Thanks you for all of the suggestions!
Originally Posted by LynnS6
What time is your dh trying to do it with her?
We've tried various times, but are limited by . Bedtime is around 8:00, and she gets home form school between 4:00 and 4:30. The bedtime routine takes 45 min to an hour and dinner can take 30 minutes to an hour. DSD is a dawdler - she takesher time eating dinner, brushing her teeth... and doing her homework. We've tried giving her some time after school to chill out and do whatever before starting homework, but a lot of the time she just wants to get started on it right away. So most nights, she probably starts by 4:30, takes a break for dinner, then does it until the amount that needs to be done that night is complete. It always feels like we are trying to cram a lot into 4 hours, but it is all necessary.
Originally Posted by Alyantavid
Why not just help with her homework every night and leave dh out of it?
This would be the easiest. DH wants to be involved in homework. The fact that he is the parent and I am the stepparent comes into play as well. I think that he feels that he "has" to be involved where my involvement would be more voluntary. The final issue is that I am often cooking dinner when this is going on, and although I could do both at the same time, DH might feel bad about making me do everything. If he is gone, we have no choice though.
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
I'm not sure what you have already tried, but here are some things we eventually worked as as helpful. For us it was mostly about finding the right combination of circumstances for maximum ease of homework.
* Minimal temptations. We made it a family rule that the TV is off during homework time, even though DD doesn't have much homework yet. That minimized DSs "I'm missing out" feelings.
* Place. We settled on dining room table. In his room he just got distracted and/or he felt isolated. Now sometimes he will work in the office if there is too much going on around the house, but he's getting better at getting things done.
* Involvement of parent. We check to make sure the work is done but we don't "help" much. We don't even really correct work beyond saying "have you double checked that?" if we see a mistake. I would say that if she was expected to write something, she should be able to do that on her own. If the verbs are wrong, let the teacher deal with that. If you check and correct it all, the teacher has no way of knowing if she needs additional help.
The TV is generally off - we aren't TV free but pretty close. DS is often running around, so seeing him able to play might be annoying. We've tried having her do homework in her room (we set up a desk specifically for homework), but the distractions there are almost as big as the distractions in the main part of the home (we have a 2BR apt). She'll sometimes start writing notes or drawing pictures if left alone in there for 10 minutes. But at the dining room table, she is in the middle of all of the commotion. It seems lose-lose. I'd love to be able to take her somewhere else, but with DS and soon another baby, it wouldn't be feasible at this moment in time.
With any homework other than writing something, we generally do the "Why don't you double-check that one" move. With the writing things, the directions usually state, "Help your child write blah blah blah." She just doesn't have the vocabulary in Spanish to write what she knows how to say in English. And DH and definitely don't have the vocabulary.
This is one that I really will have him bring up at spring conferances.
Originally Posted by gingerstar
Given what you said about her doing it quickly and with no issues with you, it really sounds like it might be an attention thing.
My thought would be to entice her to do her homework with a "carrot on a stick", so to speak.... Whenever possible ( I know you said sometimes it has to be your DH) try to do her homework with you (DH is "terribly busy" with something else) and tell her that as soon as her homework is done and DH is done with his busywork, that then he will, say, read a favorite book, or a new book, or play a game with her, or go for a walk together, etc... whatever she would really love to do, and it can be just the two of them.
Soon she will learn that doing her homework quickly, no matter who is helping her, will get her that daddy-time she wants, in a much better way than what is happening now.
This might be the solution. It's weird, the dynamic when DH is here is just so different than when it is just me. I might sit down with him and work out a schedule for the week where we pick a couple of days for dinner to be easy and him to go to the Y and workout after work. I wonder if I get her started before he gets home if that would make a difference? Then when he gets home, he can just goof around with the kids.
This would probably be the best, the only problem with this being that although the homework usually comes home on Monday, sometimes the teacher forgets and sends it on Tuesday. Or half on Monday, then half on Wednesday. Her teacher is pretty disorganized and terrible about communication - other parents we know feel the same way. This school has been so annoying this year that there is no way the other two kids are going there.
After DSD leaves for her mom's, I think I'll have a talk with DH and see if he wants to try a new approach with homework. Anything has to be better than the current situation.