2Nd Grade Homework

Updated on March 07, 2011
E.A. asks from El Monte, CA
15 answers

My son is in 2nd grade & has been giving me a hard time regarding homework time! He is just lazy & I dont know how to deal with this issue. His teacher gives him a packet of 8-10 pages on Monday & he needs to return it by Friday. So I have him do 2-3 pages everyday however everyday its a battle over getting it done. He cries, whines & gets upset with me! I have to sit with him for 2-3 hours every night just so he can get it done. I want him to be more responsible & stop being so lazy. He knows how to do it. I have a quiet area with a desk & everything he needs but he hates homework.Lately his grades have dropped & I really need ideas on how to motivate him to get it done! I have no problem helping him but he shuts down & when I ask him about his homework he just says I dont know. What should I do???? Thanks

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from New York on

I would read The Myth of Laziness and How to Talk to Kids so Kids will Learn. His homework should NOT be taking 2-3 hrs a night. It should be 20 minutes! Is it that difficult for him? could there be vision problems, learning problems? is it just lack of focus? could it be ADD ? Talk to his teacher -Is he having problems finishing his classwork?

Also ask other parents how long are their children in the same class are spending on Homework, that will give you an idea if the teacher is assigning too much

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from New York on

What is his normal routine? At what time of day are you doing homework?

A few things you may want to try....

1 - After school, he gets his snack and sometime to play outside, or some physical activity. He needs the physical activity after sitting in a classroom all day. Then it's homeowrk time.

2 - No priviledges until after homework is done. No tv, Wii, video games, ipod, etc.

3 - Don't sit with him. Have him sit at the desk. Ask him if he has any questions, then walk away for 15 minutes. Then come back and check on him. Leave him again for 15 minutes and then come back. After an hour, then sit with him. I wouldn't do it for more than 2 hours. Also, if he doesn't get it done during the week, have him do it during the weekend.

4 - He may work better with someone else. Is dad, grandparent, older sibling, available to work with him.

5 - Reward him. Set up a system that gives him a reward. Like if he can finish 3 pages in an hour then he can watch an hour of tv, or if he gets it all done by Wednesday night, on Saturday you'll take him to see a movie.

He's old enough to make the decision as to whether he wants to sit as his desk all evening or whether he wants some fun time.

I know very little about this - but is there a chance that he has some type of learning disabiltity?

My daughter is a sophmore. I've been trying to motivate her since K. IMO, it's just something they have to want for themselves.

Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I would talk to the teacher. There is no benefit of homework to elementary age children (published data) and struggling for 2-3 hours a night will only make your son hate learning. Certainly not the goal at this age. Can he learn the concepts in the homework another way? For example by discussing it, applying math concepts to the real world, reading actual books together instead of memorizing sight words?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I tried what you are doing for years. Finally I found the strategy that works. Finally found the good parenting book :)
After a snack, hug, rest and all the TLC - firmly lay down his work and tell him to do it. Ignore the whining, crying, shouting, stomping. Do not let him just sit there and stare in the space, idle, remind, coach and tell him that there will be no dinner, no break, no play - until he is done and on his own. But do not help if you truly think he is capable of doing it. Tell him you believe in him and that he CAN do it. No name calling no negativity. You may need to match his intensity with your own to drive your point across. Tell him all the positive things about him you can think off. The goal is to encourage the child to do what he does not want and to succeed at it. It may take a few hours – so be ready and do not give up. It will get worse before it will get better. You must win. He will do his work and you praise him a lot. Tell him that you never doubted him and believed in him all along. Give him free time or whatever you promised. Believe in yourself. You do not have to be always liked by your child. Do not back down no matter what. If you back down – you will be on a slippery slope of loosing and he will be winning. If you win – you both win. Your boy will experience self-discipline, the greatest control. Good luck.
Edit: You will still to check the HW and guide a lot and help with planning. He is too young to do all on his own, but it will be much easier if he complies and does independently work that is assigned.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Yep, as someone said below -- it should never take 2-3 hours at this age. He has begun to think that's what it always will take and his resistance will get worse because he dreads that long, drawn-out battle -- and the resistance will draw out the battle even more, as you know!

Don't wait until after dinner (not sure if that's when you have him do it now). A brief but essential break after school for a snack and drink is needed, but don't let him watch TV or start to play during that break time; get him to move to homework after just a 15 or 20 minute snack break. Maybe for now, instead of being right in the room with him, be nearby and have him tell you when he has finished page one; when he has finished page two, etc. so you know he's progressing. Figure out whether he really needs you to sit right with him or whether that makes him balky and resistant -- especially if he moves to homework quickly after coming home, he may do better if you are in the next room but he knows you're still paying attention to what he's doing with his homework. Are you checking answers for correctness or just ensuring he has it done and has followed the directions? If the former -- maybe stop that for a while at least and just be sure he does it (as long as he doesn't just put down random stuff to get the blanks filled in!)

If his quiet homework space is in his own bedroom (again, not sure if that's the case), and you think he will get distracted in there by his toys etc., make his quiet homework space in another, distraction-free space so you can leave him to it but know he's not getting pulled away by the stuff around him.

Just to get over this hump, you also could consider a reward chart for getting homework done -- not done perfectly, but getting it done to the best of his ability, within a certain time frame. Yes, homework is part of the child's "job" and shoudn't necessarily bring a "prize," other than knowledge. But for now, it might help him to see that if he completes all his pages for the week in X time without a fuss (and you should be clear with him exactly what constitutes a fuss), he gets to have an extra 30 minutes TV time or whatever really works for him. Don't go overboard of course -- I wouldn't promise a video game system or something huge for just doing homework -- and emphasize that getting it done is indeed his job, but it's a possibility.

