How Do You Handle the Homework Blues?

Updated on October 22, 2008
L.H. asks from Universal City, TX
38 answers

My daughter is struggling in school and every night it takes her 5-6 hours to do her homework. She crys...we yell...she crys some more. OMG, I don't know what to do about this. It's a struggle on the whole family. We help her, but she tells us were not doing it the way the teacher does it...

How is everyone else handling the homework blues??

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Taighlor is 10 years old and in the 5th grade. I scheduled a doctor's appointment today. They are going to check her for ADHD on November 12th. We already had her tested for dsylexia and that came back clear. I've already had a conference with her teacher and she's been monitoring the situation. The teacher does not issue out that much homework. Tai just takes forever to do it. She's not use to homework. She transferred into a traditional school this year, coming in from a Montessori school from the past 3 years. So already we knew it would be a transition and struggle. But what we are enduring is just ridiculous now.

She refuses to read. She hates reading and always has. She finally learned how to read last year, but she's so far behind now. She's not comprehending anything she reads and it's reflecting in all her school work now. She had two failing grades on her report card so we are in need of some solutions quick.

I have hired a tutor and she will start this week, so we are going to see how that goes.

We are trying to use every resource available to us. She struggled last year and it's only getting worse. We talked with the principal, the reading specialist, and the school pychologist at her last school and they all were on board to help her, but she still struggled. We are trying everything to beat the homework blues!

Thanks for everyone's advice.

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E.M.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi L.,
We have a 6yr old and she is pretty bright girl. She struggled with math at first. Every other subject she was pretty good at and still is. She did not like math at all. My husband started making it fun for her. We bought her some flash cards that help her add and subtract at a good pace. Ever since we did the cards she really enjoys math and she sees it as a fun game while she is learning.

If I can give you an advice please don't yell at her. You want her to like and enjoy homework and school. If you yell at her she will develop anxiety issues and it will be more difficult for her to learn. That is what my parents did to me and I hated the whole thing.

Good luck,
Elisa M

1 mom found this helpful
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M.L.

answers from Houston on

My daughter is attending Middle School in Ft Bend. She has lots of homework almost every night. It also becomes a struggle in my household. She experiences frustration. She will often get hit with writing papers, math problems, history study guides,etc. Since they require different thought processes, she often sees it as overwhelming. I try to help her by dividing her homework in smaller sections to attack one at a time when possible. It allows her to better manage and focus on the individual segments. She is also learning how to prioritize the assignments. Easier said than done sometimes!! After talking with other parents, I realize that many, many kids are going through this as well.
Also, my daughter also tells me that I do math differently than her teachers. I tell her to try it my way and see which style she likes better. BTW, she usually likes the teacher's style!!!!!

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L.I.

answers from Odessa on

Hi L.,

My name is L. Irvin. I hear this same story weekly from desperate parents and students! You need to find out WHY her homework is so hard for her. You didn't say how old she is, but she should not be working on her homework so long! Please watch a FREE webcast, "Could it Be Dyslexia?" at www.brightsolutions.us. This is a 40 min. video which will help you rule out dyslexia. Dyslexia is the most COMMON reason a child struggles with school work. If you have questions after watching it, please call me. ###-###-####. Please do not wait or do nothing! It will only get harder! L. Irvin, M.S., CCC/SLP

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J.M.

answers from Houston on

L.,
I agree with Missy!! I would cry to if my homework took 5-6 hours!! I have a rule in my house that after 2 hours of truly doing homework we put it away and consider it done for the day. No child should be expected to sit and do hours of homework after being at school all day long...that's torture!! Your daughter needs time to play, read, spend time with the family, and enjoy some down time doing something other than school work.

Call the school TODAY to schedule a conference to come up with a plan to resolve her problem. Whether it's that she doesn't want to do it or is having trouble doing it something's got to change. It sounds like she could benefit from a tutor to help her with her homework, study skills, and time management.

I say all of this because my daughter used to work at a snails pace. And for that reason alone it would take her hours to do her homework. Because she was seriously doing the work and had no trouble with the content I would encourage her everyday to work a little faster. We would use a timer to see if she could beat her time of getting each subject's daily homework done. I made it seem more like a game.

Please get her some help and don't allow her to continue to struggle. Good Luck.

