Back to School Euphoria Meets Reality

Are you frustrated yet?
Are you frustrated yet?

Are you frustrated yet? It is only week two for many of you but I am already hearing about the homework hassles. The first couple of days the kids came home and got right to their homework. Then as the week went by that back to school euphoria seemed to fade and the struggle began.

The kids slipped back into their routine and you probably slipped back into yours. Is this how you want it to be this year? If so, then keep on following Einstein’s definition of insanity that says, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If you have had enough and are ready to seriously make some changes, then now is the time.  It is not too late to take a look at what is happening at home during homework time and figure out ways to “fix” it. Talk with your child; they are almost certainly just as unhappy as you are. They may feel powerless to do anything about it, but together you might be able to come up with some ideas that will take some of the pressure off.

Here are a few things to get you started:

1. Timing? If your child is doing homework after the time they should be in bed then start right in within 30 minutes of them getting home don’t wait until after dinner to start. Chunk homework into sessions of about 30 minutes of work with a 5 minute break.

2. Environment? Do you put all the kids at the kitchen table so you can keep an eye on them while they work? Some kids need quiet, some need to work on the floor, and some just like to be close enough to hear others around. What does your child prefer?

3. Motivation? What is in it for your child? Rewards for great report cards are often too far away to provide any real motivation. Kids want things now. So what is it they can do when their homework is finished? Go to bed? For some of us, that would make us happy, but kids want to play. Make sure each day there is time for them to play and relax and do what makes them happy. If they have something to look forward to, they may be more motivated to get their “work” done first so they can enjoy their reward.

If you have found these tips to be helpful and would like to have someone else remind your child to do their homework, clean out their backpack, or start that long term project today then check out our E-Learning program that sends a daily email to teach, organize and coach your child to a successful year. What are you waiting for?

Homework Hassles

I can still remember it as clearly as if it happened yesterday. My son, frustrated at my hovering over his homework, looked up and said, “Mom, you are on me like a shirt!”

I was shocked! I thought I was being helpful. In retrospect, I was doing the opposite. I wasn’t allowing him to learn on his own, to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, to become responsible and accountable to his teacher (rather than to me), or to learn self discipline. I was preventing him from learning all the skills I thought I was “teaching” him.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is important to be supportive of your child if they are having difficulty with their homework. Helping them problem solve without giving them the answers by getting them to “think aloud” through the process they went through can get them to figure out the next steps on their own.

The problems arise when we let our emotions get in the way of our relationship with our child. If your child has ADD/ADHD or executive function challenges then you face the added challenges of getting them to start their homework or to stick with it long enough to finish. This often leads to tension and frustration for both of you and ends up being worse than the homework itself.

Whether your child is in elementary, middle or high school, you want them to succeed and often that means trying to support them without nagging or helping them too much. As parents we get caught up in the “getting it done” mode and not the” how can we make this easier so it doesn’t happen again” mode. For example, by not teaching your child how to plan out a project but instead making his attempt to redeem himself at the last moment rather unpleasant. Then it should be no surprise that he will associate anger, frustration, and aggravation with a long term project that given the right circumstances, he might have actually enjoyed. End result: nothing learned.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone else could teach them how to plan out that project and get it done ahead of time or learn how to study for a test so that a good grade was practically guaranteed? I don’t think it can be a parent because we are too close and too emotionally involved to be neutral. But a program that systematically teaches skills that are needed to be successful in school directly to your tween or teen through daily email lessons, now that is…..brilliant!

Watch for the launch of our new E-Learning Homework Course coming soon at: