21 answers

When Kids Wait Last Minute to Do Homework?

I have a daughter in 12 year old daguther that waits until the last minute to do a homework assignment like a science fair project that really takes more than a couple of weeks to complete. She gets in a panic, I rush to help, and then it becomes a "we" project instead of her project.

She also gets detention once in a while and I have to drive her to school at 7 AM so she completes her homework at school. This is what the school does to kids if they do not complete their homework assignments.

She is really smart, gets good grades in school, is well liked by her peers,

What do you suggest I do to change this never ending frustration on my part and to her help to change her behavior?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your responses.

I really don't believe that it is up to me to get her to do her homework. I think it is up to me to teach her self motivation, focus, time management, tools that will help her become an independent and thinking person. I am looking for some successful stories and strategies that have helped you to help your kids so that they became independent, self-motivated students.

As far as the school is concerned, I know that they will not hold detention after school because the teachers are tied up with after school activities and sports that the kids engage in and that there is no one in the school on the weekends. Too costly to have people in the school on the weekend to maintain it.

So, any positive strategies or successful stories so that I can learn from and implement?
Thanks, M.

Thank you all for the positive scenerios and suggestions. Please keep them coming.

Margie, what do you mean by "we have ...."? I thought this was your child's project. Please explain.

Featured Answers

Dear M.,
Have you tried taking privileges away? If she has an event going on, don't let her go, even if her work was done already. The fact that she leaves it for the last minute and you have to work with her to get it done just shows that she knows you will help her and she will get away with it. Just sit down with her and have a talk. Let her know what the rules are, let her know that you need to know of any projects as soon as she gets them assigned at school; and if she waits last minute you will NOT help her and on top of that she will be grounded.
As for the homework, if school punishes her, why shouldn't you. Let her know that the same goes for missing homework! That she will be punished and you will be taking privileges away. You need to decide what those will be! Like going out to the movies, or a friend's house, or to the park with friends; whatever the case may be. Maybe take her cell phone away for a week (if she has one) or computer privileges; etc.
But before you do anything, you need to sit down with her and let her know what the rules are from now on. What's most important is that you follow through with what you say you will do. You must be consistent.
Blessings.

3 moms found this helpful

This was me! Big projects and assigments terrified me. Instead of dealing with them, I pretended they didn't exist. My dad's solution was to know my schedule. Every night he didn't just ask me what homework I had. He made me tell him what we did in class that day, what we would be doing that week, what would be coming up in the nest couple of weeks. He wanted to know about projects, tests, homework assignments, everything. He made out schedules and really helped me learn how to break it down so it wasn't so scary.

I don't think punishment is the answer. Rather than helping her to be afraid of the consequences, help her to see that it's managable.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I must admit, I was your daughter. The reality is no one had ever taught me how to study and prepare. Sometimes I think we just assume kids get it.
My mother ended up sending me to a tutor two nights a week. It was very helpful and by the time high school rolled around I had finally learned some solid study & planning skills.
It was also helpful that the tutor was in college and prepared me for what life and school was like and the fact it wasn't mom, made me listen that much more:)
I also think that no more helping with projects that are put off until last minute would be a good rule of thumb to implement.
Maybe just like we do with chores and younger kids. If you are not made aware of a project XX days in advance, you cannot/will not help.

Best of luck.

4 moms found this helpful

Gosh, this was me in gradeschool, HS, college. Boy do I wish someone taught me time management skills and the importance of keeping a calendar etc. It is probably just my personality. I got As and Bs, but imagine what I could have accomplished had I started a project earlier or on time. I never did my homework, etc. If you are going to help her with the project, why don't you just help her from the start. Ask her what her projects are that are coming up and ask her to make a list of things you both need to get. Have her write things down and make lists. Don't do it for her. Sit with her and watch her write it down. She will feel accomplished and that it is her accomplishment. Once she starts feeling good about getting things done early then it will set something in motion. Also, don't rush in to help her when it is too late. Start early. Ask her about her homework and her projects and tell her... You are not going to your friends house until you have 3 things off your checklist done. What is on your checklist or to do list etc. She nees practice making lists and keeping them. A whiteboard at home is good where she can transfer her homework list to it. It just takes little things. At this age they are learning time management skills, so anything you can do will help!

3 moms found this helpful

My kids had 3 projects this year. After the first one that they totally did not tell me about (2 of them are in the same class so had the same deadline and both did not tell me since they needed help, etc) and we had a rush the very last week of the project I decided action was needed. The beginning of each quarter I ask the teachers if there are any big projects to be completed and when they can be expected to be assigned and how long they had to complete. Then I know there is something and I worked with my kids to work on it a little at a time. I totally agree with you in that the kids need to be responsible for their work but they cannot be if they don't know how. It is up to us to show them. The last project they had was worked on a little at a time, and the teacher kept telling them this and they all did very well with it. I am hoping that when they enter 6th grade next year, this sticks with them but I will be on top of it as well. One thing they had to do at the school is keep an assignment notebook and I had to sign it each night--of course it only works if everything is written down.

3 moms found this helpful

Dear M.,
Have you tried taking privileges away? If she has an event going on, don't let her go, even if her work was done already. The fact that she leaves it for the last minute and you have to work with her to get it done just shows that she knows you will help her and she will get away with it. Just sit down with her and have a talk. Let her know what the rules are, let her know that you need to know of any projects as soon as she gets them assigned at school; and if she waits last minute you will NOT help her and on top of that she will be grounded.
As for the homework, if school punishes her, why shouldn't you. Let her know that the same goes for missing homework! That she will be punished and you will be taking privileges away. You need to decide what those will be! Like going out to the movies, or a friend's house, or to the park with friends; whatever the case may be. Maybe take her cell phone away for a week (if she has one) or computer privileges; etc.
But before you do anything, you need to sit down with her and let her know what the rules are from now on. What's most important is that you follow through with what you say you will do. You must be consistent.
Blessings.

3 moms found this helpful

I still AM your daughter! LOL
My son is only in first grade but we quickly learned that homework, if done immediately after school took less than 10 minutes. If we waited til 7:00 p.m., it dragged on FOREVER! But he gets mostly daily assignments that don't require better time management--yet.
My nephew experienced similar issues as your daughter and my brother and SIL sent him to Sylvan and they really helped him learn "how" to study and he also learned better time management.
Best of luck!

2 moms found this helpful

When she gets an assignment it is really up to you to make her do it and get it over with. (Talk to her teachers and tell them that you need to be let known so here is your email addy or phone # for big assignments... just in case she doesn't let you know)
She is still in the "It can wait" age... I'll do it later is an excuse... I'm not saying to do it with her, or for her... But make sure she sits down and starts it... The work is up to her...

My daughter is only 9 but already trys with the "Its not due till friday" excuses... SO what do I say? SO!!!! Get it done now while we are thinking about it and then we won't have to worry about it later... Work now... play longer later...

Ask the school about their detention policy... WHY would they insist a parent bring a kid in an hour early? Why not give the option of an hour after school or on a weekend?

2 moms found this helpful

You could try not doing "we" projects anymore. Let her know what the concequnce is to not getting it done because she put it off, and let her learn it each and every time. Don't go to the store to buy poster board at 8PM, don't get on the computer and look up sources for her, don't type what she dictates to make it go quickly so she can get to bed!

On the other hand, if this is not a habbit, but is a sign of something else, and if you try that, and she does not seem to learn from it, you might want to look in a different direction. If you have ever wondered if she has attentional issues that keep her from following through, planning long term assignments, or you have ever suspected executive function issues that really do cause her to not be able to live up to her potential, and especially if you suspect that she has been able to pull herself up by her boot straps because she is very smart to "overcome" an issue, you might explore that question with a neuropsychologist, just to get some data about how she processes information to see if she is no longer able to overcome and could get accodations and learn strategies to do these things herself.

You will probably know in your heart which one of these scenerios applies to her...

M.

2 moms found this helpful

My family was very interesting growing-up. School was the top priority over everything else. Grades slipped, things were taken away (like after school activities).

My parents have adapted to my sister not impressing the importance of school on her kids and making other activities the more important priority. None are good students, and they make excuses for the kid's poor grades.

My sister is constantly helping her kids (16, 13, 11) instead of letting them fail because they didn't put forth an effort. There's a big difference between failing because of procrastination and failing because of not understanding the material or not doing it well.

I didn't learn how to study until college because I didn't have to. I was fortunate enough to be a really good student, but college kicked my rear really hard......and, I still graduated with a great GPA in a hard major (Biology).

I guess my advice is to stop enabling her and let her face her own failures and consequences. She will be much more mature and much more prepared for the real world that way.

1 mom found this helpful

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