Homework Troubles - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 01-25-2005, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm new here and love the site.

I have a 5.5yo who refuses to do her HW. Some days are great, she does em fast and furious. But those days are few. Most of the time it's a long process, she begins to cry, is now giving us some mouth off attitute and it eventually escalates to us shouting, removing the toys, and sending her to her room to do it herself because we just can't deal with it.

In the end, we are all frazzled out, hubby and I, and my 5yo is just all upset.

We follow through with threats, take away toys she likes and if awful bad, take away gymnastics etc.

We are attachement parenting couple, family bed, nursing etc. I thought this would be easier, but kindergarden is proving to be beyond my parenting abilities.

Why is this so hard? Are we the only ones?
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#2 of 16 Old 01-25-2005, 11:53 PM
 
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moving this thread to the Learning at School forum!
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#3 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 12:41 AM
 
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Wow. I don't think that homework for a 5.5 yr old is worth this much trauma. I wouldn't make her do it and explain the situation to the teacher.

just my $.02

-Angela
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#4 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 01:05 PM
 
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I would talk to the teacher, too.

Is the homework difficult? Or time-consuming? Kindergarten homework should be neither of those, and a lot of kindergarten teachers give no homework at all. My DD does get some, but it is set up to be easy and quick, just to sort of get the kids used to the idea of homework.

It sounds as though it has turned into a real struggle at your house. The teacher should be willing to work with you on this. See what she (he?) says.
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#5 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 01:19 PM
 
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I am amazed your daughter has homework in Kindergarten. What does she usually have to do?
My crew are in school in Ohio and never had homework in Kindergarten. In first grade they only had a baggie book to read in the evening and spelling words to practice. We usually just spelled them out loud unless they had trouble on the practices at school with writing them out. In second grade my son had math homework on occasion, but nothing else typically. My daughter is currently in second grade and the teacher never assigns homework. She asks that we go over math facts with her in the evenings and she has a reading folder to complete every six weeks. She has six weeks to read a certain number of books. When she reads chapter books each chapter counts as one book. My oldest is currently in third grade and has math nightly and brings study guides home when he has tests coming up in science or socail studies.
I can't imagine why a teacher would need to assign homework in Kindergarten.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#6 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 01:23 PM
 
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There's homework in kindergarten?? I had no idea. The most I've ever seen is 'family projects' where you do a collage about your family or the season, or bringing home books to read together. What kind of homework does she have? What role does the teacher see it playing in the kids' education?

The switch to formal education sounds like a big one with her, and she may not be keen on it spilling over into her unscheduled time too. I don't think I'd be taking away things that she likes to do, because that just reinforces the notion that "you're in school now, it takes over everything and all fun things will end."

I don't know what kind of homework it is - is there any way to make it into a game together? Or to turn it around so it's not 'do this, or I'll take that away,' but instead 'do this, and then when you're done we get to do that fun thing'? If it's work that you feel is important you could try explaining why to her, as well. Personally, though, if it is 'busywork' and causing this much trouble, I'd just de-emphasize it, rather than put her off learning in the long term. You can't 'make' her do her homework, in the end.
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#7 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 01:25 PM
 
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I will qualify this by saying that we homeschool, but I have friends and sisters whose children go to school. Is your dd in full day Kindergarten? That is a long day for a 5 y/o. She may not be able to focus any longer in the afternoon or feel like doing "busy work" worksheets after a long day. She may really that time to decompress, relax and PLAY.

I agree with talking to the teacher and trying to find out why she has homework, how it relates to what they are learning and find a solution for your family. Setting up such a struggle over homework at age 5 is a negative pattern, it may affect her for a long time.

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#8 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with many of you about hw in Kindergarden. But she's also in an advanced class, and her teacher is wonderful.

