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Like getting blood out of a stone (homework)

(59 Posts)
WhoseGotMyEyebrows Sun 18-Sep-11 13:11:24

It's so hard to get my DD (5) to do her homework, mainly reading.

It's driving me crazy. We only do it once or twice a week so it's not that much. The books she gets are challenging but not in a too hard way. Just in a concentrate and you'll learn something sort of way. Some of the words she already knows and some she can figure out by sounding out and others are new. So I don't think they are too hard.

Last year in reception I introduced a sticker chart which helped a bit.

Toady doing the homework I have been trying to get her to point at each of the words herself rather then me pointing and I have had to tell her 30 fecking times to do it. When she isn't pointing she loses track of where she is so adds in random words as she starts guessing or misses some out or reads the same one's twice.

I tell her over and over to stop fidgeting, to actually LOOK AT THE BOOK she is supposed to ber reading and not at the ceiling. To stop making silly noises and singing . . .


I had told her off for fidgeting and swinging about in her chair one too many times and have put her on the naughty step and told her that she'll have to sit there for 5 mins and to come straight back and do the homework, so that she will learn she can't get out of it by playing up.

I have been typing this in the 5 mins naughty step time.

Am I being harsh? Does everyone have this problem. What the feck can I do about it? It's like getting blood out of a stone!

pinkhebe Sun 18-Sep-11 13:14:36

my son is 8, I have much sympathy with you, but no advice! It's like getting blood out of a stone to get him to write more than 10 words in a row, and he was just the same when learning to read!

pinkhebe Sun 18-Sep-11 13:15:36

Sorry hadn't realised I'd just the same phrase!

seeker Sun 18-Sep-11 13:20:05

I will be shot down in flames, I know, but I would just not do it. It's really not worth the angst- she'll get there in the end. Write in her reading record book something like "it was a lovely day so we went to the park instead of reading" then go and buy ice creams.

While you're there have a go at reading every single sign you see. Read graffiti, read menus outside coffee shops. On the way home buy yourself a paper anther a comic, then sit down together and read them.

There are many ways to skin a cat.

picnicbasketcase Sun 18-Sep-11 13:22:18

My DS (9) is the same - he has written homework most weekends, plus reading, learning multiplication tables, and spellings during the week. The week day homework is not too bad as he loves reading and is good at maths and spelling but the writing at the weekends is a huge battle.

He'll write about four words, stare around the room, dawdle a bit, find something to tidy up that of course can't wait til later, gaze around the room a bit more and then eventually write another three words. Repeat for anything up to three hours.

What I tend to do is point out that if he just gets it done, he'll have free time to do things he wants to do, it doesn't always work but seems to sink in quite a lot of the time. Drives me mad. Maybe try that anyway, eg when we've finished your reading we can... go the park, make fairy cakes, do a painting or whatever she'd enjoy?

40notTrendy Sun 18-Sep-11 13:25:47

Ds same. We endure it about 3 times a week but no way could we do it every day as school suggest. We do the read signs etc in car or out n about. Stealth reading is best grin

sfxmum Sun 18-Sep-11 13:26:02

you know all of that is an argument for less homework, they need time to be children and play, reading should be a pleasure for life not a chore
I know I am not being helpful but really maybe time to stop and re assess
fell free to shout at me instead

does she know the sounds of the letters? make games with them, sing them along, don't make her work for more that 10mins at the time

ChippingIn Sun 18-Sep-11 13:26:22

I can see Seekers POV and I half agree.

The other half says you need to do it every day, it needs to be part of the after school routine and it's non negotiable. I think by only doing it a couple of times a week she's seeing it as something optional that you are choosing to make her do iyswim.