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M.M.

answers from Houston on

Girl, if you get any good advice, let me know. I am curious to see what kind of responses you get. We have the exact same problem. My son goes to school in Sugar Land and boy do they love to give homework. Sometimes I want to ask the teachers what they actually do in school??? What is my tax money actually paying for??? I cant offer any advice because I cant figure out how to handle it either so I wish you the best of luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

M.B.

answers from Beaumont on

You do not say how old your daughter is, but there is no way that homework should take that long. I am a teacher and if a child in my class was having that much trouble I would want the parent to schedule a conference and come and talk to me about what they are dealing with. You also need to ask that the school counselor be included in the conference. It is vitally important that everything involved with school work be kept as positive as possible. Learning is a natural thing and should not be that miserable. There is a problem somewhere. Also if you talk directly to the teacher about what is expected then your child can not give you the line that you are not doing it the way the teacher wants. So please go directly to the source and get the scoop today.

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K.L.

answers from Corpus Christi on

I don't know...I tried everything already suggested and more...then I finally did what my parents did with me...a few weeks ago, I gave up! May not be the right solution for everyone...but it seems to have worked for my parents at least...I eventually earned a Ph.D. even though I NEVER did any homework after second grade (until graduate school!)!

I do agree that you need to identify the reasons your daughter is having problems with homework. Is she also having problems with her "in-school" work or is the problem limited to homework? Does she have a physical or mental disability that is affecting her ability to learn the material?

I did all that with my son...he's making honor roll every term (at a school for gifted academics)...and all the testing indicates he's more than capable of doing the work. I finally concluded that, just like me, he simply does not WANT to do his homework and instead of applying all that brainpower to just getting it out of the way, he applies it to finding excuses NOT to do the work. Crying, yelling, more crying...sharpening his pencil and then breaking it so he can sharpen it again...going to the bathroom every five minutes..."I'm thirsty/hungry/tired"...you name it, he does it to avoid doing the work. A few weeks ago, his homework involved writing six sentences using his spelling words...it took him five hours and he still didn't finish it!

I finally figured out that what he wants is for me to do the work for him...he knows that his education is important to me and figures that if he pretends to have difficulties, I'll do the work for him to keep him from failing. A few weeks ago, after two weeks straight of 5-6 hours a night on homework I finally told him that he could do whatever he wanted to do about homework...do it, don't do it...the choice is his and so are the consequences of his choice. In the last few weeks, he's gone to school without his homework several times...and has had to go to study hall instead of recess to finish it...and come home with a discipline report from his teacher (that results in consequences related to TV, video games, and playing with friends).

He hasn't gotten any better about doing his homework yet...but we haven't had any six hour crying/yelling sessions either! He knows that he won't be allowed to stay at his special school with all his friends if he started earning failing grades...and I'm no longer willing to spend every moment together fighting about his school work and will put him in a different school if he doesn't choose to take responsibility for his school work.

I don't like this solution...I feel like a failure...but it just doesn't make sense to me to continue allowing school-related problems to destroy the peace in my home and turn my child (and I) into emotional wrecks...there are just too many educational opportunities available to make us miserable trying to make this one work if he isn't willing to cooperate!

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N.T.

answers from Austin on

Have you spoken to the teacher? If your daughter is saying you are not doing it the way the teacher does it then it would be a good idea to ask the teacher. The teacher may very well have a specific way things are to be done so if you are having her spend time doing it the "wrong" way it would be disheartening to your daughter.

My other question is why are you "doing" it wrong? Did your daughter ask you how to do something and you showed her one way that was different than the teacher or are you doing the home work for her? It's very easy to stand over our kids to make sure they do the homework which in turns get us more involved in their work than they are which means we wind up doing their work for them instead of them doing it and we are checking it. Another idea is to have your daughter do the work as she is told then check it. If your daughter is still not getting it right then ask the teacher how you can assist her.

Next, I would make sure that she has some sustenance in her before tackling homework. A little brain food can help otherwise she is hungry and tired after being in school all day.

Then, prioritize the homework. Do what she has the most difficulty doing at the beginning. Tackle that first. Set a timer for a certain time frame, say 30 minutes then have her get up and stretch or something along those lines. Our attention spans aren't 4-5 hours long. She should sit down again after that short break and work until the timer goes off again. Maybe breaking down things into chunks makes things more bearable.

