Already fighting with my 6 year old to do homework...

Jennifer - posted on 03/04/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I have a 6 year old who is in the 1st grade and I have to fight with him daily to get his homework done. Does anyone have any advice on some things I can do to make the homework process go smoother? I didn't think the fighting about homework would start until later on in school, but they have so much to do every night. Please help!!

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Maria - posted on 02/04/2013

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I was in the same boat. I talked to his teacher and she came up with this idea to tell my son that I will report to her every day if he did his homework or not. In case he didn't he would have to do it during recess. It worked! First thing he does when he gets home is do his homework :)

Sylvia - posted on 03/05/2010

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Why would a six-year-old have homework every day? That sounds to me like a sign that he's not doing what he's supposed to be doing at school during the day -- why else would all this work be coming home? Since you say you're fighting about it "daily," I'm assuming we're not talking about a list of spelling words once a week and the occasional science experiment (which is the maximum level of "on-purpose" homework I would expect for a kid in the primary grades).

Whenever my seven-year-old brings home work a couple of days in a row, we have a little talk about how if you spend less class time talking to your friends about [whatever it is girls in Grade 2 talk about LOL] and more time doing your work, you don't end up having to do the work at home, and then you have more time to {read Harry Potter / play Littlest Pet Shops / think up new ways to make your room look like a tornado went through it / play dress-up / do gymnastic on mummy and daddy's bed / read comic books / etc.}. Then we have a few weeks with no homework ... and then the whole cycle repeats itself after a while, but at least we had a break :P

Anyway, if I were you I'd start by having that little talk with him, and you might also talk to his teacher and see what the situation is in the classroom (does he need to sit at a different table where he won't be so distracted, or nearer to the teacher's desk where she can remind him to stay on task? are there certain times of day when he has more trouble concentrating? do the kids get enough running-around time during the day?).

Also, I find that when my DD does for some reason have homework to do, it's a lot easier to get her to do it if she has a snack first. Otherwise she's ravenous and can't focus at all, and a sheet of addition problems that should take her five minutes ends up dragging on for half an hour because she procrastinates :P

Anyway, good luck! Homework sucks.

Diana - posted on 03/08/2010

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I believe this homework is to get the childeren used to doing homework for when they get older. the work is usually not that hard or time comsuming the kids just hate that after a long day at school the still have to do more. it also keeps parents in the loop of what your kid is doing in school

Jennifer - posted on 03/04/2010

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Thanks Keisha! In Kindergarten they did get all there assignments on Monday, but this year they get them nightly. They have reading, math, vocab. words, spelling words and CRCT practice pretty much every night. I have 2 smaller children that I try to keep occupied while we do his homework and the rules in our house are very similar to yours. He is doing the same thing your son is...whining and just not interested, but he is very smart and its not a challenge for him. I think he is just so tired of sitting still in school, when he gets home he wants to run free! Thanks so much for the input!

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DeAnna - posted on 05/01/2014

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Our first graders (all of them) in Colorado have homework every day... my 7 year old daughter cries , about it too

Eva - posted on 04/09/2014

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I am upset that he doesn't sit and do it on his own without me reminding him. Everyday I have to remind him about his homework and his piano practice and he will not do it if I am too busy with something that I forget. Is it even reasonable to expect a 6 years old to do anything without a reminder? Am I to demanding?

Barb - posted on 02/03/2013

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My 6 year old son is in grade one and he mostly just has language(spelling) homework each night....Mon-write word list, Tues-write word list in alphabetical order, Wed-write sentence using word list, Thurs-practice word list for test on Fri......we are in Ontario, Canada

Jennifer - posted on 03/09/2010

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Sylvia, I did not take it that you were being mean! He is in a public school and I have some friends with 1st graders in the same county but at different schools that have the same amount to do. I agree that it is to much for a 1st grader, but what do I do about it. If it's the required amount for Georgia how do I change it?

Diana - posted on 03/08/2010

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my 7yr old is the same, there is always a argument when its mentioned. when we get home he has a snack sometimes while doing home work. I try to get my 5yr old to play quietly during the work. he does what is due the next day first if it take more than 1/2 hour I give a break.15min. he does his reading with dad before bedtime (I dont know if they do the right amount of time but he reads) I also tell him how upset his teacher or class will be if he doesnt bring it in.(they have an incentive of if everyone bring in their homework 5 days in a row they get a party) threts work great with my kids or bribery

Sylvia - posted on 03/08/2010

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It's not that he is not doing it in school...every student has it every night. He is a very good student and never gets in trouble, he just does not want to do his homework!

Really? All the Grade 1 kids have homework every night, on purpose? I think that's awful!! And I'm sorry if it sounded like I was being mean to your son -- I honestly was just thinking of my own family situation, and it never for a moment occurred to me that any Grade 1 teacher would assign homework to all the kids every night on purpose. What a pointless waste of everyone's time! I don't blame him for not wanting to do it -- he's got important playing and hanging around to do!

