Does Your Kid Give You a Hard Time About Homework?

Updated on September 12, 2010
B.H. asks from Detroit, MI
19 answers

Just wondering how many parents are struggleing to get their kid too complete their homework? What techniques have you discovered that helped?

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answers from Boston on

My son comes home, relaxes for 10 minutes. Then homework. period. No whining or trouble. He knows the rules here. He would be grounded from life if he gave me a hard time about homework.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Last year we had a big problem with my 8 yr old son. He would tell us he finished his h.w. at school and then tell his teacher he forgot it at home. This went on for about three months before the teacher finally contacted us telling us we need to send the homework back. I told her what he'd been telling us every night. She ended up keeping him in at recess until it was all finished. I think he was able to catch up in about three weeks.
I took him to meet his new teacher two weeks ago and I told her about the communication problem we had last year and the lying. She said in 3rd grade they do it a little differently, it must be signed both ways in a book when it goes home by her and by us when it's completed and goes back. We'll have to see how this goes but I think it should stop the lying. son did get punished for lying to us and his teacher too.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Phoenix on

Oh you're not alone in that, I promise you!! Our rule is no reading (our son is a bookworm!) and no screen time (ie, computer/ TV) until homework & his daily chores (he has 2 or so each day-piano practice and one other household chore) are done. It is still a battle. :(

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Each child is different.

What worked for our daughter was choices. She would come home and have a snack. Then she had a choice. Start homework right away, or have 30 minutes to do what she wanted.. watch a TV show, read a book or play a computer game.

IF we had plans that evening, I always gave her a heads up so she would know she would probably want to start it right away..

Also in our elementary school, the teachers told us in each grade how long it should take a child to complete the homework.. They based this on the "work" part. No the getting up and down and going to the potty, getting a snack etc.. So in first grade total, all of the homework should be finished in about 20 minutes per night.. They said it was up to us, if we wanted the child to complete the home work or not, and to write on the sheet if the child had to work on the homework longer than 20 minutes.. The time grew by about 10 minutes per grade.

In about 3rd grade I quit asking if our daughter had homework, because by then she knew she always had homework..I also did not put up with her remembering too late that she had a project.. Instead I let her suffer the consequences.. It only happened 2 times.. I also did not dash up to the school with missing work.. It was her responsibility. I told the teachers to grade her just like anyone else.. Elementary is a safe place for them to learn this.

Many times, they actually had time in their classes to at least start it.. Make sure if your child has this opportunity to encourage them to start it in class.

BTW ~ She also liked to have her music going and did not mind if I had the TV on watching my shows.. She is in College now and she and her friends all visit, text, facebook and listen to their ipods while doing their work.. It is pretty amazing to see..

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

It was a daily battle when she was younger but now I make sure there is quiet, clean place for her to do her homework: (kitchen, her room, corner of the other living room where it's quieter......whatever works best for your child), with a comfy chair.
I had her have a snack first so there weren't any hunger pains and so she could think.
Then I would tell her when she was completely done, she could watch an hour of her favorite TV show.
Also, age determines length of time they are able to sit still and concentrate on a task. Little kids need more breaks with shorter spans of time to do the task.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We don't have homework battles. I don't know if it's because of personalities, or because we've taught our boys from birth that it's better to get work done first so that you can relax and enjoy life more easily once all chores, homework, etc. is finished.

Our boys are in 1st and 7th grade, and our 7th grader is in all pre-AP classes, so he has a lot of homework. The 1st grader has to read aloud for 15 minutes each night, and I thought he would like to do that before bed, but he chooses to read in the car while I'm driving and waiting to pick up his older brother (we have to wait about 30 minutes). He likes to get it finished early, and I figure it's good time management. Our oldest son likes to come home and start on homework right away, though I would allow him to take a break after being at school all day. He also likes to get it finished. Our youngest works on any homework he has when we get home, too. I start dinner right away, and the boys do homework in the kitchen so that if they have any questions (especially the first grader), I am right there to help if needed.

The boys have learned that they can relax and enjoy the rest of the evening without worrying about homework hanging over their heads if they get it done right away. They also value education, not just good grades, but actual knowledge, so they WANT to learn. They don't dread homework (unless it is truly boring). They find learning interesting usually, depending on the subject. Math isn't a favorite for either of them. ;-) As long as they know WHY they need to learn something, or have an interest in it, they actually want to do it. Relevance it the key. Good luck. I teach high school, and I know how difficult it can be to motivate students sometimes, but if you can make lessons relevant to their world it is so much easier to get them to do the work.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Little Rock on

My son has ADHD and the medication runs out about an hour after school lets out. Writing his spelling word 5 times each should only take about 30 minutes, but takes him 4 hours. Reading homework is a major struggle with him crying and fussing the whole time he is supposed to be reading the lesson aloud to me as assigned by the teacher. He makes A's in math, but math homework is war. I have tried to explain to him nearly everyday that if he sits down and gets busy and quits finding excuses and deliberately loosing pencils repeatedly, he could get all of his homework done in an hour and be free to play until bedtime. I might as well be talking to the wall.

