28 answers

My Daughter Does Not Want to Do Her Homework

I have a 2nd grader, that absolutely hates to do her homework. She spends an average of 3 hours playing and humming on her homework. I tried time out, offering money as a reward, I tried a hundred things. If I'm by her pushing her to get it done, she gets too upset and starts to cry. I ran out of ideas to make her homework time pleasureble and likeble to her. Please, help me. I'm getting already very tired of this situation.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all the help. We are finishing the year and my daughter did it beautifully. The problem was the teacher. She was intimidated and unhappy with the teacher. I took her to the doctor's office because the teacher said she was ADD. The doctor talked to my baby, and said she was an adorable healthy child and probably just bored, and also he suggested to chance teachers. And so, we did it. Worked great!!!!
She went to school once, without her homework done, and she felt horrible, after that she never wanted to do it again. Her new teacher is wonderful, and my daughter loves her. Also, my husband is back from Iraq and that helped her to stop being so much in "la la land".
She was awarded "the queen of reading with feeling" and tested as a 4th grade level reader. She is also in the honor roll.
thank you again,
S.

Featured Answers

Hello S.,

I think you got plenty of good advice. I just wanted to say that I'm Brazilian too. If you ever feel like talking to another Brazilian, you can write to me. My name is S. and I have a 3 year old daughter.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a 4th grade teacher who deals with this issue quite a bit. My suggestions, don't force her to do her homework. Let the teacher give her the consequence for not finishing her homework. I tell my parents that their job is to provide the time and space for their child to do the homework, but it is up to the child to complete it. She'll learn a good lesson of responsibility in the process and you will probably have a less stressful evening. :)

1 mom found this helpful

hi
i'm an elementary teacher. i am wondering if the homework is too hard for her. i would talk to the teacher immediately about this. maybe the 3 of you together can work out a plan. maybe she's getting too much?????

good luck
A.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I don't know if you've ever heard of Flylady, but she's an organizational guru who helped me get my life and home in order and helped me implement routines into my schedule (she used to be scattered, chaotic, unorganized, and messy but gained some peace and order in her life and her mission is to help others find that peace and order for themselves).
Anyways, she has made a routine list for students (called a "Control Journal") to help them get themselves organized and disciplined. I really suggest checking it out and printing it for your daughter at http://www.flylady.net/images/student_CJ.pdf

Her ideas have made a big difference in my life.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi S.,
It seems that you may have to do some investigating to see what is beneath the surface of your daughter's stress over homework.I am a retired teacher and have had years of practice trying different strategies to help motivate children to learn. There are a few things that come to my mind as I read your letter. First, homework should be an opportunity for children to practice the lessons they have been taught in class. A talk with your daughter's teacher might give you information about how well she is grasping the lessons in class. If she is having trouble with the material, the teacher may be willing to modify her assignments. Second, as a general guide, about 20-30 minutes per grade level is a good amount of time to spend on homework, so 3 hours for a second grade child is way too long! She may see the tasks as huge, so you might try breaking them down into smaller segments with little breaks - a snack, a little outdoor playtime, etc. Even in school a teacher doesn't expect a child her age to sit and work for 3 hours straight without diversifying the activities. She may be humming and playing just to survive what she sees as overwhelming! Third, money is usually a poor motivator, and time out may be just the break she needs from her work! Try offering to spend time playing a short game, dancing to her favorite music, face painting, or any special activity with your daughter in a one-on-one activity each time she finishes a segment of her homework. She may be wanting your attention, or if her dad is away, she may be missing his attention more than she lets you know. A little 15-20 minute activity after each segment of homework could be fun for both of you. Crying is a child's natural way of telling you that something is wrong, so if you think the crying is more than frustration with the homework, you may want to ask if there is a school counselor available to visit with her. Try hard to offer her praise and hugs every time she accomplishes a task. The mantra at our house has always been: "You give power to what you focus on!" Focus on what she does well, and build on that. Your patience with her is such a gift! Best of luck to you and your daughter!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi S.,
I am an elementary school teacher, as well as a mother. I have worked with students your daughter's age for several years.
You could try setting a timer, and just having her do homework for 10 or 15 minutes at a time, then take a break. She could have a snack, run around outside, watch a little TV, or whatever for a few minutes, then set the timer again for more homework.
If she CAN'T do the homework because it's too hard, you should let her teacher know right away.
Another suggestion is to find out what the consequence is at school for not having homework done. Allow her to suffer that consequence and maybe that will be enough to get her inspired to do it at home.
You could also try doing it at a different time of day. If she's too frazzled to do it right after school, try after dinner or even first thing in the morning.
Good luck!
-P.

2 moms found this helpful

Dear S.,

I am an educator and I am currently working in the vision special education population as a braille paraprofessional.
I have also raised two sons and now they are both in college. For a second grader, school can be a very long day. I always gave my children (when they were little) a snack when they came home and a 30 minute to a one hour break time before they began their homework. I played with them during the break time in order for us to have quality time together, unless they were playing with their friends. They knew that when the break was over, it was time to do their homework. In other words, I was establishing a routine with them. I tried to let them do this work on their own, but they knew that they could come to me if they had questions or problems with their homework. One thing that you should do is ask your child's teacher about how long the average 2nd grade student should take to complete the homework (length of time depends on the age of the child and the type of homework). Children should not be bribed to do their homework. You do need to explain to her the consequences of not getting her homework done, such as receiving a lower grade. The more important consequence is that if she doesn't finish her homework it will make it difficult for her to understand other homework in the future; school work builds on itself. She must learn the consequences on her own. If she is really struggling with her homework, you need to speak to her teacher. Her teacher may be able to help you adjust this work for your child. Today, teachers adapt homework for those children who are struggling. For example, I work with students who are blind. Obviously, they can't see the writing on the board or use traditional print. We must adapt lessons so that they can braille their materials, use manipulatives, talking computers and talking calculators in order for them to solve problems. Homework should not be a miserable experience. It is only a tool for the teacher to see how your child understands what she has learned. It also allows your child a time to practice what they've learned. I hope this has helped!

A. D.

1 mom found this helpful

Do you sit down with her? Sometimes, kids just want support, someone to just sit with them, and talk to them about the work, find different ways of making it fun for them, especially when there that young.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

I have not been through this situation (yet) but my feelings tell me to advise you just not to pay too much attention to her homework issue. Basically give her a break for a little while and see what happens. (I personnaly don't think they should give homework to 6 years olds). If this situation is not acceptable to you maybe you should seek advice from a professional. But what I would avoid in the meantime is bribery, punishment, money as a reward etc... And spend a little more quality time with her (maybe that's what she really needs now) instead of spending 3 hours getting her to do her homework and ending up both of you stressed, frustrated, upset...). I am not sure how present her father is (being in the military) but he also should spend s much quality time with her as he can. At young age children need their parents even more.

Hope this will help. Good luck and all the very best.

1 mom found this helpful

have you tried letting her have a snack after school, like carrots or apple slices. I agree that you should talk with her teacher, school counselor and doctor.
We have had a difficult time with our daughter as well. If she has just learned something she does great, but once she knows it, she is bored and it takes fffffooorrrreeeevvveeerrr to get her homework done. Last year, after much discussion with her teachers, doctor, etc. we took her to be evaulated for ADD (not ADHD). They tested her and told us she was just over the line for ADD. We tried a non-stimulated medication and found no improvement. We are waiting to see how this year goes before we make the decision to put her on a stimulate.
If it is decided that she should be evaulated for ADD/ADHD make sure you take her to someone that is trained in doing so, not just her pediatrician.
Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

Hello S.,

I think you got plenty of good advice. I just wanted to say that I'm Brazilian too. If you ever feel like talking to another Brazilian, you can write to me. My name is S. and I have a 3 year old daughter.

1 mom found this helpful

If you haven't done so already I would suggest bringing her teacher &/or guidance counselor into the situation. Perhaps a sit down conferance between all of you & the teacher doing most of the talking to her would perhaps awaken her to the seriousness of the situation & instill in her a sense of responsibility.

You may also consider talking to your daughters Pediatrician. I know my kids take their doctor very seriously & heed her words. I'm sure a sit down talk from her doctor may also help your daughter with her motivation issues. Pediatricians have access to many newly studied parenting methods & are very eager to help their patients & their families with a variety of issues.

Another thing I'd suggest, & I know this is a hard one with other kids in the house - but I'd take away all frivolous privilages & only allow educational activities until she yields to doing her work.

I wish you the best - keep us updated.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a second grader as well and I have several suggestions. First - talk to the teacher and find out how important homework is. My son's teacher says that if kids hate homework they should just leave it alone for a while.

If your daughter is doing well in school apart from her homework it could be that she doesn't really learn by repetition but prefers to take one subject and learn it in depth. See if your teacher would allow her to do an alternative homework. For example you could read a book about fairies, count the fairies in the pictures, ask questions about the fairies ( if those two fairies wanted to share those four berries how many would they get each? ) and write one sentence about the fairies.

If one the other hand she is not performing well in school it could be that the homework is just too difficult for her. Maybe any parts that call for written answers you could write for her allowing her to come up with the answers and tell you. Do the math problems with Cheerios or MnM's to help her visualize them.

