Is Homework Help Just an Attempt for Attention.?? - Sterling Heights,MI

Updated on February 02, 2008
L.O. asks from Sterling Heights, MI
4 answers

this question is for my friend..
her son is in first grade.. He is easily distracted in class and the teacher moved his desk and tries to give him more attention to keep him on task. At home he acts like he cant do the homework and homework time is a nightmare. How do you know if the childis just messing around to get extra attention from mom and the teacher.

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M.L.

answers from Detroit on

In my experience (as a first grade teacher and a mom), I would say that if the mom and the teacher are giving him adequate attention in other areas, it probably is not a cry for attention. If his needs are met (both emotional as well as academic), he probably truly needs the help.

I have found that allowing children 20-30 minutes of play time when they get home allows them to better focus when it is homework time. In first grade, Homework should only be 10-15 minutes in length. As you near the end of the year, it may build to 20 minutes. If you find that the work is difficult enough to take longer than that, have a talk with the teacher. Also, I would encourage your child to have a snack (or dinner) 15 minutes before any homework time. This will give him a boost of energy for thinking. Also, Mozart has been long documented as having a positive effect on children's performance in school. there is a wonderful CD called "The Mozart Effect". Many teachers use it in classroom. You play it just before any test taking or activities that require major concentration. This music stimulates the brain in such a way that children perform better.

It is possible that the child could have attention deficit, the work is too difficult, eyesight problems, low self-esteem about school, etc. If the problem persists, the mom should have a meeting with the teacher and possibly the pediatrician to rule out other issues.

HTH

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J.B.

answers from Detroit on

I'm going to answer with a wishy-washy "Yes and No." He could very well have a difficult time staying on task in order to accomplish tasks and finish homework. I have a son who is like that and I sit next to him while he does his homework (I play around on my laptop). He doesn't actually need my help - he just needs me to direct him to stay on task. BTW - he's in 6th grade now. It wasn't as big a deal when he was younger because homework and school tasks were not nearly as big as they are now in Middle School.

Now for the attention part - my daughter in 3rd grade fits that description. She constantly asks for help on homework on items I know she's fully capable of doing. I can't decide it it's an attention issue or a confidence issue (she's not confident that she's doing things right and needs reassurance).

So, now I've actually added a third possibility to the mix if you think about it - the confidence issue.

The reason I know that my daughter is fully capable of doing the homework herself is because she will actually do it without my help if for some reason I have to be out for the evening. She will, however, request that I check her answers - which I would do anyway - when I get home.

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S.M.

answers from Detroit on

Ahhh a son! I have 4 children..and one of my boys is 8. I have trouble with him at homework time because he would rather move around "fidget" or say "i cant do this" Most the time its out of "laziness" simply they would rather be playing //or watching tv. i have actually for at home..walked him into his bedroom and we sat on the floor and did the homework..it to me to walk him there and actually be by his side..For my house i have 3 other kids all around and are a distraction..i have noticed boys do get distracted very easily..Try a quiet room with just mom and the boy..see if this helps..and "pretend to be excited about the homework" they may change thier attitude as well..I know its tough!

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J.R.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Lisa O.,

Your friend has done the right thing to bring the issue to the Teacher's attention and have as many distractions quelled. Great work so far. Now she may want to make other considerations, especially in light of the fact that the second marking period is over and we have just 1/2 year to go with so much to accomplish before the school year is over.

It is doubtful that the need for homework help or classroom distractedness is just an attempt for attention. If the child is "acting like he can't do the homework and homework time is a nightmare" he probably really does need the help. Kids usually are truly trying to do their best and like to please whenever it is possible. If the child is struggling, it is best to get help now. Is the attention to task often an issue? Is the problem with initiating tasks, maintaining tasks, and/or finishing tasks? Since you have been seeing this behavior at school and at home, it may be time to get an evaluation for a learning difficulty, or Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Innatentiveness or Hyperactivity. There could be other reasons. I recommend the parents talk with the child's Pediatrician and get a qualified evaluation. Don't stop there. Talk with the teacher and ask her what she has seen in class. Let her know of your concerns. Remember you and the teacher and school staff are partners in your child's education. You are your child's best advocate. Schools can offer testing to see where the child's skill levels are and can make recommendations for extra help or additional assessment tools. There is so much help available. Do not be afraid to get help. Small problems can turn into bigger problems if left unattended. The biggest tragedy is when kids do not get the help they need and get turned off to learning and start feeling bad about themselves and hating school.

Reassure your friend that there is so much help this child can get in school to make sure he is the most successful he can be .