I disagree with the amount of homework that is sent home and I used to be a teacher! Nevertheless, speaking with teachers to get their advice as to how assignments are to be completed is one way you might help your daughter. However, your daughter is in the class every day and should know what to do. This is her homework so make sure she is the one doing it and you are the one checking and answering questions should she have them. I know as parents we want our children to get it all right but it's still their homework and they are responsible for getting it done. Ask her what she's having problems with and what are ways you can assist her.

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H.B.

answers from Odessa on

That is soooo scary that I read this post this morning. My daughter is in 2nd grade and we are having the same trouble. She comes home and immediately asks for help, without even looking at it. Then when I suggest that she do her own homework and I will check it for her, it turns into a stomping, whining night that unfortunately does sometimes include me yelling. I am even thinking of pulling her out of her activities until we get it straightened out, but I think that might just make it worse if the fun stuff is gone too. If you get any good ideas, please let me know if they work, I am getting desperate.

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L.P.

answers from Austin on

Meet with her teacher, depending on her age, she should not have 5-6 hours of homework. Meet with the teacher without your daughter there and maybe without her knowing at first. She may be embarrased. She may need extra help at school.

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L.H.

answers from Killeen on

Hi L.,,,
i'm the gramma,,, but my son and d-i-l have the kids do there hommework as soon as they get home ,,,,no snack,,,,no TV,,,no nothing homework 1st if there is a problem with 1 of them they are made to sit at table till its done no matter what. no homework = nosnak no TV no games no dinner and the others go about there buiseness .
good luck L.
oh PS if they cry or carry on they stand with face to wall till they decide to do the homework

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P.H.

answers from Austin on

5-6 hours is unacceptable. Talk to her teacher and find out what you can do to get that under control. 15 minutes per grade level is about what I've heard. Does she need tutoring or a study group to get it done? Is it too hard, or just too much? Find out what is the problem and then make a plan of how to solve it based on what is really not working for her. She will feel empowered and you will be a team in this, and not spending so much time in a fuss!
Good luck!

P. (mom & wife with three boys. My second grader whips through his homework in order to "earn" computer time!)

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H.F.

answers from San Angelo on

You didn't say how old your daughter is but there is no reason she should have that much homework. Keep in mind that when you or your husband come home from work, you don't want to have to continue to do that same work for another six hours...you need a break and so does she.

There ARE benefits to homework and lessons to be learned from it:
1. Time management/learning not to procrastinate
2. responsibility (for remembering you have it and getting it done).
But as far as the actual learning, why do you send her to school for seven hours during the day? Homework should be review of what they have learned already and be just for reinforcement of concepts...theoretically easy for your daughter to complete.

Later, in high-school homework can be more advanced research-based reports or writing assignments, or even a pre-view of lessons to come, but not at an elementary level.

First talk to the teacher and find out what the problem is. Do all of the children have this much? Is your daughter not completing classwork that is being sent home as homework? Can your daughter stay after school to work with the teacher on the homework?

If all of the children are getting this much, it is time to set up an appointment with the school administrator.

I do agree that homework struggles at home do nothing but foster resentment on both sides and create an unpleasant home environment...family comes first at home! School comes first at school. Good luck sifting through the advice to find what works for you both!

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B.R.

answers from Austin on

First make sure she can see the blackboard, then ask the teacher how she shows them how to do the work at school. Maybe she has to much homework. What grade is she in??

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K.M.

answers from Houston on

L.,
I had the same problem but my boys are adhd and once they were put on meds it was 100 percent better. Does your daughter have a problem with concentration and sitting still?

K.

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V.L.

answers from Houston on

I don't know how old your daughter is, but we had the same situation happen when our daughter was in first grade.
We spoke to the teacher (who was a veteran teacher, not a new teacher fresh out of school). She told us that our daughter is normally one of the FIRST ones done with her school work! What a shock this was!

So her teacher suggested that we have her do her homework and whenever she has a question or can't figure something out, she simply mark it and ask her teacher the next day. (Plus this helped the teacher know what the kids were having trouble with.)
Once we implemented this, the girl got it done in 20 minutes!!

I still don't know why she was taking hours and hours to do it. But this worked. good luck!

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C.R.

answers from San Antonio on

When I was in fourth grade my teacher would give us so much homework it would take that long to do it. My mom finally went over there and complained. Turns out that my teacher was so busy trying to gain control of the class all day that she didn't get around to the work. Not my fault. No child should have to do more than an hour and a half of homework per day. They should be outside getting excersise and playing after sitting in school all day.