But no - you are not the only one who wants to shout 'Just read the fecking words on the fecking page of the fecking book' grin

CaptainKirksNipples Sun 18-Sep-11 13:30:10

I had a problem with ds in his first year, he was very tired and fidgety after school and he sometimes fell asleep straight after dinner at 5.30pm! We started getting him up 15 minutes earlier in the morning and doing it before school. He was much more alert at that time

seeker Sun 18-Sep-11 13:41:21

The last thing you want to do is make reading a chore. If you think it's important to mak it part of the routine, then read the book to them, pointing at the words as you do it. 5 minutes, job done. Once you've established this as a routine, start getting the occasional word wrong. 99.9% of 5 year olds won't b able to resist correcting you. Then they have fallen into your trap.

But once it hs turned into a fight STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ErnesttheBavarian Sun 18-Sep-11 14:17:22

My ds is 7 and resistant to reading.

Latest strategy which works well is traditional bribery.

We have had blow ups in the past, but I didn't want to make negative assosiations w. reading.

So now no emotion. You need to work out what she really wants. FOr ds3 is's playing his ds. Mum, can I play my ds. Answer - of course, as soon as you've read for 10 minutes.

End of discussion. Keep it matter of fact.

She can do x once she's had 5 or 10 minutes decent effort. No more arguing.

When ds replied he didn't want to, answer was fine, enirely up to him, but then I refused to discuss any further. Now he'll even come up and ask if he can read for a bit, got to that point very quickly. Wish I'd done it a lot earlier.

But def don't fight about it, and no naught step.

chipandbiff Sun 18-Sep-11 15:36:03

OP, this could have been me 6 months ago!!! I was at EXACTLY the same stage, to the point that I was having to put a real positive spin on the comments in her reading record .....'she read slowly but nicely' but what I really wanted to write was 'Would rather stick pins in my eyes than endure another night of this torture'. (And it was EVERY night).....
BUT....I want to raise a reader, and I read all the arguments about just leaving things for a while, and while I understand where people are coming from, I just felt that surely things will 'click'.....????

What did happen was the summer hols.....we went from reading (battling, handbags at dawn style) daily, to doing the library reading challenge (motivation of stickers and a yoyo) - She still didn't really enjoy this, but wanted the prizes....and she maybe read 10/11 books over the whole hols....back to school, and something has changed.....she seems to be a bit more fluent, and almost seems to enjoy reading?

Not sure that I have any advice as such, but just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this. Along the way I also did a reward chart which kinda worked, but then I resorted to a goody bag....for every 5 books she read nicely, she got to choose something out of the bag. I went to the pound shop and bought a load of tat quality items and wrapped them up but kept the bag where she can see it, so the motivation is around her...IYSWIM....!!

Something did click (at least for now, I may well be back on here next week pulling my hair out in despair again!) so hang on in there, it does improve...

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Sun 18-Sep-11 15:52:35

We do the reading of signs and things as well although not that often.

She loves books in general and her favourite thing is at bed time when we all read a story together. I just know that she will love it when she can read her books to herself. She is just the sort that if something is hard she doesn't want to do it, but if she doesn't do it she won't get any better at it.

This isn't just reading either, she generally doesn't want to do anything other then the things she loves. So she would draw til she ran out of pen and paper but it's a nightmare trying to get her to walk anywhere or to tidy up or any of the things she finds less fun. She is very oppositional and contrary.

She sticker chart worked well last year and I did what you did chipandbiff (very relevant name [gin] ) and gave her a treat out of "the bag" everytime she filled a row on her sticker chart. I also used it for tidying up, behaving nicely at dinner time etc.

Her teacher had trouble getting her to concentrate last year and her new teacher this year has old me she won't be taking any shit!

sfxmum Sun 18-Sep-11 16:13:07

It is difficult but at this age it can be hard to sort those with real concentration problems and those who are just not ready
I think it is worth pursuing routines, calmly and with positive attention not necessarily based around how well they do, but teaching to persist with something one finds difficult is a life skill worth learning

Mine likes books and reading but Biff&Chip are frankly tedious have you tried books with rhyming and poetry? some children really respond to that and want to know what comes next

cheesesarnie Sun 18-Sep-11 16:16:08

i dont argree with punishing her for not doing it.speak to the teacher and explain your having issues.

seeker Sun 18-Sep-11 16:45:20

Whosegotmyeyebrows- she's 5! Of course she'll love it when she can read, but she's 5!. Keep reading to her- she'll get there!

