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Strategies needed to help me to help reluctant 9yr old with homework.....

(10 Posts)
DrNortherner Sun 11-Sep-11 16:00:43

It normally ends in tears. He would rather do anything other than homework, he is in Year 5 now so getting serious. When he finally does sit to do it it's like I need to cajole and hand hold the whole fricking time. He concentrates for 5 mins max then I lose him to other more exciting things like picking his toes, poking himself in the bum with a sharpened pencil <yes really> and kicking the ball for the dog under the table.

He cares not one jot about presentation. Crosses out words, rubs out pencil leaving big streaky grey marks and creases his paper which makes me see the red mist. I am quite a perfectionist and always take care in presentation.

Do I let the presentation issue go? It's always his own work and ideas, just messy and often with spelling mistakes.......

I need help in keeping him focused now he has projects that require 30 plus minutes of hard work and I am blush to admit I normally end up losing it with him.


BeerTricksPotter Sun 11-Sep-11 18:55:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OddBoots Sun 11-Sep-11 19:01:04

My dd is 8 and I have the same trouble. This weekend has been the first go at this so I can't say it will work long term but what we have done is sit together and break the homework down into smaller chunks (that if she worked in a focused way at it would take 10 mins max) and worked out with her over the weekend when she will do those bits> She is not allowed to get down from the table until that chunk is done (toilet trip before she starts).

The work was about an hour of focused time overall, the first chunk took her about half an hour as she kept mucking about, the second was about 20 mins and the rest she has actually done in about 10 minutes. I told her (and stuck to it) that I didn't mind how long she took, she could daydream and fiddle as much as she liked but she wasn't getting down until that bit was done.

CrosswordAddict Sun 11-Sep-11 19:28:30

Kitchen Timer for 10 minutes at first.
Cut down on distractions - no food, no drinks, no pets, no phone calls.
Sit near enough to be able to see what he is writing (or not as the case may be)

Doowrah Sun 11-Sep-11 23:05:59

They need teaching (one-to-one), reminding, reinforcing and reminding again about presentation/page layout etc. Title, date, name, underlined, capitals etc it is good if parents do this at this stage. If you can't read it make them write it again. Reward a piece of work with overall good spelling, with a sweet or small treat- mine responds to hard cash very well!!! The hand-holding business is a hangover from their younger years, tell them they should be working by themselves now and only asking for help if they really need it. Read, think,read, think, do -then if necessary read, think, read, think,ask,do. Their teachers will be looking for their ability to do this and it really helps if parents are doing this at home. It's good to have standards reagrding homework as these will become your child's standards and set them up for good independant working for life. Homework incentives no gaming, playing-out, TV, what crossword said until it is done.

BerkshireMum Sun 11-Sep-11 23:17:57

My DS has just started Y6 and we have the same problem - poor presentation (and that's the polite way of putting it), no motivation, toddler tantrums, you name it. Even more frustrating is that she can do it but simply won't.

Anyway, at the end of last term I spoke to her Y6 teacher and we have agreed what should be a simple strategy. DS sits down and is given 30 mins to do her homework, with help if she wants it. After 30 mins, she stops and it goes to school in whatever state of completion and presentation she has managed. If she wants to do more - either because she's into it or because she's embarrassed then I have to add a note explaining that and highlighting what she's achieved in 30 mins.

Homework starts this week, so fingers crossed!

CrosswordAddict Mon 12-Sep-11 12:24:45

That 30 minute idea sounds very good. A lot of children spend 30 minutes plus just faffing about and not getting down to work.wink
Our DCs are now in Year Nine and still need constant reminders GET IT DONE!
Agree with you about the toddler tantrums - ours are still getting tired and frustrated, particularly if they have had P.E. and need to do HW when they come home.
I'm threatening them with early morning sessions if they fall behind. My plan is to get them up about 6am and get HW done while they are still fresh.
But I wouldn't try this with a primary school age pupil.
I agree the whole HW thing is very frustrating and upsetting for parents. It causes more rows in this family than anything else. sad

chill1243 Mon 12-Sep-11 12:59:37

I sympathise with modern parents and children on homework. I read all over the place it causes distress.

I come from a much earlier era. Dont remember doing homework at primary or sec mod.

Is the pressure to do with league Tables? Is it pretty universal in state schools? Even at primary level?

chill1243 Mon 12-Sep-11 13:01:33

I sympathise with modern parents and children on homework. I read all over the place it causes distress.

I come from a much earlier era. Dont remember doing homework at primary or sec mod.

Is the pressure to do with league Tables? Is it pretty universal in state schools? Even at primary level?

SecretSquirrels Mon 12-Sep-11 15:53:50

Homework is not "serious" in year 5 and not worth causing such stress about IMO. I think far too much homework is given at primary school.

Year six maybe a little just as a taster for secondary school .

The trouble is you have little choice. How can you tell the child he doesn't have to do it when school says he does. I did dig my heels in when my tired infant was given extra written work on top of the usual reading, tables and spellings. I told the school he wouldn't be doing any more homework until at least Year 4. It was one of the best things I did because with the pressure off DS he regained his enthusiasm for school.

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