However, if it's taking this long only because your daughter is complaining so much that it takes the 5-6 hours to do it, give her incentive. Tell her that if she can sit and do her homework for 15 minutes that she can go play in her room for 15 minutes. Keep that up till she's done. To keep it an uninterrupted 15 minutes so that she doesn't ask every 2 seconds if it's 15 minutes yet, simply tell her to watch the clock and show her where the big and little hand should be, and that if she asks about it before time you'll add another minute to her homework time. It should only take her around three hours to do her homework that way and she won't be so fussy. Slowly work to having her do her homework for half an hour before she goes to play for 15 minutes. Pretty soon she'll be finishing her homework in time for dinner and get to play afterward.

If it's the teacher assigning that much homework though, you need to get in there and talk to that teacher and involve the principal too. That's punishment. No child should have to sit and do five hours worth of homework everyday. Not even college students get that much homework. Makes you wonder what the teacher is doing during the day if she assigns that much to take home.

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S.O.

answers from San Antonio on

Let her do it herself the way the teacher wants it. She can come to you with questions if she needs advice. Give her control of it. Be there willingly when she wants your help. Otherwise, I would stay out of it as much as possible. If that doesn't destress the situation, then talk to the teacher. That is way too much time to spend on homework. What about childhood? Some things are more important. The emotional and physical health of your child outweigh a bad mark in homework. My mother used to always tell me (when it was simple assignment) that she already did her homework, it was my turn. I always felt it was harsh. But, now looking back, it made me more responsible, less needy, not stressed out, etc. She did help me on the bigger assignments. She also was willing to look things over for me for assurance. But, she did not hover. My daughter takes her homework very seriously and I have to remember not to hover and let her know that she doesn't need to spend that much time or give that much stress to it. She will stress if I let her. My son, on the other hand, could care less. I have to refrain from hovering as he would cry and cry and cry and it would take forever. No one was happy on school nights. Then, my husband and I backed off. We let him do things his way at his pace most of the time with a little correction and advice. Since we've backed off, the pressure stopped, and it is a happier household. We still have to make sure he does it and that is a struggle in and of itself. But, we are not yelling anymore and he is not crying. Your teacher may be giving too much homework if none of the above applies. Working hard at your school work is soooo much more important than the grade you receive. Knowing that school is just school and not your entire life needs to be remembered. I hope everything works out well for ya'll.

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C.M.

answers from Chicago on

You don't say how old your daughter is, but she shouldn't have that much homework - even in high school. You need to take a look at the overall load and maybe talk to the school if it is out of sync with her age. In the younger years, homework just doesn't do much to reinforce the learning that goes on at school. You should also look at how she's doing her homework and where it is being done. Are there too many distractions? Is it taking place after dinner when she is too tired to focus? If she is crying, that is an indicator that there is some kind of stress associated with the workload. Step back, take a look at the big picture so you can figure out what is going on.

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M.S.

answers from Austin on

Hello, L.:

It looks like you have gotten a lot of great advice from the moms and I would agree that you definitely want to talk with the teacher and see what insight she has to offer with regards to your daughter's classroom performance.

I do run a tutoring business and I have a lot of talented tutors who are certified teachers and have worked with children with possible learning disabilities or kids who just struggle with the overwhelming load of schoolwork.

If you would be interested, we can help. Our rates are much more affordable over other sources, and our tutors offer a nurturing and encouraging learning environment for the students.

I am a mother of three and I can sympathize with wanting to help your child succeed at school. It is a very emotional thing.

Take care and let me know if we can help.

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M.M.

answers from Austin on

I was a teacher for 3 years, before I stayed home with my little girl. If you have time, go in and ask the teacher to help you help your daughter. I spent several times with my students' parents teaching them the ways I was teaching their children. If this doesn't fit into your schedule...ask the teacher to reinforce that there are MANY different ways to solve problems...parents solve problems differently than teachers and differently than students...that's okay. If this teacher is unbending or not willing to compromise, you need to talk to the principal about it. Good luck!

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S.K.

answers from Houston on

I have a 6th grader and the transition from elem. to middle school has been very difficult for her. She's in Ft. Bend also as many of the other has mentioned. I think the teachers are so pressed for time to follow a schedule until the kids aren't truely understanding, but to meet state guidelines, they just move on to the next thing without fully knowing what's going on. The no child left behind is not reworking...We are up some nights until 11 or so. By the time we get home it's already after 6 and of course have to make time for dinner, baths and so forth. Just know your not alone and it's more prominate than you know. ~Best Wishes!

