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(Slate)   "I battle with my children every day about homework; they never want to do it. I've given up on this year; how can I make sure they do their homework next year?"   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Facepalm, High school, School, Special education, Education, assortment of teachers, different school, Teacher, good rapport  
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216 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 02 Jul 2020 at 8:35 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



22 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-07-02 8:22:32 AM  
"The world needs ditch diggers too."
 
2020-07-02 9:05:19 AM  
Make it a power struggle. That ALWAYS works.
 
2020-07-02 9:13:56 AM  
Bad subby, implying she gave up.

FTA:  "There is no parent access system.  As we head into the new school year in the fall, I want to do better."

Sounds like a rushed, crappy online learning system; sympathies to her.
 
2020-07-02 9:18:53 AM  
Get your kids logins and farking check? So difficult, I know.

Also, for motivation implement Fight Club for the online PE class.
 
2020-07-02 9:19:58 AM  
Threaten them with a day in the Shame Closet if they do not comply. You do have a Shame Closet set up, don't you. If that fails, there is always the fatal beating. Good Luck!
 
2020-07-02 9:50:27 AM  
You've already taught them it's not important when you caved this year. Establishing homework as a habit and part of a routine should have happened. You can't unsurrender now.
 
2020-07-02 9:52:05 AM  
Here's a hint. You can't. If a kid doesn't want to do his homework, it's not gonna get done.

/I didn't do my homework. Papers, sure. Assignments, natch. Tests, of course. But fark homework.
 
2020-07-02 10:00:26 AM  
I'm interested to understand how a school defines "homework" when all the learning is remote. With that structure everything, including listening to the teacher, is "homework." My S/O completed their college education mostly through remote classes and self-paced online materials. It all functioned about the same as regular, in-person college - in that you checked in with a teacher a few times a week and got assignments and reading to do on your own, and then exams or projects to check your learning - except the self-paced stuff had a little less "you need to sit here and listen to the teacher for X-amount of time" content. That made it a lot faster.

Honestly "homework" as it's assigned from grade school through high school is an unnatural construct which won't help you cope with "homework" in college or your eventual job - where "homework" is called "unpaid overtime," if you have it at all. It makes even less sense when the classes are remote. They can't be sending the children "home" from "school" and locking them out of the system they use to do their coursework after a certain time. The only way that label makes even a little sense is if it means "work done without the teacher available to check it or help with it right away, which is due at a certain time" but unless they're doing marathon Zoom sessions like that poor trainee teacher later in the article, that should be what most of their work looks like now.

"They are not doing their homework" right now is liable to be another way of saying "they are not spending an appropriate amount of time on school." And of course you can't help them with their time management if you have no way of knowing whether they're doing school when they're on the computer. A parent portal would be nice, but how about also looking over their shoulder at what's on the screen? I know it's an analog solution and not perfect, but at least you know if they have school open in a tab that they can switch to when they notice you.
 
2020-07-02 10:18:52 AM  
Quite simply the way you get kids to do anything they don't want to do. The consequences of not doing whatever it is are so severe that there's no way they don't do it.

If a punishment isn't over the top then they won't care. What that is varies by child. I got one that a week of TV lost is a hurdle that they'll never cross.

Don't get angry, argue, or show any emotion. Just, "Get this homework done by 8." Then walk away, don't check up meantime. Just look at 8 to see if it was done or not. If not, bam, epic consequences. I guarantee you it'll only take a couple times before they suddenly are listening to instructions.

Again, emotionless, no physical punishment. Just take away whatever their joy is for an extended period.
 
2020-07-02 10:25:42 AM  

groovybomb: Quite simply the way you get kids to do anything they don't want to do. The consequences of not doing whatever it is are so severe that there's no way they don't do it.

If a punishment isn't over the top then they won't care. What that is varies by child. I got one that a week of TV lost is a hurdle that they'll never cross.

Don't get angry, argue, or show any emotion. Just, "Get this homework done by 8." Then walk away, don't check up meantime. Just look at 8 to see if it was done or not. If not, bam, epic consequences. I guarantee you it'll only take a couple times before they suddenly are listening to instructions.

Again, emotionless, no physical punishment. Just take away whatever their joy is for an extended period.


*AND STICK TO IT*.

Both parents have to be on the same page.  If one parent is a "softy" and cuts the punishment short, they're never going to learn.  Has to be a united front.
 
2020-07-02 10:29:06 AM  

wet drum sandwich: Make it a power struggle. That ALWAYS works.


It does always work, when you have all the power.  Which as a parent, you do.  The law sets very wide limits on what you're allowed to do.
 
2020-07-02 10:47:14 AM  
If you can spring for private school, it's worth every penny.  If homework is an issue, you call them up, and the homework ceases to be an issue.  It really is quite remarkable.
 
2020-07-02 10:48:42 AM  
My Kids Won't Do Homework -Sounds like me at that age.  I hated homework so much.  And look at me now.  I'm a teacher!  In closing, make sure they have a nice, quiet place to do their homework.

I Want More Disabled Kids in My Kid's Class -Depending on where these kids are on the spectrum, a regular classroom placement may not be appropriate.

We are Expected to be on Zoom for Six Hours a Day -Holy crap.

Where Should I Send My Kid to School? -I don't know.  Maybe not that school up in the second letter.
 
2020-07-02 11:47:42 AM  
The only thing that seems to get my kids to listen is days of XBox taken away.

Well, for my oldest it mostly gets him to behave and work towards a sentencing reduction after he loses a week or so.  The younger two mostly choose to modify behavior before losing days.
 
2020-07-02 1:21:40 PM  
dnrtfa, but I'm guessing they were lax about monitoring homework before Covid.
 
