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Parenting

Help, my bloods boiling!!

22 replies

Linzoid · 29/04/2003 16:47

My 7year old ds is very intelligent and above average in his work at school. The teacher tells me how he gets on with his work well and is no problem. It's a totally different story for me altogether and right now after another load of hassle and crying i feel like i could strangle him! he brings home spellings to learn and a reading book at night but as soon as i ask him to look at them he starts whinging and crying (always has turned to tears extremely easily). The trouble is he expects to get it done in 2 minutes with no effort which drives me mad as he really does have fantastic potential and does learn very easily. I have asked him to write out the spellings and try to memorize them and read thru them a few times while i make tea, 2 minutes later i get the book thrust in my face for me to test him and he gets most wrong which is why he has completely gone off the deep end resulting in me sending him to his room. I feel so mad at him!
It's probably my fault, i may have made him highly strung and to not beleive in himself because i was depressed when he was a baby and also because i have always seemed to clash with him and not with my other ds which makes me feel doubly guilty. sorry to go on so much.

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Meanmum · 29/04/2003 16:55

Don't feel guilty for this. I doubt it is your fault. If it's OK I'm going to ask my dh about this as he is very bright and I know he had no trouble learning at school. Maybe he can shed some light on how your ds is feeling as I have a feeling he did the same thing.

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quackers · 29/04/2003 17:01

Maybe it's the time you go through the spellings. Maybe after tea when his tums full and relaxed on a nice comfy sofa he might be more refreshed. I don't know. he sounds impatient to learn. It's a sign of intelligence! Frustrating for you I'm sure, but maybe alittle change in the routine and more relaxed. Out of interest do you give a reward such as a favoutite tv program if they're right? Or an extra 5 mins with you before bed?

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crystaltips · 29/04/2003 17:03

I am going through the nightmares of homework at the moment as well; whilst posting on Mumsnet ( always said that Mums were good at multi tasking )
DD has just done a whole page of sums wrong ( she did subtraction instead of addition )
DS has just rushed all his spellings ( and got them wrong as his favourite TV programme is on ! )
What do you do ? Probably not what I did, which was yell and throw the book on the table !
Homework is hard - on the one hand they have had a really long day and are too tired to do any more - but on the other hand if you let them have a break for a while trying to get them back to work is a real battle.
WHen things get really bad - I bribe them with a sweet or two at the end of each topic. Seems to work - but I wont do it too often as they will only work for sweets and then their teeth'll fall out !!

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beetroot · 29/04/2003 19:27

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Meanmum · 29/04/2003 19:39

Sorry no help at all here. Dh has arrived home so I've asked him how he would deal with this. No idea at all. Typical blank look. I then asked him what his advice in dealing with this is and it was to set a time for homework to be done. My next question to him was did you do your homework and the response I got was a cheeky grin and a sometimes. That means no I think.

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judetheobscure · 29/04/2003 19:47

This is what I would do - don't know if others agree:

If he doesn't want to do it don't pressurise him. Let him look at the spellings but don't test him. Take the heat out of the situation. Don't know how often you get spellings but assume once a week. Suggest he spends 2 mins a night looking at them. Might not seem much but it's better than nothing. Then when he's comfortable with this, suggest a mini-test, where you just choose say two of the spellings (hopefully the easier ones!) and he does those for you.

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beetroot · 29/04/2003 20:19

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miggy · 30/04/2003 14:32

sounds exactly like DS1 (now 9) We found he was much better with DH than with me. I never understood why he made a fuss and just used to get cross, DH is mr horizontal and they didnt wind each other up. Good news is no spelling in yr5 (not for us anyway!).
Also def not anything you did, DS has too much self confidence and behaved in exactly same way!

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Philippat · 30/04/2003 14:41

I really clearly remember going through a stage at about 7 of total boredom in the work they were giving me at school and getting very bogged down, falling behind with reading etc.
My mum 'cured' it by totally ignoring what the school said I was supposed to be reading and giving me interesting, adult books to read (and reading them with me). It totally bucked me up and I got back into it, and I think I picked up things like spelling along the way as a consequence. I went to Cambridge so it obviously all worked out in the end.

I realise it's much harder to do this now, given the literacy hour targets, but perhaps a chat with his teacher might find a solution?

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emwi · 01/05/2003 21:12

You mean they give 7-year-olds homework?!!! good lord. I hope it's changed by the time Grace gets there (now 6 months)(I realise it won't have) How about quizzes over supper - perhaps Dad could have a go and get them wrong? I like the idea about getting them to do stuff that interests them, but I always was an idealist.

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lilibet · 01/05/2003 21:20

I have no useful advice for you but feel so much better for reading this - it could be me with ds age 9. Its exactly the same, screaming, shouting, stomping off. When he does do his homework he refuses to show it to me, I get very worked up and have tried allsorts but nothing seems to work. Am hoping that it will be yet another phase that he grows out off.

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crystaltips · 01/05/2003 21:34

I get this nightly -

DS has spellings each night : anything from shed to telecommunications ( had to look it up )
He had to write an essay tonight plus a maths sheet - All aged 9

They should supply the parents with prescription bottles of wine

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SimonHoward · 02/05/2003 10:01

Why are children of this age being given homework?

Is this not the sort of thing they are supposed to learn at school?

I know when I was 11 and went to senior school homework was a bit of a shcok for the first week or so but nothing bad, but expecting children of that age to do it is just silly. When do they get time to be children?

Sorry if I'm ranting but I always get annoyed with this sort of thing as my parents made sure my brothers and I could count and write our own names before we even started school.

And as for reading well I have a house full of books and my parents did as well so I have never understood this aversion or reading books that most children seem to have.

