Tips for helping your child with their schoolwork, from a mom who yelled.
I did it. I lost my cool. After a month of being on the ball, rolling with the punches and maybe being to lenient with homework, I finally yelled.
When school was first canceled, I knew she would be OK. She loves school and pleasing her teachers. She’s one smart little second grader.
So when we started doing work from home, I thought we had this in the bag!
The table had fun workbooks, play-dough, rulers, and markers. The rug in the center was fluffy to enjoy books and puzzles. Around the sides were, legos, magnetic blocks, marble runs and an art easel.
The zoom meetings were set up and we ready to make the best of this situation.
But somewhere in there we decided to bake more, which lead to more dishes. We cut out more crafts which left tiny bits of paper everywhere, and somehow we were going through 13 Elsa band-aides a day!
While cleaning up after all of those things she would sit and do her homework.
Only she wasn’t.
We all became distracted with work, chores, enjoying the outdoors and projects, that it was only at the end of the day I would notice that she had hardly done half of what I had asked her to do for homework.
Part of me feels like enjoying the beautiful weather and not making things more stressful, wouldn’t be a bad idea. But today she couldn’t do simple math.
She either completely forgot how to subtract or no longer cared to do it.
So when she refused/forgot how to do a simple subtraction problem, I lost my cool.
“You know this! I’m basically giving you the answer! Would you be acting this way at school?”
We finished the paper in tears and I sent her outside.
I decided to get a bowl of ice cream because; A-I deserved it. B-summers probably cancelled.
I sat down on the deck to enjoy my well deserved treat when I looked over and saw my daughter sitting under the tree.
Thinking about life and probably how much this all sucked.
- I can’t see my friends
- My sister is constantly getting into my things
- My mom doesn’t understand me
and probably 6 other things that would have broken my heart if I could have read her mind.
I definitely didn’t deserve ice cream.
I told my other daughter to grab two spoons and asked my oldest to please come over.
We talked about how we needed to find a way to make this work.
The girls split my ice cream and together we came up with a few ides.
No TV until after homework
I know this sounds like a no brainier, but we’ve been asked to watch PBS and follow a learning guide. However, after an hour and a half of TV she’s not interested in doing the guide. Or anything extra I ask of her. Homework first thing and we’ll catch the reruns.
Beat the timer
Her teacher would have mad minuets. How many math problems can you do in 4 minuets! She use to love coming home and showing me her scores. Why hadn’t I thought about continuing that?
For a bonus if she can complete and entire paper in the allotted time she can have a small candy after lunch. (her idea)
Let them teach you their way
I haven’t been in class with my daughter to know how her teacher does things. Her teacher “just has a way of explaining it easier.” Coming in and changing everything isn’t helpful. Let them teach you their way, and if the time is appropriate, teach them something new.
Change your location
Even though I set up an awesome classroom, when I asked her where she likes doing her homework she replied outside. She really enjoys listening to the birds.
Change it up a little.
Although its usually a little loud at the house, with dogs, music, her sister. She asked if she could have extra quiet during math.
She even followed it up by saying “everyone has to be super quiet at school.”
She’s not wrong. I’ve worked years to be able to tune things out.
Expect independence but know some days are harder
We should expect a certain level of independence and behavior. At her age she should be able to do a few pages of homework on her own, but today she needed me.
She just needed me. To sit there. To try to learn her way. To be understanding when she felt overwhelmed.
We’ll continue with our homework but now that I understand more of what can help her, I think we will have a lot more fun.