Is this normal in schools where you are? Or is it just the one school, or the one teacher? Because honestly, if my kid were in that situation at such a young age, I'd be looking around for another school :( If it's the norm, though, I guess there's really nothing you can do but try and live with it.

A friend of mine (whose kids are now uni-age) found that a lot of her sons' classmates were turning in projects obviously done, or mostly done, by their parents. Her sons were feeling bad that their friends' work looked so much better than theirs did. She told them, "Some mums and dads don't understand how capable their kids are, so they think they have to do their work for them. That's too bad, because the kids miss out on the fun of doing the project, and they don't learn anything! But don't worry, because you are learning, and your teachers will know that you did all the work yourself, and they'll be proud of you." It seems to have worked, because her older son is now through his MA and working in his field while looking into PhD programs, and the younger one is finishing his BA while working on the university's student newspaper :)

Jennifer - posted on 03/08/2010

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Thanks everyone for the advice! I do think they have to much homework in 1st grade and I have spoken to his teacher. It's not that he is not doing it in school...every student has it every night. He is a very good student and never gets in trouble, he just does not want to do his homework! I will take some of your different methods and apply them!

Tracy - posted on 03/05/2010

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I agree with Keisha's advice and I pretty much have the same rules for my kids when it comes to homework (it's really a balancing act when you have four kids ranging from 2 to seven). The only other thing that I started doing is setting a timer for homework time. I talked to their teachers about this and guess what? If they don't complete their homework by the time that the buzzer goes off, they have to finish it the next day during recess. This has been very helpful and it teaches them that there are consequences for not being responsible.

Claire - posted on 03/05/2010

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i have trouble with both my boys over homework,my 6yr old hates it if he has to do any writing but if it reading then he will do it all nite,maybe its because hes a really good reader and enjoys it but he really dosent like the writing part....my 10yr old hates any kind of homework and will even clean his bedroom instead of doing homrwork ..so he must really hate it.lol...all u can do is praise when he does it,and persevere.good luck.x

Katrina - posted on 03/05/2010

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My girl is 10 in May and we still fight over homework I wish there was a secret way to stop it to but i just keep plodding along every night and we do get it done

Vuyokazi - posted on 03/05/2010

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my son who is 7 is a slow learner u can teach him 1 week the same things he can't get it right..especially sums,and this year he doesn't come with homeworks..i don't know what is he doing at shcool when i ask him he said they were drwing on grade?

Rebecca - posted on 03/05/2010

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my daughter just started grade one and she is not so keen on starting her homework, but once we get to it, she actually enjoys it -- well i make it enjoyable, as i make jokes about somethings, and i give her a lot of encouragement. when she gets stuff right, i say how proud i am. when she gets something wrong, i teach her patience (she gets very mean to herself about mistakes) and remind her that we have to practice to get something right -- and she will only be able to get it perfect by practice.

however, it sounds like your son is getting a lot of homework, and this is inappropriate. the maximum recommended is 10 minutes per grade. i.e. 10 minutes for grade 1, 20 minutes for grade 2, etc. if it takes longer than that, and to me it sounds like it would, then i would discuss it with his teacher. if the school insists that so much homework is needed, then rather break it down into 10 minute chunks -- do 10 minutes, say with the spelling, give 1/2 break to play, give 10 minutes with maths, etc.

my daughter doesn't usually do all her homework in one sitting. she does the fun stuff first, then she gets a full hour, and then has to do her most hated activitiy -- hand writing practice -- the whining takes longer than the actual practice. the other day i time her whining and timed how long it took to get done; pointed out to her the substantial difference -- i.e. more time spent whining, and the next day she did it without any whining. LOL!

Keisha - posted on 03/04/2010

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Oh boy....My son is in Kindergarten and i have to go through this with him everyday it seems. He does it but he wines the whole time...and its not hard work for him either..he just doesn't feel like doing it. This is my routine for him. When he gets home he gets a snack. If my youngest is there at the time I try to give him something to do to keep him occupied. No playing and no television is turned on until after the homework is done. As soon as he finishes his snack, I sit there with him while he does the work, help him with it and makes sure he stays focused and gets it done. After that, he can do whatever he wants. I'm not sure how homework is handled in your sons class, but my son gets all of his assignments on a Monday and has to turn them in on Friday. They separate the work by day , but it all has to be turned in on Friday. If he happens to have a lot to do on one particular day, I sometimes let him do some of it on that day and finish the rest on another light day. Either way, nothing is going on in the house until he finishes his homework.....The trick is getting my husband to cooperate and follow my schedule when he's there afterschool and I'm not..LOL!

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