2020-07-02 1:24:16 PM  

dittybopper: wet drum sandwich: Make it a power struggle. That ALWAYS works.

It does always work, when you have all the power.  Which as a parent, you do.  The law sets very wide limits on what you're allowed to do.


Sometimes it works in some families. I don't think it's good advice to dispense as a one-size-fits-all thing.

In a power struggle like this, which implies the parents are being authoritative and doling out consequences, the situation from the kid's point of view is not a matter of weighing out "refusing to do something I don't want to do" as opposed to "taking the consequences." It's a matter of "refusing to do something I don't want to do AND winning this conflict against the parent(s)" as opposed to "taking the consequences." And "winning" has a significant chance of being the most valuable element here.
 
2020-07-02 2:17:17 PM  

DoBeDoBeLurk: I'm interested to understand how a school defines "homework" when all the learning is remote. With that structure everything, including listening to the teacher, is "homework." My S/O completed their college education mostly through remote classes and self-paced online materials. It all functioned about the same as regular, in-person college - in that you checked in with a teacher a few times a week and got assignments and reading to do on your own, and then exams or projects to check your learning - except the self-paced stuff had a little less "you need to sit here and listen to the teacher for X-amount of time" content. That made it a lot faster.

Honestly "homework" as it's assigned from grade school through high school is an unnatural construct which won't help you cope with "homework" in college or your eventual job - where "homework" is called "unpaid overtime," if you have it at all. It makes even less sense when the classes are remote. They can't be sending the children "home" from "school" and locking them out of the system they use to do their coursework after a certain time. The only way that label makes even a little sense is if it means "work done without the teacher available to check it or help with it right away, which is due at a certain time" but unless they're doing marathon Zoom sessions like that poor trainee teacher later in the article, that should be what most of their work looks like now.

"They are not doing their homework" right now is liable to be another way of saying "they are not spending an appropriate amount of time on school." And of course you can't help them with their time management if you have no way of knowing whether they're doing school when they're on the computer. A parent portal would be nice, but how about also looking over their shoulder at what's on the screen? I know it's an analog solution and not perfect, but at least you know if they have school open in a tab that they can switch to when they notice you.


Homework is not "unpaid overtime", it is called education. As a fulltime student, you are already doing your job. Just because it is remote learning, doesn't make it not part of your job.

As someone who has been in college twice, homework does help you with college because, guess what, homework! Yaaaay!

And hitting back to homework being unpaid overtime: then don't do the job. Want to be an EMT? Paid training, which includes homework. Promotion to electrician? Paid schooling which includes homework. Want to be an office jockey, well, now you are salary, so welcome to your time always being paid. Sometimes at what is $4 and hour, or $30 an hour to exist as a leech under your bosses desk.

Every job is different, but it isn't the job of homework to instill a sense of self worth to a child. That would be the parent. Don't do work you won't benefit from.
 
2020-07-02 2:32:44 PM  
I was roughly the age of the kids in that letter when I realized the vast majority of my homework was repetitive busywork and I only did what minimal amount was required to keep my grades in a place my parents would not bother me.  I'd get high marks on the stuff I turned in and on tests and my grades were good enough to get me into college.  Standardized test scores for me were also very good.

My guess is this isn't a challenge to parental authority specifically.  Or school authority, either.  Probably more an expression of desire for more autonomy.  The issue here is that I don't know if these kids would still get acceptable grades without doing the homework and if they didn't, do they care about the potential long term consequences?  There's no way anyone was going to brow-beat me into doing what I saw as pointless work at that point in my life and my parents knew it, so they didn't try.  That is likely true here.

In hindsight, I have come to know that the amount of regular homework I shrugged off was generally meant to be a path for those who did not test well due to anxiety (as opposed to not actually knowing their shiat) to achieve better grades.  I get that now, but I see it as a general weakness in the way we evaluate students.  Fairness would factor in when some students had to do homework and others were excused due to demonstrating sufficient knowledge of the topic.  I don't have a good solution to the big issue.
 
2020-07-02 8:25:51 PM  
Can the child pass the class without doing the homework? If yes, then the homework is just pointless busywork and you shouldn't make them do it. A lot of stuff teachers do in elementary school classes is done to keep the kids quiet and busy. It is not all educational.
 
2020-07-02 11:14:27 PM  

BMFPitt: The only thing that seems to get my kids to listen is days of XBox taken away.

Well, for my oldest it mostly gets him to behave and work towards a sentencing reduction after he loses a week or so.  The younger two mostly choose to modify behavior before losing days.


Every time I take away my kid's toys for not doing class work I feel like Walter in Lebowski shouting "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS" as he is smashing the car, based on his reaction. Of course, he cries as I remind him that as soon as he begins the work, the stuff will come back and it's all in his hands. Then again, he's 4.
 
2020-07-03 8:18:27 AM  

Fano: BMFPitt: The only thing that seems to get my kids to listen is days of XBox taken away.

Well, for my oldest it mostly gets him to behave and work towards a sentencing reduction after he loses a week or so.  The younger two mostly choose to modify behavior before losing days.

Every time I take away my kid's toys for not doing class work I feel like Walter in Lebowski shouting "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS" as he is smashing the car, based on his reaction. Of course, he cries as I remind him that as soon as he begins the work, the stuff will come back and it's all in his hands. Then again, he's 4.


Your 4-year-old has homework?
 
2020-07-03 5:34:26 PM  
get the kid a few weeks of food tell him your going to buy some smokes , move to another state get a new job , anonymously call over a child left alone in your former house.
after a few months hit yourself on the head go to the hospital and claim you don't remember the past few months.
if they buy it you get a very docile kid back. if not just smoke some more crack and make another kid.
 
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