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Calmer Easier Happier Homework - Q&A with author Noël Janis Norton - ANSWERS BACK

(73 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Feb-13 12:09:32

'I have to sit next to her the whole time or she just stares out of the window'.

'He says it's too hard before he's barely looked at it'.

'Trying to cope with three children's homework is driving me mad. They all need me at the same time'.

'He keeps telling me there's no homework, but that can't be true'.

If you identify with any of these problems, then you may wish to join our Q&A this week with author Noël Janis Norton, who claims ''Homework doesn't have to be a hassle or a conflict!' Her latest book Calmer Easier Happier Homework offers practical strategies to parents with school children aged 5 - 16.

Noël is a former teacher and an internationally renowned authority on the learning and behaviour of children and adolescents. She also offers classes and consultations at the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting Centre in London. She joined mumsnet last year for a webchat about Calmer Easier Happier Parenting.

Post your questions to Noël before the end of Monday 11th February and you'll be entered into a draw to win one of ten copies of her Calmer Easier Happier Homework. We'll post up her answers on Monday 18th February.

fury Wed 20-Feb-13 02:00:47

my son is 15 and i find the main problem is addiction to playing games through skype,online etc and the constant need to check facebook. It doesn't help that secondary kids are expected and encouraged to research and print out their homework and since at the flick of a switch when you check on what they're doing they can change the page.The games are all designed to keep gamers playing to attain higher levels but don't come with a government health warning about the consequent dangers of sitting for hours and NOT concentrating on studies and driving poor concerned mothers to the end of their tether!I feel schools are not stringent enough about homework checking,nor do they demand a high enough standard or motivate the children enough.I do not want to spend every evening nagging my son or in conflict constantly and as i note nearly all his pals are online or fb,then i assume other mums AND DADS have either given up or don't have the will or energy to insist either.I find it a constant battle to be the one in charge although my son is relatively well behaved compared to his hard drinking contemporaries-and these are the kids of professionals who are expected to go on to uni.The teachers are so busy with constantly changing certificate structures and unruly kids that they can't control, many kids are left to be lazy and are never stretched to their potential whilst many committed mums are determinedly trying to establish good routines and practice without this structure being reflected in the school and in society itself.

Maeinha Thu 21-Feb-13 14:12:14

DS2 is 9, (Y5) and gradually building up his confidence in school work after a ropey first few years. He's now fine about his Maths homework, but English is still a real problem - he'll sit for up to 5 hours before it's done (it's meant to take 30 minutes). It's only set once a week and they have 3 days to do it (set Fri, in on Tues). I have been trying to help him plan by talking through the task, getting ideas going, helping him to think about the things he needs to include. But then, for him to actually start writing, the agony begins. He will sit and sit, not write, write one sentence then cross it out, get more and more frustrated (as do I), doodle, etc etc. He has similar problems with writing in school, but I think responds better to his teacher because he has to... Usually, once he does start, he can get it done reasonably fast and responds fine to checking and editing once it's finished.

We're strict about no screen time till homework is done and homework is usually Sat am for one piece and then Sunday after lunch (they play rugby Sunday mornings) for the second piece. How can I help him get started and have more time for fun?

Lee50Evans Fri 22-Feb-13 10:23:41

We are at the stage that most homework activities we can turn into games which our 6 year old son loves. I recognize that often any obstructions to the learning process occur if we try and bypass/ignore any emotional discomfort he may be experiencing. From say earlier experiences in his daily life. Which then manifest in his behavior. Or any emotional discomfort we may be experiencing from our lives, that we try to put aside to process later. Or echos of emotional discomfort that arise within us during the activity. Which come from our own childhood experiences & the way we were taught, i.e. ignoring our emotional states & using force/punishment.

Any advice on how we can support our son & ourselves emotionally when there are daily time pressures to complete the homework quickly? So that we can then look at the challenge being set and help him navigate his own solutions.
thanks Lee (stay at home Dad)

Thebrightsideoflife Sat 23-Feb-13 07:03:41

I am struggling generally with living with a 13 yr old who is starting to withdraw to her room the majority of the time. At parents evening recently, we were told she had never got a piece of homework in on time yet. I don't feel wholly responsible for this because I think we do our best with three kids and two jobs and the limited comms from the school via her planner, but I wish she felt a bit more responsible. I would love some tips on how we can all improve our performance without increasing DDs withdrawal.

aristocat Sat 23-Feb-13 18:50:49

Thank you so much for all the answers, DS has had lots of homework this half term (he is in yr 6 -SAT tests soon) and all completed without too much stress.
I do like the time schedule set by his teacher for his Literacy - 10 mins prep and 35 mins writing. We keep to this and it works well smile

BoffinMum Sun 24-Feb-13 11:24:37

I am wondering how many people with larger families and full time jobs manage this approach, which seems to rely on a very labour-intensive contribution from the parents on a daily basis, and resembles tutoring rather than self-study. Or am I missing something?

LaraMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 25-Feb-13 11:35:58

Message withdrawn

Hullygully Mon 25-Feb-13 11:47:46


Is Noel a real person? She sounds like a robot.

Every answer is:

Please read one or both of my books. The end.


AlisonMoyet Mon 25-Feb-13 11:50:28

look guys teacher calling

" she cant do this" written on it ( but nicer)

its all part of assessing their learning NOT YOURS

AlisonMoyet Mon 25-Feb-13 11:51:03

why are parents even DOING their kids learning?

why is NOEL making money out of it?!

Hullygully Mon 25-Feb-13 11:51:23

No Alison,

I think you mean:

Please read my book <robot voice>

Hullygully Mon 25-Feb-13 11:52:12




<dalek voice>

AlisonMoyet Mon 25-Feb-13 11:52:33

lol Hullster

Read the book. Not as humourless as paul bloody hollywood

All his energy goes into sparkling eyes, not sparkling wit

AlisonMoyet Mon 25-Feb-13 11:53:08

i think I have HELPED with homework about 5 times over the 12 years my kids have had it.

If it is too hard it is the teachers issue

Hullygully Mon 25-Feb-13 11:53:17



AlisonMoyet Mon 25-Feb-13 11:59:19


gazzalw Mon 25-Feb-13 12:37:39

Hully you are outrageous this morning grin

Hullygully Mon 25-Feb-13 12:42:50



BoffinMum Mon 25-Feb-13 14:53:32

Hully, you echoed my sentiments exactly but I was being too grown up to say so.

Hullygully Mon 25-Feb-13 14:56:18

"too grown up"


Someone has to remove the Emperor's New Clothes

BoffinMum Mon 25-Feb-13 22:47:55


I have menu plans in there you know. Frees up time for all that HAPPY HOMEWORK.


<typing this naked>

toystoystoys Tue 26-Feb-13 23:14:01

I'm told my nearly 8 yr old boy has anxiety at school, he's worried about not getting things right. He also tells me school is boring, often. Most school days he will do some homework, sometimes really well/makes an effort but he gets easily frustrated and/or won't concentrate on the task and then it seems to take sooooo long when he is capable of doing the task well but just seems to prefer side tracking himself. Are my expectation unrealistic? Are there ways I can approach it better? I have noticed he is much happier practicing doing spellings verbally rather than writing them. I'd also be interested what techniques work better to help boys learn better & how to build up his confidence. I don't think he feels he is very good at school work & compares himself with others etc. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

toystoystoys Tue 26-Feb-13 23:18:59

Hi, Not sure if I misunderstood, but I thought I had until 11th March to post my question and be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book????

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