We are in the process of switching from Concerta 54 mg to Strattera. Strattera is supposed to work 24/7 and be primarily prescribed to kids with severe ADHD. My doctor has told me repeatedly that his is severe but he was holding out on Strattera till we tried all the other options. Strattera has a side effect of suicidal thoughts in about 1 out of 1500 people who take it. Don't worry, I am watching him close for any changes in moods or behaviors and have asked his school teacher to do so too. So far so good. He has had his homework done in about 45 minutes for the last few weeks. What a relief!!!!! Of course the teacher asked me to cut back on the spelling word writing this year and that if he seems to struggle she would consider decreasing his spelling list by a few words to help him cope. I'm not sure that I want her treating him differently than the others though. I want him to get the best education possible.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

one of mine is an overachiever. she could do homework all day every day.
the other one tries to find every excuse in the book to not do it when i ask her.
what i learned is: when they come from school, they change clothes, wash hands and i give them a snack. i sit with them and talk about their day. it takes about 15-20 min.
i tell stories, they tell stories.
then i bring their homework books and ask them to do homework because 'then we will have time to play'
the promise of a 'play' makes my lovely one sit and do it.
the days when she still resists, i take the books away and say: then i guess you will go to school tomorrow without your homework done. hope you have a good excuse for your teacher. her eyes flash and she asks me to give her one more chance
of course she gets the chance and homework gets done.
i don't push, i don't do threats. i try to teach them it's their responsibility, and if they don't do it they will answer for it to the teacher. not me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

My kids know the drill... come in rest a few mins, eat a snack, and then clear the kitchen table and get to work on the home work assignments...

It used to be a battle with my son. (my daughter on the other hand is very self disaplined, even from Kindergarten)... They both know that if homework is not completed in a reasonable time period, they DO NOT GO to their afternoon activities, nor do they watch tv, puter time etc.

Same with their grades.... If their grades drop below what is expected of them, then they loose their privledges for tv, puter, play time, and MOST of all their activities...

Word of caution, its hard to do this but... YOU MUST be CONSISTANT.

Good luck with your situation...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My son just started 2nd grade and we got into a pretty good habit in K and 1st by doing homework right after school (snack & a few minutes of "down" time first). If he does it then, it's about 10 minutes, if we wait til after dinner it is a miserable hour! lol So far it's working and he's just used to it. Hope it lasts! :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Oh, yes. With my son, he is now required to do his homework before he can eat dinner. With him, it's the only thing I've found that works. If he throws a fit, dinner just gets delayed. Twice this week he's yelled and cried about having to do his homework (half an hour of reading or 20 minutes of math or 15 minutes of studying middle school spanish vocab). So, dinner sits while he cries. When he's finished, he still gets to do his homework before dinner.

Each time this happens, the fit gets shorter, by the way. After every one, he acknowledges that it's not worth it. Hopefully the fits will continue to get shorter and eventually go away. :*)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I hope parents will ask themselves a big and important question, WHY homework?, instead of when. There's no research that shows homework (for kids younger than high school age) has any real academic value or contributes in any way to a child's love of learning.

It may be entirely appropriate for younger kids to object to homework.

If this intrigues you, I hope you and other moms will investigate further. Here's a link to noted educator and parent coach Alfie Kohn's website, where you can listen to a brief interview in which he summarized his concerns and what parents might do about it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Yes he battle me constantly


Yes he battle me constantly



answers from Saginaw on

All three of mine do all the time.



answers from Sacramento on

I am the mother of 9 and several years ago with # 5 a book was recommended to us by a teacher it is Ending the Homework Hassel, by John Rosemond. Last year at open house I told a teacher about this book. He asked for it and read my copy. This year at open house I noticed this teacher had copied a excerpt from this book and gave it to all the parents.

John Rosemonds whole therory is, I have done my homework now it is your turn. It is about settings rules and guidelines and following through with them. It is about not allowing homework to rule or control the home and family life. It was the best thing we did for our son. John Rosemond became our pareneting guru!



answers from Detroit on

Completing? I had difficulties with my kids to DO it in the first place. I asked daily if they had homework. Usual answer: No. Or 'did it on the bus'. And it turned out they had homework but plain didn't do it, which would affect their grade for not being turned in, or did a portion of it, again affecting their grade. Whatever, but more often than not homework was the biggest struggle. Too many distractions. TV or computer. And frankly I never did figure out an answer to the problem. They're all 3 out of school, now, grown up and know better. They do their homework without a squawk
so I guess sometimes they have to discover the benefit of doing it on their own and learning priorities themselves.


answers from Houston on

It would probably depend a little on the age of the kid. My daughter is still in Pre-K, but has a little homework. She gets to choose which page she wants to work on first. When she completes that page, she takes a short break. Then the next page and another short break and so on. When she finished all the homework for the evening, she gets a marble for her cup, which she earns for chores also. When she gets enough marbles, she is rewarded.


answers from Miami on

Well I have the same problem, my daughter just started 1st grade and she is having attitude whenever it's time to complete her homework, she did not give much trouble in kindergarten, I think its because its a new term why she's acting up.
I will do what worked in kindergarten last year, I choose an activity that she loves like going to park or McDonald's, then I would promise her that if she do her homework each day, we would go wherever she chose on Fridays and it worked very well.




answers from Benton Harbor on

You just have to ask yourself, are the expectations that the teacher has set for homework reasonable? You don't say what grade your child is in, but 10 minutes per grade is a good rule of thumb. For instance, in my daughter's fifth grade class, if they spend 1 hour working on the homework and it isn't completed, then the parent is allowed to sign the homework and they get full credit. I think this is more than fair. It depends on your child's age and attention span. You know what he/she is capable of. You just have to set a routine and help them along if they are struggling, but once they know what you expect the battles are less dramatic.

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