What is the matter? Homework rant!

(33 Posts)
Oddoneout63 Tue 23-Feb-16 18:03:55

3 DSs aged 13, 16, 18. None of then can reliably do homework and I have often had 3 emails in a matter of days from their various teachers, complaining that they haven't done work set. What IS the matter with them? I am always asking them / reminding them / nagging.

I have tried diaries, but they forget to write it in; online homework never ever works as the school is never consistent about making teachers actually use it. The last time I queried, the school's response was "oh we don't use that system any more". Well, thanks for letting me know!

Apart from actually doing their work for them, what the hell? I am about to start a f-t job after years of being a SAHM or working p-t, so am dreading leaving them to organise themselves!

Today, DS13 served a detention from last term for forgotten homework; DS18 didn't go to college as he said he had a sore leg, that turned out to be cramp, but he is hardly ever on time, even if I remind him to get up; DS16 was off sick today but I have just had an email reminding him of homework he should have done during h-t and he says he hasn't done!!angryangry

Bit of a rant, sorry, as I suspect there's not a lot I can actually do, apart from a few rockets up sensitive places??

GotABitTricky Tue 23-Feb-16 19:57:22

My 12 year old was 3 weeks behind with homework.
Like your kids, he hid it well and rarely updated homework diary so I was unaware until called by guidance teacher.
The nightly heated debates took longer and longer, and.less homework being done.

Last week I handed issue back to school to enforce. I said I would support all I could, but teachers had to enforce and advise me what HW needed done.

He now has a homework sheet that needs be signed by every teacher every period every day. It is working better knowing what due, but the resistance and arguing over doing the HW continues!

IHaveBrilloHair Tue 23-Feb-16 20:02:20

I leave mine be, her homework, her problem, her punishment.
Since I stopped nagging she's been so much better with it.

BigSandyBalls2015 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:17:11

Very timely thread in this house as me and DH are sitting here seething with a large glass of wine. DD2 couldn't give a shit about homework, detentions, school in general, we had a lovely week during half term and today,,first day back at school, she's lippy, defiant and eye rolling about doing the slightest bit of work despite her lovely teachers bending over backwards to help her (year 10). So depressing as she's bright and capable of getting good GCSEs, but I'm very tempted to just back off completely like 'ihavebrillohair'.

BigSandyBalls2015 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:19:15

Sorry OP that wasn't very helpful, but lots in the same boat unfortunately.

thatcoldfeeling Wed 24-Feb-16 07:23:22

Completely empathise.

I feel like all of DS's friends spend time and effort on hw. One of his friends apparently spent 2 full days of half term doing hw!?!

DS on the other hand, left it all to last min. He then plagarised half of it off the internet - I work in a uni so this made me utterly rage.

Last term he got a French hw detention but lied and said it was because he got 0 on a test he had revised for, it was v odd.

He also spent all term lying about his log in details for 'Quickstep', the English online system. He made me look an idiot debating it with the school.

He is perfectly bright, but perfectly lazy and will seriously fail to make his potential if he carries on like this.

He also seems to delight in winding me up by NOT doing it.

Clearly I have absolutely no advice whatsoever but am hoping for all our sakes some wise person will show up on the thread shortly!

MaitlandGirl Wed 24-Feb-16 07:37:45

I had terrible trouble with DS (now 20) and his homework going back to when he was 9!

In the last 2 years at school I got on first name terms with his teachers and they'd email me to tell me homework had been set so I could ask him about it when he got home from school.

It worked, to some extent, but he still failed his HSC and then failed his repeat attempt. He's a bright lad and got 98% on a chemistry assignment that I nearly killed him over but lacked motivation and the ability to realise school didn't just finish at the end of class.

He's now in college studying a vocational course and so far, so good. I have to be totally on top of him though and regularly ban screen time and insist he sits at the table to do his homework.

It's ridiculous at his age but so far it seems to be working. Nothing has been handed in late and he's getting good marks.

fieldfare Wed 24-Feb-16 07:39:30

Back off and create sanctions for not doing it.
Agree it with them in a calm moment and make sure they know you're serious.

If they can't be trusted to do what has been set and to not lie about it, then you won't be able to trust them to use the Internet, have their phone, go anywhere unaccompanied, see friends, partake in recreational clubs etc.