I would prefer she'd have more play with clay, blocks etc. but it's not the way it works and I can't afford to stay at home or private school.

her hw is predictable. math night on mondays...typically write 1- 100 by 2's 5's and 10's etc. some simple addition.

tuesday is spelling a set of five words plus one sentece. sit, pit, it, mit, bit etc.

wed is write about something....like tonight it's how to keep a snowman "alive" in Florida.

it shouldn't be time consuming with her intelligence, but she has serious issues with writting, and writting backwards etc.

I used to supplement with homeschooling when she was in pre-k. but now hw takes so long, there's no time for the fun things like science etc.

grrr...I'm so frustrated. darn standardized test puts all these administrators treating these kids as possible failures and find the need to everwhelm them with repetitive work.
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#9 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 09:18 PM
 
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Maybe the advanced class is too stressful for her. My son is highly intelligent and able to work beyond his grade, but we keep him where he is too help his socail development along. I am not saying she can't do the work b/c obviously she can, I would be concerned with her growing to dislike everything about school if is keeps going the way it is.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#10 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 09:28 PM
 
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What if you set aside a special homework time? If you gave her plenty of advance warning, like, "In 10 minutes, it will be homework time," and then warned her two or three more times leading up to the designated time.

You could also try setting a timer -- kids like to try to beat a clock. (Not that she must finish it within the allotted time, just that she needs to work on the HW for, say, 5 mn.)

If she refuses, perhaps you could let her go to school without her homework done and let her deal with the natural consequences of those actions. Young children don't like to be the only one NOT to do something, they don't like the disapproval of their teacher. Perhaps if she saw she was the only one not doing it, it would motivate her. (And maybe you could write a note to the teacher letting her know what's going on, that you're letting her deal with the natural consequences of her actions.)

HTH!
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#11 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 09:44 PM
 
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Houdini and reader both have some good advice. I like the idea of making it fun, maybe having some hot chocolate together while you do it or something?

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#12 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hmmmm Hooooot choooocolate. wonderful idea even if we do live in FL!

lol
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#13 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 10:01 PM
 
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:LOL

How about ice pops?? M&M's??? Just kidding!

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#14 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hmmmmm cavities and sugar rush! LOL

actually, skittle aren't so bad. but isn't that bribing? LOL who says bribing is so bad anyway!!! heheheh
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#15 of 16 Old 02-04-2005, 07:09 AM
 
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That sounds like alot of homework for a Kindergartener. i agree with another poster that maybe the advanced class is too stressful for her. Sometimes the kids have the intelligence to do the work, but when they are young it is just too much. My daughter is in a full day kindergarten and her homework is very simple: read story, math worksheet, number worksheet, stuff like that.

Stressing in kindergarten is not a very good way to start off her school career. I would definitely talk to the teacher and talk to several other parents to see if their kids are experiencing the same things. Maybe it's time to change some things?

Good luck, update us and let us know how things turn out!
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#16 of 16 Old 02-04-2005, 09:45 PM
 
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Hm... Clearly what you have tried isn't working. Some things that might help, but I don't know if you have already gone through all of this. If you have, forgive me for repeating.

* What is the timing now? Does she have to do this as soon as she gets home? Or after dinner? Whatever you are doing, maybe rethink? If after dinner, maybe when she gets home. If right when she gets home, maybe she would be better after some play time and food?
* How about place? If alone in her room, maybe she needs to be with the family at the dining table or something? Or maybe she needs more quiet?
* Finally, how about help? If you are sitting with her, what happens if you stop? If you are leaving her alone, then maybe if you sat with her and did stuff of your own while she worked?

It sounds like you are all locked in a huge power struggle and she is getting lots and lots of attention by not doing her work. If it were me, I think I would experiment with the couple of factors that seem to have the most to do with homework and then leave her alone. Maybe one reminder each day, nothing else. Let her make her own decisions to do or not do and then take the consequences at school. I doubt that bad grades in kindergarten are going to make a difference for college acceptance. Maybe this is the perfect opportunity to let her struggle a bit without your pressure.
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