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J.L.

answers from Austin on

My son is the same way. He is ADD, though, so we went to the school and had a meeting with his middle school teachers. We made modifications such as, limiting the number of math problems to do. It is important that he get the concept, not do 100 problem worksheet. If he can get the concept in 10 problems, then great. We also found out that his school offers homework help every day after school, so he stays an extra hour and I pick him up. Most days they help him stay focused and he gets all of his homework done. He is much less likely to act up with the teachers in homework help than with me at home. It is working out great for us and we don't have all the yelling and frustration anymore.

Good luck,
J.
[email protected]____.com

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L.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

A small amount at a time,have some breaks in there have some music going. I am sure that you have heard how music can sooth the savage beast it also works on kids to calm them, when they are tired. Let her pick the music if her music does not work let her know that you will pick some for her she may try harder with this in mind.

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S.S.

answers from Houston on

Google should become your best friend. I have a 3rd and 5th grader and "ask Dr.Math is a great one. If you just put in the topic so much info will come up. Also, their textbooks have interactive websites you can long on too for more interactive help. Ever child learning style is different some are visual and some hands on. Hope this helps. Also take a break and have a snack when they get frustrated. The homework will still be there!

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D.M.

answers from Houston on

L.,
Homework sucks! In my opinion, and I sympathise with the teachers, but I truly believe that in this day and age with both parents working or single parent homes, that the public schools need to address this and get with the program. My daughter went to a private school for two years while we could afford it, and they stressed NO HOMEWORK! They said that the school was responsible for teaching our children and that they did not want the children to be stressed when they went home. (Actually, it wasn't NO HOMEWORK, it was 15 minutes only and if it went over that, we were suppose to end it and send it back for the teachers to deal with.)
My daughter is now back in public school and she has the homework blues. It takes about 2 hours for 1/2 hour worth of work and it is very stressful on both of us. Communicate this with the teachers as much as possible. Let them know how awful it is at night for you both and see if they can come up with a better solution.
Best of luck, and please let me know if you find a way out of this mess!
From one frustrated mother to another ~ I hope that some of us can band together and make some noise!!! We pay for this service to our children, they shouldn't have to go to school at night when they're at home too. At least not all night every night!
I will be anxious to read your responses on this.
Deborah

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E.B.

answers from Houston on

Have tou talked to the teacher? Have you thought about possible learning differences? I had the brightest, smartest kid until midway thru 2nd grade. Turns out she is still bright and smart (above average IQ,in fact) BUT she is dyslexic. It usually shows up around the end of 2nd/beginning of 3rd grade because up until then they can "fake" reading. Smart enough to guess what should come next or what the words should be- until the content gets a little beyond their guessing capabilities. The schools are usually a little hesitant to bring it up before third grade unless it is VERY obvious or you really push- because up until then it could be seen as "normal learning delays" or "developmental". Just a thought. But- TALK to the teacher. Let her know how long it is taking your daughter to do her homework. Ask her if she has concerns. Then do a little research on learning differences.(Google Dyslexia- I remember doing that and reading and thinking "yep, yep, that's her.") Dyslexia is NOT just reversing letters or transposing them. My daughter does not do either of those things. But she can't differentiate vowel sounds. She can't spell to save her life! The schools have excellent programs to help w/ reading issues- but it helps to get started early. (And if she has math issues- get her tested independently. The schools do not have programs for math issues and don't like to work with you on that. My son had problems starting in third grade and I pushed and pushed for testing- but never got it done and never paid to have it done on my own - and now he is in 11th grade and has failed every math class multiple times before finally passing in summer school. He can do the work - he just can't remember or apply it. Definitely a disconnect in his brain but the school has no desire to help with that.) GOOD LUCK!!!

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H.H.

answers from Houston on

It is often hard for a child to take advice from parents. You should ask the teacher or school if there are afterschool tutors you can use - most schools have this. If you can afford one, a private tutor would be good. She may also be having trouble reading, which can be easier than you may think to hide. Just try to talk to her calmly and ask her exactly what is the hardest thing for her - is it too much material, or too hard, or is the teacher not teaching it effectively? Different people learn in very different ways and it's difficult for a teacher to give personal attention to every student.