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Sun 18-Sep-11 17:15:04

But if I don't do the homework with her the school will be pissed off and she'll get behind the rest of her class. There have been times when she has felt she is (she wasn't really) and she got really upset about it.

There is a part of me that thinks "well if she doesn't want to do it don't make her" but life isn't like that. If I never made her do anything she didn't want to do she would NEVER walk ANYWHERE! She would have me push her around in the buggy that is for my 2yo, while he walked!

If she had been crying that she didn't want to do her homework I wouldn't have punished her for that, but she can't sit there pretending to do it whilst saying random words while not even looking at the page. She was being deliberately difficult in the hope I wouldn't make her do it.

Part of the naughty step thing is that I have a short temper and find it's best to put distance between us when she's being difficult.

noteventhebestdrummer Sun 18-Sep-11 17:22:23

I watched a lady in the coffee shop recently with her kid - they obviously dropped in their after school sometimes to get a hot chocolate and to do homework! I thought it was a great idea. There are distractions but the mum was ahead of the game with the promise of buying a cake to take home for after tea when homework was done and the staff were in on the game too, jollying the kid along as they cleared the tables nearby. Worth a go?

noteventhebestdrummer Sun 18-Sep-11 17:22:37


WhoseGotMyEyebrows Sun 18-Sep-11 17:27:01

noteventhebestdrummer I wasn't going to judge you on your spelling! grin

It is a good idea, although tricky as I have 2dcs. I generally find my little one very distracting. In fact EVERYTHING is very distracting to my DD. Might be something I could try on a weekend when I can leave my younger one at home.

Collision Sun 18-Sep-11 17:27:07

Don't punish her for not doing her reading.

I had a reluctant reader at her age and he is now 10 and has a reading age of 15!! He is now an amazing reader.

I would quit with the reading book for now and read stories to her and share the book together. When reading her reading book to her try things like ' I read the first line and you do the second...' 'Can you see the 'sh' word coming up? Bet you can't read it!' Reverse pyschology is brilliant for 5 year olds.

As she gets older I would tell her that until she has done her reading she cannot watch Tv or play computer games or whatever but the LAST thing you want is to make reading scary and boring!

cheesesarnie Sun 18-Sep-11 17:35:38

do you have have any pets?i find getting ds1(10,dyslexic,no consenration)to read to either one of our pets or loudly over the fence to next doors ginea pigs(i did warn neighbours) really helps especially when he starts mumbling,hoping that i'll assume hes read the word.
we also read to fields of cows!

cheesesarnie Sun 18-Sep-11 17:36:25

and as i said.communicate with her with teacher

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Sun 18-Sep-11 17:42:09

Collision* All good ideas. But won't she get into trouble (or rather me) for not reading her school books? She has a great one at the moment which makes a change and she was actually interested in it. It's all about space and she loves that stuff.

The punishment was more really cos she was taking the piss. She does this with most things. She likes to get her own way like a lot of 5 yos.

cheesesarnie She's not at the stage yet where she can read fluently so reading to the pets would be tricky but might give it a go . . . now must go find some cows grin Will talk to the teacher as well.

Kandinsky Sun 18-Sep-11 17:44:02

If it is that much of a battle she is clearly not enjoying it. Maybe she is just not ready for it now. I found reading before school helped but only when mine were old enough. I agree with trying reading alternate lines but more than anything read to her. You want books to be fun and something pleasurable not a big fight. One of mine was a very late reader (year 3) but reads constantly now for pleasure. We borrowed story tapes and CD's from the library and read him all the most popular books at the time.
We are all forced in to the way of thinking that unless they are the best reader in the class they will always be bottom of the pile. This is absolutely not the case. Mine were all slow starters and have gone on to be high achievers academically.

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