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Am I handling this homework situation wrongly?

(13 Posts)
OccamsLadyshave Sun 25-Jan-15 18:20:49

DD is 13 (Y8) and has never been self-motivated with homework but up to now she's always been happy enough to do it when asked.

Since around November she's started protesting when I ask her to get on with her homework, so at the start of this term I said fine - it's your homework you do it when you want. Anyway the first bit of homework of the year wasn't done. No excuses - she had ages and it would have only taken 10 mins. She just couldn't be bothered to do it.

For the next two weeks we just had daily arguments and grumpiness if I even asked her what homework she had. I got "You don't trust me" "It's none of your business" etc etc.

So last week we had a sensible discussion, and she said that she hates me interfering and that she can do it on her own and she doesn't need nagging. So I agreed, and said we'd give it until half term and see how she did, but my line in the sand is that she does need to do her homework.

It's been a week now. She has a big project due in Tuesday and three other bits due in this week, and I am pretty sure she's not done any of it or started her project.

I am desperately trying to stick to the agreement and not say a word, but I'm really twitching! Am I right to let her fail to hand it in and let the school deal with it?

The problem is that a) I don't really trust the school to impose punishments. She has form for getting away with things because she has a good reputation and b) if they do punish her, she'll just decide that they all hate her and it's all soooo unfair!

butterfliesinmytummy Sun 25-Jan-15 18:25:18

You've drawn your line in the sand as you've said. Don't move the goalposts, she's already accusing you of not trusting her, I think you have to keep your word. She's 13, I assume it's not assessed coursework she's missing out on? As difficult as this must be, I don't think you can go back on your agreement.

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 25-Jan-15 18:31:18

Unless she has additional needs that cause severe difficulties with self-organisation, I think you are right to let her start taking responsibility now, before she starts her GCSE courses. Most children in Y8 are capable of prioritising and doing homework unprompted.

Leeds2 Sun 25-Jan-15 18:37:34

You mustn't say anything.

If she does get into trouble, it might teach her a lesson. If she gets away with it, it might be worth having a word with the relevant teacher(s) and asking them to impose a punishment. Something like a detention that she won't enjoy.

OccamsLadyshave Sun 25-Jan-15 18:40:46

No additional needs. She's a high achiever who likes getting good marks.

She is just currently too busy with her other interests (fanfic, watching films etc) to make time in her busy schedule to squeeze in homework!

I agree First - she needs to start taking control of her schoolwork and I'd rather go through this now than during GCSEs or A Levels.

I will bite my tongue until half term, even if it means she doesn't hand it in. Not sure what I'll do then if she still isn't doing it though!

OccamsLadyshave Sun 25-Jan-15 18:42:43

Sorry xpost

Yes I think an email to her form tutor (who is also the subject teacher for the large project) might not be a bad idea.

Clobbered Sun 25-Jan-15 18:43:28

You have to hold out and let her learn this lesson the hard way.

"You don't trust me" - I DO trust you, but I'm here to help if you need me.

"It's none of your business" - I'm your Mum, that makes it my business.

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 25-Jan-15 18:59:14

OK, to put this into context, DS2 is also in Y8. He has ASD and ADHD, and dyspraxic traits. He is completely responsible for organising and doing his own homework. Occasionally he asks for help or advice, but there is no nagging or reminding. He just does it. It took us most of Y6 to get to that point, and it was definitely not smooth sailing.

Things that have helped him (and DS1, who doesn't have additional needs but is not naturally organised):

1. If the school provides a homework diary, then encourage/persuade her to use it. If they don't, then buy her a week-to-double page spiral bound A5 diary to record her homework in.

2. If she does homework the day it is given, praise this. If she does homework before watching TV or faffing about on YouTube, praise her mature attitude.

3. If it's feasible, model this yourself. Don't leave things to the last minute or you'll look like a hypocrite.

4. Don't rescue her. If she fails to hand it in on time, that's her problem, not yours. Sign the detention slips but don't give additional home punishment for something that has already been punished at school.

5. Let her know some times when you'll be available for homework support if she needs it, e.g. Tue & Thu evenings between 6 and 7pm, or 10-12 on a Saturday morning.

Mumm300 Sun 25-Jan-15 19:40:58

I think its very difficult. It really is up to her and by pushing you could make it worse. With my daughter I leave it totally up to her, and in year 8 her marks slipped a bit, but she has now got over this mini-rebellion and in yr 9 does all homework although typically for a teenager sometimes leaves it too late. My son is totally different and I have always to make sure he does the work, he grumbles about it but then gets on and does it. I just have to ignore the grumbles.
Imho contacting the school over her head about one piece of homework/project could be a bit ott and may really make her cross, age 14 she would probably be prefer to be treated a bit more like an adult, and I suspect teachers would want her to take responsibility. I am not sure what you aim to acheive by contacting the school.

OccamsLadyshave Sun 25-Jan-15 22:16:19

Update: i held my nerve and didn't say anything and at half seven suggested we watch a film. She looked amazed and said "but I've got loads of homework" and disappeared upstairs with the computer. She came down half an hour ago and said she'd written 1000 words.

I think the reason I've been intervening is because she naturally wants to do everything at the last minute. I was the same at her age but I've had to break the habit and now it stresses me out. But it's her homework and if she wants to do it at the last minute it's up to her.

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 25-Jan-15 22:24:59

Well done. Stay strong. smile

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 25-Jan-15 22:26:01

(My last comment was intended as encouraging rather than patronising. Difficult to portray tone on here).

OccamsLadyshave Sun 25-Jan-15 22:29:24


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