DO YOU HAVE THE HOMEWORK BLUES TOO?

School has been in almost a month now.


One word....Homework. Two words....Homework sucks!


Why is it that when I arrived home at 7:00 p.m., my daughter's homework was not completed? Bedtime is at 8:30 p.m.

Ok, maybe I can be a bit too hard on my daughter, BUT, we all know what our children are capable of doing.  Every child is different.  Some very independent and others need a little push.  My daughter, oozes independence, very philosophical and an analytical thinker.  For example, when she was having a bath the other day, she uttered very logically, "Mummy, there should be a faucet for warm water."  She is wise beyond her years.

And so...

I admit, there are times when I forget that she is only just 6 years old.  6 year old children don't always feel like doing their homework.  They want to play! She didn't feel like doing her homework. 

courtesy of honestmom.com
She cried, she whined, she made excuses, she pretended she could not find a pencil, she said and did everything she could to get out of doing her homework.

[Hey, as a grown adult, I can list the things I don't feel like doing. And some days I really want to cry and whine about it. So I KNEW how she felt. LOL.]

I wanted to scream.  In fact, I screamed at the top of my lungs in my head.  I wanted to cry too! It was too much. On top of helping her I had to deal with the 3 year old who also had homework but has an attention span of a goldfish...blank stare. lol.  He's not keeping still, up and down and all around. He ended up cutting up his homework page with his scissors instead of cutting out pictures to glue onto his homework page (I think that was due to his excitement of actually having homework to do).  Sighhhhhhh....No one was listening.

After a long day of solving other people's problems at work, my day had only JUST begun when I got home.  I was fatigued. Yes, I needed a drink on a Monday...

After I poured myself a wonderful glass of wine, I was more relaxed and was ready to go. Some women count to 10.  Some women meditate.  Some women go for a walk.  Some women have the patience of Job. Me? I have a glass of wine. #dontjudgeme #redwineisgoodfortheheart #europeansdrinkwinewitheverymeal #Tiffany,weshouldmovetoeurope. LOL.

The child's version of relaxing...is playing!

So, I devised a plan

For my younger kids (primary school age), here's what I try to do to ensure they are more relaxed when they do their homework.

1.  Relax time. (3:30 p.m.- 4:15 p.m.) When the kids arrive home, they have "relax time" for 45 minutes. That could mean watching a TV show, playing with their toys, jumping in the bed (I'm kidding, because that's dangerous...blank stare...but we all did it), etc. They need this time because they've just spent all day in school. However, make sure you limit this time.

2.  Snack time. (4:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.) Usually a healthy one they like.

3.  Begin homework. (4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.)  I usually allocate an hour. Depending on which grade your child is in and the amount of homework he/she may have you will have to adjust the time.  Let them do what they can first. As parents we are so quick to jump in and help.  Let them figure out their way.  When they come across something they don't understand then explain but don't do it for them. (**I can already feel the frustration coming on**) Remind them that they can have play time when they have finished everything. (**of course if time permits**)

4.  Bath time. (5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.) Mmmmm....nice warm bathe with bubbles.

5.  Dinner time. (6:30 p.m.) This is difficult. With parents coming home at later hours these days, it's not always possible to sit around the table together. Growing up, my family and I sat down for dinner all the time. Society has moved away from this over time.  Dinner time is a great time to really hear and pay attention to the "highs" and "lows" of everyone's day.  If you can at least do it once or twice during the work week, that's great too!

6.  Play time (7:15 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.) Use this as an incentive while they are doing their homework.  Be clear that there will be no "play time" if they do not complete the homework.  So don't act up!

7.  Reading time. (8:00 p.m.) Encourage your children to do at least 30 minutes of reading. This is incredibly important. You read too!  If they see you reading, they will be more inclined to read too. Set the example, right?!  Read to them and let them read to you.  Make it fun.

8.  Bedtime. (8:30 p.m.) After you've bonded during reading time.....Ahhhh....thought it would never come!  Bedtime! Tuck the little critters in bed and your "me time" begins! To prepare for tomorrow of course :)

Can you tell I'm all about systems?? How realistic is this schedule for you? Oh, I'm not sure.  I know it doesn't always have to go as planned but it provides me with a guideline.  Modify it to your family. Test it.  See how it goes!  



I feel the same way sweetie....courtesy of torontosun.com
It took my daughter AN HOUR AND A HALF to complete her homework but she did it. She now knows if she doesn't do what she HAS to do she won't be able to do what she WANTS to do. (**she didn't get her play time**) 


Do you fight with your child every night to do homework?  What methods do you use to get them to complete it before sun up!? :)  


Signed, 
a homework hater, Candilaria

5 comments:

Markera said...

Oh my goodness. I just had a meltdown over homework, I just needed to see this RIGHT NOW! lol

Natasha Nixon said...

I'm having a melt down right now...thought it was only me!! Tell me why my 10 year old rather watch Bubble Guppies with her 2 year old sister when she has spelling words to study! I can definitely relate. I have heard every excuse in the world. Candi you're not the only one having a glass of wine at the beginning of the week...trust me!!!

MWMs said...

Candi,

For someone who joined many of our other friends in questioning the structure and schedules that Eric and I used with Channing and Chase as babies (Contended Little Baby), I am happy to hear that you realize the power of structure and schedules.

They work! They help you...it helps them. Is it hard to stick to schedules, absolutely, but I promise, it will pay off.

Drink your wine and be consistent.

Natasha, turn the television off Babes. No Bubble Guppies for anyone while work is to be done. Television is your currency to get homework finished. You finish homework, you watch television.

As for me, my situation is different. I am a teacher so I am home earlier. Today we did one page in the car on the way home. But on most days as soon as we walk in the house it is homework time. I disagree with Candi with having a break when they first get home. Kids have a break afterschool in the school yard waiting to be picked up. I believe they have had their moment to decompress. I suggest doing it as soon as you get home so there is no settling down to do homework after they have relaxed or played in the house. Don't give kids a chance to unwind to only ask them to focus once again in 45 minutes.

My next suggestion is to not hover over kids while they do homework. Get them started and move away. Tell them to bring it to you when they have completed a few problems or you return to them to check. This decreases your chances at getting frustrated sitting next to them wondering why it is taking so long to write their name.

One day Channing wrote her name like a 6 month old while I sat next to her losing my damn mind. I had to move. I left her. I told her to bring it to me when she was finished. She never came but when I went back to check it was perfect.

Since then, I leave her. I have things to do, people to see and places to go. JOKES! But I leave her. I check on her. If something isn't right she does it again.

Homework is for the birds but it isn't going anywhere!!!!!!!!!!

Tiffany

Natasha Nixon said...

Hovering is definitely my problem Tiffany!! I'm a helicopter!! Lol

MWMs said...

Thank you ladies for commenting! Studies suggest that 71% of women go through a rough time when doing homework with their children. So we are definitely not alone!

@ Tiffany, working with a schedule definitely helps. But I've always been one for having a routine/schedule. We're capricorns! That's just how we roll. While I didn't agree with the Contented Little Baby's schedule, it was one that worked for your family. Not every family will have the same schedule, so you have to find what works for you and yours!

Candilaria

There was an error in this gadget