Did you ask his teacher for tips? Teachers have seen and heard it all, and I"m sure the teacher has had other kids who are resistant and spend hours doing homework that should take 20 minutes. The teacher may have ideas you and I haven't thought of!

If you can make homework a necessary but brief thing now, and get him used to powering through it and just doing his best, rather than getting frustrated and letting it drag out, he will develop good study habits. It's good to do it now because by fourth grade (where my daughter is now) the homework and projects can really pick up!

You're doing well to have a special space already, and to parcel out the pages a few a day so he understands it's good to do a little as he goes along and not wait until the last minute. You'll get there!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I have a 2nd grader that gets 2 pages of homework per day. We've found that if we wait til after dinner it's a HUGE drawn-out ordeal. But if he comes home from school, chills for 15 minutes & has a snack & drink, he buzzes through it in about 15 minutes, tops.
So--not sure when he is doing it or if you're there when he gets home to do it earlier, but that might help.
OR, if he's at after school care, can he start some there?
Maybe start with a sheet that's easier to him so it gets his confidence up?
You can always ask the teacher for ideas/suggestions, too.
Good luck. Hope it gets better.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Oh, homework!

A couple of things:
- My daughter found the whole packet thing intimidating. On Monday, I'd take it apart & give her just the amount for her to do that day, then each day she'd just have that day's work. After a couple of weeks, she was in charge of it -- and of knowing where it was.

- Don't sit down! A very wise educator once told me that once a parent sits, they own it -- and I found that to be true. Stand over, call from across the room, offer to help & support as needed but DON'T SIT! It's his -- you successfully took care of second grade homework when you were seven. Now, it's his turn.

- I totally agree with the essential break after school and a need to burn off steam physically (especially for the elementary grades). And then, once it's homework time, no playing until it's done. And celebrate the victory!

Good luck and stick with it. The habits and attitudes you help him develop now will be the habits & attitudes he has for years.

You both can master this!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

When he gets home have him have a snack then start the homework. Never spend more than about 10 minutes per assignment. If he starts getting frustrated with it move on to something else and then come back to it. but don't let him do anything else til its done. that means no Wii, no nintendo no gameboy, no tv no toys no nothing till its done. it might be that you need to sort the stuff out a little better so that it is not so much at once. does he balk at all of it or only say math or reading? my granddaughter has a lot of homework for 2nd grade also but they learn so much that transfers on to other stuff for later grades that you can't really skip any of it. One thing I would ask him though is if he would rather do all of it on one night and then just do some reading each night or if he would prefer to sort it and and also if he prefers to sort it out how does "he" want to sort it out. lay it out to let him make the choices maybe if he feels that he has some control over it then he will be a bit better about it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I can sometimes feel overwhelmed with my work on my desk. Try little by little as mentioned.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

in addition to all the other good advice...

My daughter (age 4) responds well to a timer for anything she doesn't like doing. I set a timer for an agreed upon time and when the timer goes off, she can stop what she's doing. He'll have to finish up later, but he may be surprised by just how much he can get done in 15 minutes. And sometimes there's the bonus of my daughter being so engrossed in her task that she'll say, "Set it again, Mom. I'm not done yet."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Lots of great advice! I'd like to add what I have found successful: 5 mins of playing, 10 mins of homework; 5 mins of playing, 10 mins of homework. If your son says he wants more play time, negotiate a little more homework time: 20 mins of homework = 10 mins of play time, or the completion of one worksheet can earn more time, etc. And, be true to the time. Even if he only has one or two more problems to complete on the worksheet, if his "homework time" is up & it is play time, let him play. That way, he comes back to the homework without asking for just one more minute. The timer really helps out with this. Also, super love the idea of you not sitting down. Be available, but let him have his own space. For some, homework is boring. My oldest asked us (when she was in 2nd grade): "Ok, we have been doing this in class for 3 days, I totally get it, why do I have to do these worksheets every night?" Very fair question! We just thought of ways to help her finish it without agonizing over it (her or us!), and moved on. Peace, B.



answers from San Diego on

This happened to my boys at this same age. Just get him to do a little, then give him a break, and let him come back. I did little bribes once in a while as well as taking away privilages if needed. They are just doing some growing and trying to assert some independence. Take it in stride, and try not to get too stressed.



answers from Cleveland on

why not have him do one right as soon as he gets home have a little snack then do another one and then after dinner another so they are split up a bit instead of doing them all at once and maybe do them so he is done with them by wednesday so he has thursday off



answers from Los Angeles on

You can start by working it out with his teacher. My daughter decided that she really didn't want to do homework in 2nd grade also. All it took was being sent to an upper grade classroom to have to work on the work by herself and her motivation came right back. I stopped rescuing and arguing with her. I would send the packet back to school with a note that said she wouldn't do it and worked out the solution with the teacher. She was so embarassed to go to the 5th grade classroom that she stuck to getting her homework done. I also didn't have her wait too long after school. She got to have a snack, relax a little and then right to homework. No homework past dinnertime or there were consequences (i.e., no tv, no games, no dessert, no playtime outside, whatever worked.) Hope this is helpful!



answers from Honolulu on

I know this sounds like bribery, but he needs to have some motivation, so that he can see what is in it for him. Maybe after he is finished with his homework everyday, he can have a special treat, or play a video game, or get dessert, or something. With my daughter, she has been shy ever since birth. By the time she was 7, we decided that she needed to say hello to people even if she was shy. so we made a rewards system. We used a sticker chart and her reward after saying hello and answering questions from adults (friends of parents, etc) was a sticker. Once she filled up the row, she would get $1. It worked for her, and now she doesn't need the chart anymore. Figure out what would motivate him to do the work while keeping his eye on the prize. Then, after a while, he will see that it does not really take him 3 hours, it only takes 1/2 hour if he concentrates, and it won't be so bad. good luck.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions