I have 3 kids, with two in elementary, grade 1 and 2. They both bring home at least a half hour of homework everyday. Needless to say, its not easy and sometimes it ends with all three of us crying, or screaming in frustration, while my 1 year old son is crying for his soother (which I'm trying to take away at the moment).
Anyways, after a particularly difficult night with my first grader, I finally told her that she can face the music with her teacher if she doesn't want to learn. I can no longer fight with her about her homework, if she doesn't want to learn, I can't force her.
But my real question is; is it normal to have so much homework at this age, and should I be worried about a defiant child and if she will forever be behind now because she doesn't do her homework properly?
sidenote: both my girls attend school in their second language. They have no other option as their are no english schools where we live.
Thanks for any info that may put my soul at ease,
Hey Megs, this is a subject that most of us either have dealt with or are dealing with. I had 3 kids 4 years apart and dealt with homework ad nauseum every single day. Yes -- I do think that 1/2 hour of homework even for the young'uns is appropriate.
What I did to ease the tension was made it as fun as I possibly could. Since 1st grade, when my kids came home they marched immediately into the kitchen, sat at the breakfast bar and started homework while I fixed their after-school snacks (their fav things in the world). Their mind was still on school so it wasn't a big readjustment, they had to wait for the food anyway, and they got fed as they were doing their homework.
It grew to be a big routine with my kids and I never really had a problem. But I suspect that if I had waited until later in the day after they had played for a while, there would've been issues. And I also suspect that if I had not been completely consistent with the routine, there would've been issues.
Thats the same routine we use. It can be really nice sometimes, but I feel that right now with my first grader, I can't do much more to make her do her homework other than let her embarrass herself in front of her teacher and classmates when she doesn't know whats going on so that maybe it will hurt her pride enough to motivate her to work harder. I know its hard for her in her second language, but at the same time I know she's capable of it. But what is the limit? My patience is already running out and its only the beginning of the school year. God I hope this gets easier. Thanks for responding Irohner! Always helpful and much appreciated!
Letting her embarrass herself won't help. Tried that with my youngest and it backfired bigtime. Is she in ESL classes? If not, maybe she needs extra help is English is a second language? But whatever you do and no matter how hard it gets, don't give up the routine and the praise.
English is their first language. French is their second. They do have extra classes called 'Francisation'(frenchifying, is what I call it). It is about 30 minutes every cycle (9 days) that helps them with their grammar tenses and comprehension skills. So far, I don't know how much it is helping. My children are completely bilingual, but because they have to learn 2 words (one in french, and one in english) for every new word they learn, their vocabulary is not as advanced as their peers. Of course, in time, they will be fine and will catch up, and be better for it, but its a difficult time for all of us.
Ah homework! Well it seems homework comes at a younger age than I remember. We probably didn't do it technically correct but we weren't above bribery. We made it obvious that rewards come from hard work. As he got older we treated school work as his job and rewards were his pay. He responded well to that but he was also very competitive and wanted to be the best at everything. We did have to slow that down a little bit because he wasn't as gracious in defeat as we felt was polite. He also played sports and that was allways hinging on his grades but he was even more competitive on the playing fields. Some families found that alittle uncomfortable so his coach had a talk about being good losers, yikes! Our son was really mad after the coaches talk and we asked why and he said I don't want to be a good loser! Who wants to be good at losing? So we clarified sportsmanship vs loser and he cooled down alittle. I guess be flexible find what works and be prepared to change on the fly. As always, lots and lots of love.
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