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Jaybee · 02/05/2003 11:04

Linzoid - I find that my two (9 Y4 & 6 Y1) want me to sit with them when they go through their work. They also seem more able to concentrate on their spellings in the mornings. How long does he get to learn his spellings? If it is a weekly test why not set a timer and let him only do 5 minutes - possibly only two spellings and test him on these two in the morning, reading books I take to bed, we sit together in bed and I read it to them or they read it to me or they read to each other - ds (9) is a good but reluctant reader but is always eager to read with his sister.
My two don't get sums as such (ds gets mental maths) but we have often done sums in a notebook while sitting in a restaurant or in the car - initially using an mini abacus or raisins or small sweets, they can use them as an aid to their addition or subtraction and eat them if they get them right.
I am rambling but I think what I am trying to say is find a way of doing little bits of work in chunks that suit both them and you.

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lilibet · 02/05/2003 11:17

I don't mind that mine get homework, I think that with the National cirriculum and the amount tath has to spent on each thing in the class, its not unreasonable that they do a bit at home. My six year old gets 10 spellings a week to learn, this week they were things like moon, soon, fool etc, he has two short pages of reading each night which takes him less than two minutes and usually has something a bit bigger on a Monday whcich he has a week to finish, ie draw and colour a picture of your house, find pictures of toys and cut them out and stick them in a book. He is fine, its the 9 year old who is my problem, he has 10 minutes reading a night, 10 harder spellings a week and a couple of nights with other homework, but nothing that would take more than 15 minutes if he would just do the sodding thing! He tantrums for an hour over something that would take a quarter of that. Mine could all read a bit when they went to school and write their names.

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winnie1 · 02/05/2003 11:21

Linzoid, stop feeling guilty and stop beating yourself up! PND did not make your son highly strung and lacking in self confidence.

You say that his teacher tells you how well he works at school. My daughter (thirteen going on twenty four ) was like this at your sons age. I think it takes time for some children to get into the habit of doing homework and I think it's simply easy for them to wind their parents up in a way they'd never dream of with a teacher. His behaviour in class is a credit to you. His behaviour at home is just one of the ways children test their parents (sometimes to the limit ;0). My suggestion would be try to set aside 15 minutes/half an hour to simply concentrate on him and his homework alone. It is a pain (and often far from practical... I do understand) but in the long run, anmd ime it does work and actually saves time that one can spend dealing with tantrums adn telling offs etc...
HTH, sorry if I've repeated what others have said haven't ahd time to read whole thread.

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Jaybee · 02/05/2003 11:33

I recall one time when ds was playing up similarly to your ds and I just left the homework and didn't force him to practice his spellings - just asked him if he wanted to look at them and when he said no just told him not to blame me when he got them wrong. Needless to say, after going for weeks getting 10/10 he only got 7 that week - maybe your ds has to learn the hard way.

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lilibet · 02/05/2003 11:37

Winnie, what does HTH mean? just clicked! Hope this helps?

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Linzoid · 02/05/2003 18:06

Thanks everyone for your helpful replies(knew i could rely on mumnet!!)I will be trying to get round the problem with some of these suggestions and hopefully things will quieten down. In september my younger son will start school, hope to god he's more willing to do the work. Mind you i feel like i've neglected the learning at home thing with him. I've been helping him to write his own name but he can't read anything and doesn't recognize shapes, numbers or anything. Does anyone else find that they had much more time and enthusiasm for teaching the first born. He still sleeps every afternoon too(posted about that before), so the day seems to fly by and i've not sat down and done anything with him as intended.

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maryz · 02/05/2003 22:26

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Tortington · 03/05/2003 19:13

fantastic , good for you!

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tigermoth · 03/05/2003 21:04

Oh this is a good thread! can my 9 year old join the list of sulkers and procrastinators too?

What makes me laugh/ cry depending on mood is the dramatic turn he puts on - the rolling of the eyes, the flinging of the body on the sofa, the sudden pain in legs, head, throat etc

Agree with jaybee, break the homework down into tiny chunks. Even 10 minutes a day. Getting my son to do it all in 2 hours is asking for trouble. My son needs to feel he can achieve something each time he sits down at the dreaded kitchen table.

But if he is being totally awful I say to him ' Nothing, but nothing happens until you have finished that page' - no meals, no going out, no tv. I go on strike. This works really well even if I am a seething mass of stress inside and my son hates me for a while.

I also tell my son he's got one hour till supper. In that time he can play out, but only when he has finished his homework. I point out that it doesn't matter a sigle iota to me if he stays in or out, all I care about is the homework. It it takes him all the hour then so be it.

Every so often I feel he really has too much to do and it's not his fault. Perhaps because he has been busy on extra curricular stuff or he's been under the weather, struggled into school but too bleary-eyed to do much at home. If that's the case, I am happy for him to ask the teacher for more time. She is happy to give it. After all he is only at primary school for goodness sake!

Actually I have been quite shocked by how much homework some of you are facing. We get 2 or3 worksheets a week, plus 10 spellings, plus it's recommended my son reads to himself 4 or so evenings a week.

My spelling tip is to go through them the morning of the test, just before school and on the journey into school. The adreneline is flowing and that really helps. We spend 15 minutes a week on spellings and my son usually gets them all correct in his test - but he is a good speller.

I am now facing a pre-school preparation dilema with son number 2 who starts school in January. In a quandry here because he's only 3.8 months now and IMO really shouldn't be worrying his little head with numbers and letters quite yet. But if I don't make a start, he'll find himself amongst rising fives who may well have picked up the rudiments of reading and writing already. Ahh I'll have to start a thread on this sometime.

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