Make yourself available for help, and make sure they know you're on hand if they need it but try to back off from the arguments as much as you can. Yes you want them to do well and thrive at school, but you can't make them.

Be in contact with school and make them aware of what's going on, ask them to put something in place to reinforce the homework and sanctions if it's not completed. If they're on any teams and are motivated by sport perhaps their participation could be linked to achieving certain grades?

MyballsareSandy2015 Wed 24-Feb-16 08:44:52

I have thought about that before as DD2 is part of a competitive club but surely that would just be letting the team down as they need her to play.

fieldfare Wed 24-Feb-16 09:20:37

Then that's her motivating factor I'd have thought?

It's very frustrating. Our Dd goes to Air Cadets and loves it. She's been offered places on camps, going to different events etc but it means that her free time for homework and friends is much more limited than before. So she has to do homework in the evening of the day it's set or she just falls behind and then we have a meltdown.
I took a back seat for a few weeks and let her get on with it, one of those weeks she was set 11 pieces! By the weekend, when we had plans to be away with family, she got so stressed out over it she actually asked for help. So we sat and talked through ways to manage, she now does homework as soon as it's set, up to 90 minutes a night. If it's more than that then it gets bumped to the next evening. Means at the weekend she only has 2-3 pieces to complete.

She understands that her Air Cadets membership is reliant upon the effort she's putting in at school. Not necessarily grades or test results, just effort and doing things like homework and prep. It's working for us, for the moment at least.

rogueantimatter Wed 24-Feb-16 09:41:36

Same.

Very frustrating.

I actually wish the school would set more homework and flipping well mark it.

My dilemma is whether to accept that DS like his older sister is lazy - he's lovely in other ways - and let him find his own way or continue to try to 'encourage,' facilitate etc.

It's tough. His DSis despite being lazy was very lucky with her exam results - getting just over the grade boundary and no more in two subjects. She actually got a place at a conservatoire and still doesn't apply herself! She's enjoying it less and less and still worries me despite being in her second year there. It might have been better if she hadn't got in and done something else.

Sometimes I wonder if the problem is partly with us. We want hard working DC but we don't have them and can't accept their lack of drive.

Otoh the price for mediocre grades is so very high now.

Also DS doesn't seem to get that exams are about having knowledge at your fingertips and thinking about what the examiners are looking for.

He is further complicated by being very musical - late on to the scene with his (very large!) instrument. He is now recognised for his natural musical ability and would love to do music as a career. I'm torn between busting a gut trying to get him to prepare for auditions for groups he'd love and accepting that it's all so competitive that only dedicated students will have a chance so I should just accept that he's not cut out for it.

OP is your DC's DF helpful?

Sorry to rant but I so know how you feel and sympathise.

Oddoneout63 Wed 24-Feb-16 19:14:37

Gotabittricky: no use handing it over to college. I had an email from DS16's lecturer which stated that they had no more suggestions on how to motivate him & could I think of anything new?! Ummmm

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 24-Feb-16 19:18:49

It's their homework, let them get on with and let the school punish them for not doing it.

lljkk Fri 26-Feb-16 09:37:14

wow, emails about an 18yo not doing homework? Do schools really send those?

Sorry I can't sympathise. I mean, I have a 16yo who has served detentions for yrs for lack of homework, but I don't worry about it. He has made his choices.

rogueantimatter Fri 26-Feb-16 10:03:34

It's frustrating when your DC are wasting their abilities and opportunities. I think most parents hope their DC will make good choices. Some of us find it hard to sit back and watch their loved ones make poor choices.

OneMagnumisneverenough Fri 26-Feb-16 10:22:52

I guess it depends when you starting giving them the responsibility and making the choice?

After they no longer needed a parent helping with homework (basically once they could read properly and understand what it was they were to do about age 7/8) I passed the responsibility for homework on to my children. I was around if they needed support or help but other than an occasional reminder, I left it to them. If they didn't do it at any point I presume that they got into trouble at school for it, but at no time have I ever been contacted by school. They are almost 16 and 15 now and do very well at school. Maybe I've just been lucky.

We've also drummed into them that doing their best and working hard increases their choices in life. They may not choose to do something academic but if they haven't done their best to get qualifications, some doors will be closed to them and they will narrow their life choices or just make their lives more difficult when they are older. They may need to make up qualifications as an adult in order to do something that they want.

