I know hate it a very strong work, but I seriously hate homework. Homework time at our house is filled with high anxiety, tantrums and lots of tears. In my dream world homework wouldn't exist. I wish we could leave school and just play, but that's not how things work. I guess homework is suppose to help children establish a study habit and learn to focus and follow through with work. But this learning process is painful on both the parent and child, at least in our house.
So what do I do? I'm really not sure what to do to make homework less stressful and tantrum inducing. We've tried to establish a routine: snack then homework with short breaks. We've tried to start homework earlier in the day, so we're still struggling with it come bed time. We've tried to stagger homework ... a day on, a day off. It's always a chore and I know that Shelby dreads it as much as I do. I'm at a loss.
Yesterday's homework experience was particularly bad. It included a lot of "I am stupid," "Everyone is smarter than me," and "I can't stand mom." It breaks my heart to hear Shelby attack herself. She's a very bright girl, but she struggles to focus (she does have ADHD) and she is a bit lazy (our fault for doing too much for both kiddos). Some of the issues Shelby struggles with can be managed and overcome by creating new habits. I really feel like a cruddy parent because I have taken the easy route and not enforced some stronger rules and more structured living.
All of this needs to change. Yesterday I decided to take drastic measures to change to vibe in our home. No technology during the week. This means no TV, no computers, no iPads, no iPods, no video games on school nights. Shockingly, the kids didn't seem all the bothered by this last night and instead used their imaginations and played together until bedtime. Also, there will be no eating dinner out. We waste a lot of time and money dining out, plus it's not a healthy choice. I've made a challenge out of this one. If we stay on track of not eating out for a month, we'll go as a family to Funtastiks. We'll also be enforcing bedtime, which has slipped later and later because it's easier to let the kids stay up than fighting with them to go to bed. They need their sleep and being tired has a direct effect on how well (or not so well) homework time goes.
I'm going to start with these three things and go from there. It's time to make tough decisions in order to prepare my kids and arm them with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed. I don't want to be a meany, but I'm hurting my kids by being a softy.
Here's my questions for you ... what can I do so both my kids and I don't hate homework?