough on his plate for the coming year - I don't really think that he can handle an additional Gemara seder on top of everything else he has.
I'm going to speak with S1 over Shabbos and see if this is really the case or if there is some other problem here.
However, I'm kind of curious... is this now the norm? As I mentioned, when I was younger I covered a broader set of topics in my first years exposed to Gemara. I know that yeshivas often gravitate toward the more "yeshivish" tractates and don't learn others at all (except maybe in a b'kius setting). Is this still the case? Do yeshivos still tend to focus on Nezikin moreso than other topics, or is this just a fluke on the part of my sons' school?