Hope this helps

1 mom found this helpful

I am a 4th grade teacher who deals with this issue quite a bit. My suggestions, don't force her to do her homework. Let the teacher give her the consequence for not finishing her homework. I tell my parents that their job is to provide the time and space for their child to do the homework, but it is up to the child to complete it. She'll learn a good lesson of responsibility in the process and you will probably have a less stressful evening. :)

1 mom found this helpful

I often have this problem with my daughter, who is about the same age. I would say, let it go--there are consequences at school for not doing her homework, and the teacher will deal with it. Your little girl will not like losing her recess, or whatever else the school punishement is! The other thing I would say is, meet with her teacher to discuss it. THere may be something else going on at school that is making her want to avoid homework. Perhaps the current lesson plan is giving her trouble and she is too shy to ask for extra help because she doesn't understand what is going on.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S., i am from southamerica too, I am from Argentina....

ok, I would like to know, what happend when she don't or didn't completed her home work??
i asked because I was a teacher for soooo many years, and now I am a counselor working in behavioral health with spanish population.
I think that you are worry for her, and she need to worry for herself and know the consecuences for her actions, i believe that you have to say something like:

"....mmmm, what you will do??"
"do not worry, i am sure that you will do the rigth thing.."
"i am sure that you go to figure out."
"let me know if I can help you with something ."
"the wonderful about the second grade is that will be the same homework next year....you can do it with the litles ones".

All this with an smile and emphaty, but your backup plan can be talk with the teacher about consequences about her homework
I hope that you understand, take care, A..-

1 mom found this helpful

Do you sit down with her to do her homework? My son is in first grade and doesn't like homework either. When I sit down with him and watch him do it, though, he gets it done and feels accomplished. I have him read the directions, then I watch him put down his answers, then I have him check his work, then I check his work and ask questions if any answers aren't right, then I praise him on how well he did. I know he can do it on his own, and as a single mom, I really don't have time to do it this way, but it gets done and I think he also feels like he's had some quality time with me.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

Does your daughter have a friend from her class who likes to do her homework? Perhaps you can invite the friend over to play but have them do their homework first. Check it of course before they can play. Maybe if she sees her friend doing her homework she might be motivated.

O.

1 mom found this helpful

My oldest son is rapidly approaching school age and I am crossing my fingers that he will enjoy homework. So my idea is not founded in any personal experience yet.

Have you thought of inviting over a friend of hers, once or twice a week, who enjoys doing her/his homework and maybe that will show her that it's a normal and fun thing to do? It might rub off on her...

It seems that peers have a great influence on kids that age. I can tell my son something a hundred times and he won't do it or try it but when he sees a kid of similar age do it, he suddenly "knows" it in a split second! :)

Just a thought...

1 mom found this helpful

hi
i'm an elementary teacher. i am wondering if the homework is too hard for her. i would talk to the teacher immediately about this. maybe the 3 of you together can work out a plan. maybe she's getting too much?????

good luck
A.

1 mom found this helpful

S.,

I read through the other moms' replys. I agree wholeheartedly with Peggy. Our daughter was the same way at that age 7, and setting the timmer for smaller amounts of time and letting her get up to stretrch and move helped. She was diagnosed with ADD at age 8 1/2 and the medication did the most to help her sit still and concentrate, PLUS her grades improved tremendously! She is now 13 and in middle school and is doing very well. She has gone off of the medication because as she matured and learned good study habits we found that she really didn't need it any more. Good luck and remember to give yourself a break when you feel stressed out over it all. Try letting another family member, or older friend sit with her at home work time. sometimes just that much of a change can help.
Sincerely, C. T

1 mom found this helpful

My son went through that. We had tried everything and hours later he would have a whole lot of doodles but no homework...I asked his teacher how long she thought homework should take. She said no more than 45 minutes, so i set the timer on the stove for 45 minutes and told him if he wasnt done in that time than he would turn his homework in anyway even if it was not complete. He didnt like that but we talked about how if it was turned in not complete he would get a lower grade. we also talked about how his teacher said homework shouldnt take that long, it is part of remembering what you learn and that i would still be there to help him if he had any questions at all! I could NOT beleive that we have never had another homework problem again! At first he wasnt thrilled with the idea, but when he realized that if he focused he was actually done with his homework in under 45 minutes and than had the rest of the day to spend with us, play, relax etc. i think when he learned he could finish it quickly by focusing it did not seem so intimidating to him anymore. I hope this can work for you too!