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C.C.

answers from Beaumont on

My kids are 28, 25, 19, and the way I used to handle homework blues was to find out from the teacher how long the homework should be taking, then set up a quiet place--kitchen table worked, while I was cooking dinner--for homework to be done. No TV or other distractions. There would be a snack after school, then time to work. If the work was supposed to take 30 minutes, I'd set a timer and allow 30 minutes. I'd help if asked, and when the timer went off, the work would be put away, finished or not. This helped shift the responsibility to the child, which is where it belongs. If your daughter can remember how the teacher said to do it, she's already showing responsibility! Let her work, in a focused manner, for a set amount of time, then put it away--this will also help her with time management skills.
I teach 7th grade history, and I tell my students that any given assignment should take no longer than 30 focused minutes at home. Sometimes, 30 focused minutes may take longer than that on the clock, but I don't fuss when they tell me they didn't finish the work. During the year, they work toward making the focused minutes = minutes on the clock.
Talk to her teachers, maybe get her a tutor if that's their solution, but try not to be the "enforcer" here--5-6 hours, crying, yelling: this is too frustrating for all of you! I know this is long, but hope it's a little bit helpful! Good luck!

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M.K.

answers from Sherman on

Are you a SAHM? You should consider homeschooling. I learned early on that it was the only answer for our family. Who else better to bring up our children than us? Best of luck!

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M.D.

answers from Houston on

Hi L.,

Please do not worry. My son is the exact same way. He has been this way since Kinder when he only had to trace his letters. Some kids just take their time and do things a bit differently. He was never one to rush and want to be the first to finish. He was mostly concerned about getting it right and making it look neat. He is a bit of a perfectionist, so this in a combination with the fact that his focus can only last approx 10-15 minutes at a time makes homework time double and triple.

My son also takes everything that is said literally. Most of their homework was multiple choice. So, they had to choose the right answer with it solved AND give a reason as to why the others were not correct. He would literally write 2-3 sentences for each problem. When they have 8 problems and it takes approx 10 minutes each, the time just adds up.

I would suggest speaking to her teacher and asking what the basic format is to complete homework. If they have certain requirements like what my son had to do, then maybe together you can come up with a solution for her specifically. I never did try to make a change in him because he is very routine and in the end, doing homework every day for a minimum of two hours and a max of five hours really became habit forming. Today, it still takes him a while to do homework, but there is no TV or video games allowed and he is just fine with it because he knows that he does not have time. We've always had this rule, so he does not even think twice about it. But, now he also uses this time to study if he is done with his work.
Sometimes we have to take the good with the bad. I recall when he was in kinder wanted to pull my hair out and getting so frustrated that I would start to raise my voice. But, what they need is our support. Have her do her homework while you cook and try to keep the noise to a minimum. Most importantly, if she asks for help, make sure that she attempts to answer the problem first and then let you know where she is having the problem. Sometimes, they can also try to be tricky and ask for help for each problem thinking we will pretty much give them the process and lead them to the answer. I have a nephew who tries that with me and it does not work:) When they realize that they solved it on their own, they become proud of themselves and eventually try to work the problems on their own without asking for help. But, always double check their work cause they can become lazy or rushed and make silly mistakes. Teach her the power of double checking. This habit formed early on is a lifesaver in the end.

Good luck!

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T.S.

answers from Austin on

I am dealing with the same problem with my son, but it sounds like your situation is much worse. I think the advice to talk to the teacher is right on track. If your daughter knows that you and the teacher are on the same page and talking to each other, she will be less inclined to try to manipulate you with "But the teacher said..." Also, restricting access to tv, toys, friends or whatever else she values until homework is done is essential, but I don't agree with restricting snacks. Kids need to eat when they get home from school in order to have the energy to get their homework done. I know it's hard, but try not to take it personally, and definitely don't yell. Remember that it's your daughter's homework, not yours. If she ultimately doesn't get it done, or does it incorrectly, let her face the consequences at school. But do inform her ahead of time that she is responsible for getting it done to the best of her ability, that you will not take that responsibility off her hands, that you expect nothing less than her best, and if she doesn't do it (and ends up with poor grades) let her know that there will be consequences at home for that as well at school. And follow up on it -- take away privileges, time with friends, favorite toys, desserts, etc, until she gets back on track and brings up her performance and grades. Good luck.

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C.C.

answers from San Antonio on

If you are having problems because she simply doesn't want to do this - read "Have a new kid by Friday" the principles work great!

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J.H.

answers from San Antonio on

L.,

Could she have a learning disability that you aren't aware of? Has the teacher mentioned anything?