CalicoBlue Fri 26-Feb-16 17:38:47

I could have written most of your post.

My DS (18) and DSS (15) never do their homework. DS just managed to pass his GCSE's with C's and D's and was happy enough with that. I am expecting him to fail his A levels. Neither of the boys could give a shit. I find it hard not to nag, as I know it makes not a jot of difference.

DD (15) is very good, knows why she has to study and gets A's. No brighter than the boys, just works hard.

It is frustrating, and I am not sure there is an answer.

BikerDad17 Mon 29-Feb-16 18:19:35

What is it about kids & homework??

I totally sympathise with all the parents on this issue.

I've got a ds2 (12) in yr 7 and he is so laid back (lazy?) about doing homework that if I don't mention it he would never be bothered to do it. Sometimes I end up doing it for him which is bloody too much!

He says after spending a whole day at school studying, the last thing he wants to do at home is MORE work. Says he just wants to chill out after a "hard day at school". That's a joke, right?

I was willing to take the "step back" approach & let him take the consequences for not giving work in on time.

However that kinda backfired on me when he totally refused to go into school because he hadn't done his homework!

He is clearly aware of the consequences & don't want to get into trouble at school. So why the heck does he not make the effort to do it?

I am completely flummuxed & don't know what else to do.

OneMagnumisneverenough Mon 29-Feb-16 18:24:23

That's a joke right Bikerdad?

You are doing a 12 year olds homework for him if he can't be bothered and when you don't do it, he doesn't go into school in case he gets into trouble?

sheesh!

BikerDad17 Mon 29-Feb-16 18:40:42

I'm open to suggestions. Please advise.

OneMagnumisneverenough Mon 29-Feb-16 18:50:30

Is he like that with everything or just homework? Did you take him to school or just let him not go? I've never accepted behaviour like that and (so far) I don't have any issues. DSs will be 16 and 15 this summer. They equally don't want to be in trouble at home the same as school as they know it's disrespectful and unacceptable.

I wouldn't enforce the homework as that is his decision but attendance at school is not negotiable. If he doesn't know that now then you are looking to go back to doing what should have happened in terms of discipline when he was a toddler. If you gave in and let him stay of school then he has you marked as a mug. You need to change that perception. It's about consistency as well as explaining why and making sure they know they are loved. They also need to know that you will support and help them when they make errors in life but that they need to deal with the consequences when those consequences are reasonable.

BikerDad17 Mon 29-Feb-16 19:10:20

Appreciate the advice OneMagnum. And yes I think he does take me for a mug!

I am happy to step back & let him deal with it himself. But its the refusal to go school afterwards that is the problem. Short of dragging him out to school there isn't much I can do if he digs his feet in. Usually heated arguments follows. So yes discipline & respect is the deeper issue here & I have myself to blame for that since he was young.

Strangely he didn't have these problems in primary.

Its hard to undo the past. Now they're older & more set in their horrid ways.
If only I had a time machine I'd do things differently all over again.

OneMagnumisneverenough Mon 29-Feb-16 19:32:46

I think you do need to drag him in tbh. You need to get it sorted before he is bigger than you! My two tower over me and and are taller and nearly as tall as my DH but if push came to shove they are younger and stronger than he is too. We are hoping that the early lessons will stop that being necessary.

Talk to him, try to see what the problem is, is he actually struggling and trying to hide it? Is he in the middle of a growth phase and genuinely tired? Is he staying up to late? Is he stressed about something else? Don't get me wrong, I don't take any crap, but I do talk a fair bit to my teens. I've always encouraged them to do their best for themselves and for their future and how doing your best helps give you more options in life. They know they are loved and that I'd walk across broken glass for them. I think I've been lucky that they've chosen their friends well too.

OneMagnumisneverenough Mon 29-Feb-16 19:34:29

None of us can live life with the benefit of hindsight, there is loads I would do differently too. Focus on the future, he is still your boy and he needs the boundaries.

BikerDad17 Mon 29-Feb-16 22:55:24

There are good days & there are bad days. With all my faults I fumble through.
Hoping they will, with my unwavering support, turn out alright in the end.
Thanks OneMag for your support & advice.

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