Jennifer Joyner: Is it break time or homework time when kids get home from school?
Posted October 15, 2013
I think I’m breaking even in the Homework Wars so far this school year.
On the plus side, it’s mid-October and I haven’t had to Google anything yet.
In the negative zone, I still battle both of my kids when it’s time to sit down and get it done.
Granted, it’s not as bad as it has been. Emma, now in fourth grade, is more than capable of doing most of her homework on her own with little help from me, a definite plus. However, getting her started has proven to be just as tough as ever.
And Eli? My second grader treats me to a daily diatribe of how unfair homework is, how it isn’t right that after being in school all day, he has to come home and do more work, blah, blah, blah.
After trying patiently to explain the benefits of working on school work at home, I’ve now resorted to just telling him to save his breath. Kids have been fighting that fight forever, and son, you’ll never win.
So, lines are drawn and threats are made and each day when I finally get homework completed, I feel as though I’ve run a marathon.
There’s got to be a better way.
And yes, I’ve tried both positive reinforcements and negative consequences, all with mixed results. My husband swears one thing will change the tide, will make things run smoother in the afternoons, but I’m not so sure. That’s where you readers come in.
Where do you stand on when kids should do their homework? Do you think they should do it the moment they hit the door, or do you allow a little bit of a break before starting the afternoon grind? I’ve always allowed my kids to eat a snack, take a breath, and chill out before homework begins, and my husband says that’s where I go wrong.
They get used to doing their own thing, and it makes it too hard for them to switch back into “work” mode. If I had them do it right away, and get it over with, I’d have a much easier time.
At this point, I’m ready to try anything. After all, my way doesn’t seem to be working. But I wanted to know if others had success by making it the first thing on the afternoon to-do list.
Please … help a mom out and comment below!
Jennifer Joyner is a mom of two, freelance writer and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in 2010. Find her here on Wednesdays.