1 mom found this helpful

Simmone,
THis is a dufficult situation! I am a 2nd grade teacher, and know it is important that she does her homework. A parent of one of my students gave there son a free day of chores. He neede to finish his homework every week and make sure he was getting good reports at school, he daily chores were then waived for one day. It worked for them.
My advice is find out what your daughters currency is...it is different for each child. She may enjoy tv, computer time, a trip to fast food. Use what her currency is as an incentive. For example: If you finish your homework every day this week, you can go to McDonalds n(or where she wants) with mom or dad (if she wants alone time). I would set up a chart on the fridge for the whole family to see. Make it special for her to fill in with stars or stickers when she finishes her homework for the day. Set weekly goals, and even a monthly goal if you want.
Stay in CLOSE communication with her teacher. Find out what she likes to do in school, and what is difficult for her...she may be avoiding subjects that are difficult to her. Each child is different in there strengths in academics. If she is having trouble in a subject I would see if there are any additional resources the teacher can provide for you. Sometimes teachers do after school tutoring, or the school may provide homework helps.
I hope some if this helps!
Good luck to you and your daughter! She is lucky to have a mom who is concerned!
K.

1 mom found this helpful

have you tried tokensor point s that she can earn yes that can work see you start out with may 20 point or tokens and if she does not do her home work then you take 1 or 2 points or tokens way on the other hand she can earn the lost points or tokens back and then you have something she wants then tell her that she has to take the points or tokens only may be like say the doll she wants is may be 5 points or tokens if she wants it then she will give you the amout you want for the doll

1 mom found this helpful

Hello,
I feel for you and it must be very tiring for all of you. When I think about starting school pretty early in the morning, spending all day around LOTS of kids and learning whatever until the bells rings in the late afternoon...I would cry too if I had to come home and do homework! For some families home school is best and it allows you kids to get the work done during the best part of their day. I homeschool 3 kids and for us it would be a nightmare to see to it that all the kids are up on the homework. If you would not consider homeschool;then I would suggest that you try another homework environment, like your bed or on the front lawn on a blanket, talk to her and see if a certain snack might make her feel "smarter and stronger" to get the job done! I sure hope you can work it out, just remember that kids will get tired and stressed when they don't see you and are not home all day. Homework is in my opinion, for the birds. I know how much we get done in 3-4 hours at home and so I can't imagine why they can't get it done in the 7-8 hours at school! No offence to you I just feel sorry for the situation.
T.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello S.,

I have a 5 year daughter and there are times she just wants to go and play outside and not do her homework especially cause this is her first year in school, meaning kindergarten she wasin preschool but they didnt have homework. So what i do with her is i tell her if you want more time to play then first thing you have to do is your homework and the quicker she gets to it the quicker she can play i am not sure if you have tried that or not, but i dont know too much just because i am just getting started. I hope the best for you.

M. Avitia

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
I have not tried this with getting homework done but have used it with several other things including getting my daughter to sleep in her own bed and dress herself. I make a calender and for each day that she does the task at hand, she gets a sticker. Once she has gotten either 14 or 30 stickers she gets to pick a price. We sometimes decide before hand what the price will be. I had tried everything with my 3 year old to get her to sleep by herself. A friend suggested this and I really didn't think that it would work, but it did. I hung the 11x17 size chart on her bedroom door and daily put the stickers on. It worked like a charm. Since then I've used this with several other things that I have a hard time getting my 5 & 8 year old to do.
Good Luck,
E.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, I can understand her not wanting to do her homework they spend 8 hrs in school and then they wanat them to do another 2 hrs doing homework . My son did the same thing it was really hard to get him past that. I use to just tell him the faster he did his homework the sooner he could go play. Try talking to the teacher with your daughter and you to come to some sort of compermise (sp?). I hope that helps. L.

While S.'s problem sounds like it has been taken care of, many other parents may be struggling with kids who have been labeled ADD or ADHD or are having other problems in school. If your child doesn't seem to fit within the "normal" school situation for whatever reason, I encourage you to look up the website and read the book, "The DaVinci Method," by Garret LaPorto. It's a great book that tells you how really wonderful these kids are and what you can do to help them become their very best. It does not support the drug approach. It is so terrific. Wish I'd had it when my kids were young! Love those kids by understanding them...

glad to hear she's doing better.

S.,

I know this is VERY late in your posting, but I have come across an increadible book that should be in the hands of all parents and teachers. It helps us to understand how the brain works and how it effects the rest of our body. Brains take 18 years to develope, and stress in kids is even worse than in adults. This is helping me with my 15 yr old and 5 year old.

The book is called "Who Shut Off My Brain" By Dr Caroline Leaf. She is from South Africa and has been doing this reasearch from the early 80's.

Hope you enjoy as much as I am.

Take care,

J.

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