If not then here is my advice: It sounds like homework has become a really negative experience for everyone. Make sure you've got a routine in place. For us it goes: snack (during snack we talk about the day they had at school), homework, chores and then free time/play time until dinner. Try to stick to a schedule. When it's time to do homework sit down with her and be encouraging and patient. Take a break when she starts getting frustrated so it doesn't escalate into crying/yelling, then come back to it. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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J.H.

answers from Houston on

How old is she and what grade is she in? No child should have to spend 5-6 hours at night on homework. She's already spent all day at school. If you haven't already, have a talk with her teacher. Give her a clock and set a time limit for everything to be finished and if it isn't, then she'll get a zero on homework the next day, and a lot of zeros mean she'll repeat the same grade next year. Does she want her friends to progress and she be left behind? If not, then she'ed better straighten up. Any child old enough to go to school is old enough to learn about responsibility and consequences.

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M.T.

answers from Austin on

Try making it fun. Plus you have to have the patience. There may be more going on then her just not wanting to do it. She may be having trouble understanding it. Anytime she gets something right praise her for it because her not being able to get it may be hurting her self esteem. She may need the praise. If you see she's having trouble try different props or tactics. Ex - math use food, M&Ms, skittles etc, English - toys or skits etc. Sometimes children need something visual to compare it to. The main thing is you have to be patient because if you loose it then it all goes down hill from there. If you see her getting frustrated then you need to change the focus. If it's I can't do it, then you change it to you can and I'll help you. You can also contact the teacher and ask what are some of the things she is doing and try some of those. If you have to make a song out of something you daughter needs to remember.
Good Luck

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C.M.

answers from Houston on

Hi L., I had this same problem. My 9 year old had homework every night last year. It would take him 2-3 hours a night. I do not have the best patience in the world, so it was never a smooth procedure. I yelled when he didn't understand after the 5th time explaining. He used to tell me his teacher never explained how to do it. He maintained a C average in Math all year long.
This year, I told he we would NOT go through that again. Luckily, his teacher is very helpful and understanding this year. I explained the problems of last year, and she said she would tutor my son. He now goes in 25 minutes early twice a week for tutoring. This has helped him maintain his high B average. He still hates homework, but when I don't teach him the way his teacher does, he takes in to her early the next morning at asks her for help.
I think the key is to ask the teacher for help. Sit down and talk this out with there and your child. Most of the time, the teacher will do what she can to help your child succeed. Ask her how she teaches and ask for pointers. Maybe, she can send a note each time the lesson changes with help.
I hope any of this helps yo out. I know exactly how you feel. It is a vicious circle and it stresses families out. Good luck to you!
C.
Mother of 3...ages 9, 4 and 3

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B.H.

answers from Austin on

Your letter sounds like what I went through with my oldest daughter, 16 or so years ago! Looking back on it, I will give you the best advice I can from what I now know. I also work with 12 elementary school children in my home daily and I will draw from those experiences as well.
You do not say how old your daughter is, but I believe you need to immediately talk with the teacher(s) and find out as much as possible from them about how your child is while in school and question her/him about the possibility of vision, hearing or learning disabilities. Find out where her biggest challenge is while at school and question them about what they think might be going on. I would ask what they would do if she were their child and I would make sure I also addressed what your child's strength are. (While your child is struggling like she is, it is very important to focus a lot on her strengths. Your child may be doing the best she can and still suffering and you do not want to damage her self-esteem any further). Become an advocate for her, ask questions of other parents, get online and do research talk with other teachers and look into tutors and possibly Sylvan Learning Center. I know Sylvan is expensive, but I am seeing great results with the children I know going there. I believe through testing, they would be able to diagnose a problem, if there is one and can tutor her and help repair her self-esteem as well. Find a way to seek help, even if it is expensive, for there is a lot of help out there and your child will be learnin for the rest of her life and they may be able to teach her tricks to make life/learning easier for her. These tough experiences in school can snowball and the faster you get help the better. You do not want her to get too far behind in school. By reaching out to tutors or professionals, you will prevent further damage to your relationship with your child. You play such an incredibly powerful and important part in your child's life and well-being that you need to let the professionals do what they do best and save your energy for your daughter in other important ways. Your child really needs your support, love and acceptance during this struggle of hers. Believe in her and let her know that you do and help her understand that you know she will get through this tough time. Be her best advocate and mom! Good luck!

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