how do I stay calm when working with my children on their school work?

Jennifer - posted on 01/07/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My oldest acts as if he has no brain, he gives me this poutty face when I ask him to give an answer. If he is incorrect I help by showing him where he went wrong and how to correct it. Any answer is better than him playing like he can't answer at all. I'm getting upset because he is smart and he does NOT have any disabilites. What would you do?

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I thought I'd add something to my original response. When you have him explain to you how to work a math problem or correct a sentence (or whatever he's doing) make it very easy for him. Make sure it is something that you know he knows how to do. 80% of everything a kid reads needs to be easy for them. That builds their confidence. That doesn't mean we don't challenge them. But start with the easy stuff and build your way to the harder stuff. On the way he will make connections and start to figure out the harder stuff himself. When I was teaching I would make silly mistakes on purpose. I would leave a period off the end of a sentence and the lowest level students would catch it. I would say something like,"Wow, I can't believe you caught that! Thanks, you're so smart." This would build their confidence over time and they would be more willing to try something a little more difficult.

[deleted account]

Here is a fun activity I used to do with my fourth graders (got the idea from a 1st grade teacher and modified it). I would complete a worksheet but have several wrong answers on it. I gave the students stickers and they had to put stickers on the correct answers. Then they had to tell me why the others were wrong and correct them. That might be hard to do with homework but instead of telling him how to get the answer, let him tell you. You could get a separate sheet of paper and write several math problems (or sentences) out and make some incorrect. Then have him correct them with your guidance. This may help him build the confidence he needs so he can do it himself. After he tells you how to do it, walk away and let him do his homework by himself. When he's done check it. You should be able to tell if he truly put forth effort or if he goofed off. After he's done (and the homework is done correctly) give him some sort of reward. Sticker charts work well, after 5 stickers or whater, let him chose a toy from the dollar store or get a snack he normally wouldn't get. He needs motivation so give it to him! If he doesn't put any effort in then no tv time or outside time (you know what works best).

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Sarah - posted on 01/07/2010

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Not sure if this will help you or not. Your situation sounds a little different than how mine was with my daughter, but thought I would share. My daughter is a very independent learner. She likes to figure things out on her own and will get upset with you if you are trying to help her when she does not want the help. So what I have found that works best for us, is to have her either do her work on her own at the table (tv, radio, etc. are off so it is a good home work environment). or in her room (she has a desk and enjoys doing home work on it). I let her know that if she has questions or needs help with something then to let me know. She does ask for help if she can't get it. Sometimes when she asks for help it will take a few tries of trying to explain it to her in different ways. I find that the way I learned it is not always the way they are learning in school and it confusses her when I try to explain it my way. During this part I just have to be patient. I have noticed that when I get frustrated then she gets upset and frustrated. So I just have to keep claim and keep trying different ways. I also validate her frustration by letting her know that I know she is frustrated, but she can get it (or we can get it). This helps to acknowledge her feelings but encouraging her to keep going and that we can get it. Anyway not sure if this will help your situation or not. I understand that homework frustration and wanting to really help your child.

Evelyn - posted on 01/07/2010

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MAYBE HE JUST DON'T WANT TO STUDY WITH U . IM THE ONE THAT ALWAYS DO HOMEWORK WITH MY KIDS BUT ONE DAY MY HUSBAND ASK ME CAN I HELP? I SAID YES WHY NOT,BUT I STARTED SEEN MY SON GIVING MY HUSBAND WRONG ANSWER,MY HUSBAND GOT UPSET AND SCREAM AT HIM ,I WENT UP TO MY SON AND ASK HIM WHATS WRONG WITH U ? ALL HE SAID WAS I DON'T LIKE STUDYING WITH DAD.BECAUSE HE DON'T UNDER STANDS ME BUT U DO.SOW I REALIZE THAT DADDY WAS NOT GOOD TO HELP ME OUT WITH THE KIDS.ANOTHER WAY IS ASK HIM OUT IF HI WANT SOME ELSE TO HELP HIM OUT WITH THE HOME WORK. SOW GOOD LUCK..

Monica - posted on 01/07/2010

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i turn off the tv radio computer everything i sit at his table so i am on his level and it just takes lots of patience and try to make it fun use lots of toosl like coins sticks scrap paper stuff liek that.HTH
i kno i always need patience and try 2 remember this myself! it gets frustrating.O and another thing when we get off school he comes home changes into house clothes has a snack (NOTHING sugary) maybe a peanut buter jelly wheat sandwich or a ham sandwhich.we need to remember these kids sometimes start eatin luch at 10:30 am.

Jennifer - posted on 01/07/2010

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My son is 6yrs old, yes this has started already, I want to get him feeling good and confident about school because (of course) I wasn't. This is my biggest stress I am worried that I'm going to fail him. Not give him the support and information he needs, all because I can't stay calm. Thanks for the comments.

Joy - posted on 01/07/2010

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maybe you can make it a game. like for math...you can set a timer and see how long it takes him to do his math facts...then see how many are right. And try again! I also make sure my four kids eat a snack right after school and they have to do homework before any other activity. Including tv, phone, base ball, cub scouts. They would miss out and then they would learn from that. hope this helps a little

Michelle - posted on 01/07/2010

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I go through this every single day with both of my guyswhile homeschooling. I show them how to do a particular math problem and them have them show me they understand then leave them to it. If they are goofing off I give them extra work so the buckle down and work. If you son is playing you he will wise up that your not going to play the game and if he truely is confused the extra work will help him practice.

Jane - posted on 01/07/2010

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First have a shot of whisky...LOL just kidding of course. Just keep @ it & maybe not let him leave the table (or where ever he's sitting to do his homework) make sure there are no other distractions. In our house my 13 year old is not allowed to do anything until his homework is done. It's hard when you know they are smart but just aren't putting any effort into their work. I told my son that if he doesn't have his homework done he's the one that has to deal w/ his teacher not me. If he comes home w/ a bad grade on his report card because he's not putting all his effort in then he gets things taken away; phone, video games, TV, friends...whatever is important to him @ that time. I forgot to ask how old is he? It could just be the age he's at too.

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