I am struggling with my daughter in getting homework done when i get home in the evening.

Stephanie - posted on 04/01/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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She is only 6 and i find that she is just too tired to concentrate. After a long day at work I am aggitated and tired myself and tend to just give in. How can I get her to concentrate for 20 mins and do her homeworkwithout fighting about it.

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Kathy - posted on 04/01/2010

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I have a eight year old and if I do recall I had the same issue at that same age. What worked for me : I get home by 5:30 and it's straight to the kitchen to fix dinner... We are all fed by 6:45ish... I then sit down with my son and while he is doing his homework I read a book to whine myself down or read my mail, magazine you name it... I believe that you yourself need to practice what you want to show your child.... IF he started to complain that he was too tired I sent him to take a bath and sat him down again to finish schoolwork before bed (THAT was the downside for him because I explained the consequences) he then knew that I will not read to him, or no dessert, or his consequences for his leisure activities for weekends. It also meant that the next day he will go to bed an half an hour earlier than usual... His Bedtime was at 7:45ish but not passed 8:15pm. I made it very clear to my son that school work is absolutely a top priority in his life and its his actions will determine his top priority(games, outside play, or Computer/TV). It took some time but he eventually knew that if schoolwork is not done then he will not enjoy fun time as much as he wanted..... Hopefully my motto helped you a bit. Kathy

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Sylvia - posted on 04/03/2010

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Well, I'd start by talking to your daughter and her teacher about why she's regularly bringing work home. That can't be normal for a six-year-old, can it? Is she having trouble concentrating at school? Do they not get enough running-around time? Does she sit near other kids who distract her, or too close to friends that she can't resist talking to? (That's my seven-year-old's trouble, usually :P.) When I see my DD bringing home work more than a couple of days in one week, we sit down and have a little talk about how she has lunch hour and two recesses to talk to her friends, and the more she focuses on getting her work done in class rather than talking to her friends, the more time she has to play with her toys / read comic books / dress up like a superhero / play in the bathroom sink / etc. when we get home in the evening. That generally does the trick for at least a few weeks ;^).

If that doesn't work ... I find it's *very important* for me not to get too involved in the homework. Otherwise, stress and aggravation ensues :P. If there's a question DD can't figure out how to answer because the question doesn't make any sense, as sometimes happens, I tell her it's fine to skip it and ask her teacher the next day. I try very hard not to jump in and tell her she's doing something wrong, and when she asks if an answer is right or not, to help her figure it out herself instead of just jumping in and fixing it for her. It's hard sometimes ...

How about doing a question, then running around the house twice, then doing another question? I've heard a number of people recommend that method, and it makes a lot of sense (studies show people can concentrate better after a bit of exercise). And definitely give her a snack first. Nobody can do homework on an empty stomach :)

Deronda - posted on 04/03/2010

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We had this same problem, at the same age also. There were lots of different things I tried. Using a timer. I would set the timer for 20 minutes, and say "I know you can get this done if you concentrate" If he did, then he had some time to do what he wanted, watch a show, play with toys. sometimes the timer was stressful for him, sometimes it was just what he needed to stay on track. We also divided up the homework. If he had 2 subjects, we would complete one subject, take a short break (5 or 10 mins) and then do the next. I agree with Semantha on the transition time, my boys can NOT do homework immediately when we get home. Also, we had a snack before doing homework. I found it was easier to concentrate when they weren't hungry! Staying on the same schedule helps too. Whatever you decide to do, make it a routine, then she will know exactly when homework time it. Good luck! I hope you find some answers that help!

Semantha - posted on 04/03/2010

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My 2nd daughter had a hard time sitting still, so I would let her run around for 15-20 mins while I cooked dinner. Sometimes she would nap instead. Then we would eat dinner, clean up and THEN tackle homework. Maybe she needs some transition time just like you do! :) OR, send her to her room to play as soon as you get in the door, while you change clothes, etc. Then have her come help you make dinner/set the table, whatever. Small kids often need that transition time to get it straight in their head where they are and whats expected. Ever get to work, get ready to get started, and then cant figure out what needs to be done first? LOL Good luck with her!

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