Wednesday, September 9, 2009

School Homework Battles

Our schools here are awesome and they bend over backwards to help our boys. Right now two of our boys are bending over backwards to ensure that certain things are not done and that no one can make them. Being a person who is very driven in my school work that is tough for me to understand.

Their grades are sliding quickly. Nancy Thomas always said the school work needs to be the child's job and responsibility, not the parents. Now if you have young elementary school kids I realize they do need some help and guidance with some areas. Mine are both in high school. One is a freshmen. One is a junior.

I have a tough time letting go of this. When I make it my job it increases the friction at home. It even further damages the relationship between our boys and myself. I want to say "This is your job. How are you going to handle it?" and then answer with "I hope that works for you. I might try this but you need to decide." and then step back. They need to live with their choices. If that means repeating a class so be it.

Step away from the homework Brenda. Step away with your hands up.
I'm adding a little P.S. here. Above is a photo of a small writing table I painted white and stuck in a corner of the kitchen dining area. It was an old second hand table. I stuck supplies in Easter baskets I found on clearance for a dollar and purchased the lamp at Super Target. This is where our homework is to be done. It faces away from all the noise and the child can sit there close by while I prepare dinner in case they have questions. If they draw on the table I can just paint it again at the end of the school year. There is no wallpaper to peel off near by which has always been a major temptation for the boys. I think having a special area for doing homework is very helpful as when the child sits down that is the only purpose for this area. It gives the proper mind set. (sometimes)


Christine said...

With homeschool, we have some flexibility, but I had to look at Mar yesterday and say, "Babe, we don't work around you. It's your choice. If you refuse to work here, I can pop you on the school bus every morning and you can refuse to work there. No biggie. You'll just get behind and enjoy summer school every year. It will save us a few bucks every time we all go swimming."

But to me - OF COURSE it's a biggie.

Let me know if you figure out a magical way to not keep getting engaged back in that battle. :) Of course, if you do, you'll make millions and I will just come live with you.

Brenda said...

I will make sure to save a room or two in the mansion for you. We might be a little too Beverly Hillbilly for the wealthy though.

BT said...

With our fourth grader this year -- in an attempt to not get so engaged in his RAD control issues -- we are going to try a script similar to what you laid out in this post: "This half-hour is for homework time. You may sit at the desk for homework time. During this time, you may either do the homework or think about doing the homework. If it were me, I would do the homework because I like the feeling of having my 'shoulds' done. But you're the one who has to decide." We got this basic script from Love and Logic. Today is the first day of school, so we are just now getting the point where we might get to try this out. It'll be a big change from last school year, and we've been trying to get ourselves psyched up all summer. I hear you on the "step away from the homework, mom and dad." It's very hard.

Brenda said...


Mine is from Love & Logic too. Foster Cline is brilliant. We too have done the "This time is for homework. You can sit for this time or do homework. It is your choice." It works fairly well.

Brenda said...


If I could have some of a brilliant idea (I think the chances are bleek)and become filthy rich, you know what I'd REALLY want to do????? Set up attachment centers all over the US so that every adoptive family had access!

Virginia said...

What a timely post! Here we are 3 1/2 weeks into the school year. As a middle school teacher, I too, have a hard time walking away from HER 6th grade homework (but, I just did!).

I try to help her organize almost nightly. She is a very bright girl and loses almost anything not turned in before the end of class.

I very much like the idea of the area that is specifically to do homework. We may even already have something that will work perfectly.

Brenda said...

Virginia~I hope you find something that will work! I just realized looking at the photo that I need to scrub my grout!

ali said...

school is up and down here.. always a struggle in one way or another. i like your homework station... but that wall screams for ORANGE PAINT LOL just kidding :)