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Kids and Homework

November 20th, 2007, 07:47 PM
:yell: :frustrated: What is with kids and homework? Why does it have to be a battle every night? Is it just a "boy" thing, or do girls give parents as much of a hard time about homework as boys do? And when did the school boards decide that children should have company while doing homework, so they assign work that their parents absolutely have to help them with? Is it because we work all day long, and then have to deal with the housework, bills, siblings, and the various other parts of home management, that they think we have unlimited time and resources every evening?

Don't mind me. I just needed to rant. :wall:

November 20th, 2007, 07:52 PM
Is it just a "boy" thing,

My niece was "caught" not doing hers. My sister only found out when she got a note from the teacher. My niece said it was because she didn't understand math. :shrug:

November 20th, 2007, 08:00 PM
I don't blame her! I used to be very good at math, but now I find I don't understand the questions at all. It's not the problems that are the issue, it's the way the questions are worded. I've heard about this "new math" thing they're teaching at school, but this is rediculous. My husband agrees. When I was a kid, math was math. 1 + 1 = 2. No grey areas at all. My son is bringing home math worksheets now that end with questions like, "Explain how you know you're right." What?? My son is 8 years old. He doesn't know if he's right or not! What the heck kind of math question is that?! :frustrated:

ETA: My son would skip his homework, too, because he was frustrated by it. And he's really smart with math, it's the "other" questions that were the problem. So now I have to sit with him every night to make sure he does it all.

November 20th, 2007, 08:06 PM
That's a weird math question :confused: I was pretty good in school too , but the minute I didn't understand something , I just wanted to quit. Maybe that's why your son is not very interested by his homework.

November 20th, 2007, 08:22 PM
Schools give way too much homework to kids, IMO. And then they cut out funding for music and art programs. No wonder they don't want to do homework. It's shoved down their throat day after day.

Poor kids.

November 20th, 2007, 09:36 PM
my daughter is in the 3rd grade and the transition to the new math curriculum, while not EASY, it hasnt been impossible. its is to make them think of its practical application, which i think is very progressive. other schools ahve been using this method for decades with great results.

1+1=2 is fantastic but how to use it is far more practical. a $1 apple plus another $1 apple brings your bill to a total of $2.

our children, the older they are, will have a harder time adjusting from cold math to having to THINK of what the unit would be. yes its more thinking... but its thinking with a purpose.

:cool: how do i get MY kid to do her homework?? i deny food. she doesnt get a snack unless she finishes her homework and brings it to me. ;) motivation really gets you far. :D

also, go talk to the teacher. we had some HUGE issues at the beginning of the year with her math.... only to find out the teacher didnt expect the homework to be of things she already KNEW. she would send work home for her to work on with US as her parents so we all could see what we could figure out, not touch it for another month.... the first round was only for exposure and didnt count towards her grade.


November 21st, 2007, 07:40 AM
I'm all for practical applications. What I'm not for is the cryptic essay questions in math homework. And yes, it does count towards his mark. I receive notes home all the time. When I send back a note saying we didn't complete the homework because we didn't understand the question, I'm told, "We did this during class today. He should have been able to tell you what was expected." When he gets a bad mark on a test, I get notes saying, "If he's having trouble with something, he should come to me during recess to review it." What 8 year old boy is going to voluntarily stay back during recess to talk about homework? At this age, I believe it's still up to the teacher to guide them. If she sees that he's having difficulty, she should be keeping him in at recess to review it, not expecting him to take that initiative. Yes, they need to learn responsibility for themselves, but that's asking a little much, IMHO. I can talk to him all I want at home, but I'm not there to make sure he follows-through in class. That's what the teacher is there for, isn't it?

We're having a parent-teacher interview at the end of the month. Unfortunately, I don't have a car anymore, so it might have to be done over the phone if I can't borrow a car from the neighbour.

I've tried bribery. I've tried withholding video games. I've tried grounding. If he doesn't understand something, he shuts down. I'm beginning to think that no amount of bribery or punishment will help, as this only makes him feel inadequate and picked-on.

I've always thought (and been told) that homework was a review of what was done during class. Not something new that we have to figure out together. And if it's something that I and my husband can't figure out within the first few minutes, how is my 8 year old son supposed to do it?

November 21st, 2007, 08:06 AM
O boy, I hear you Writing 4 fun, I have been there.. where do you think I got my streeks of grey hair from..
I can go on and on about this.. It is one of my pet peeves.....

My youngest wouls shut down if he could bnot get this within a 1/2 hour and refused (no matter what I did) to do it.. He would go in many times not doing homework to have the teacher yell at him or keep in in for detention because of this..

The teacher would phone me almost everyday say he did not complete his homework. and to keep my youngest in for receess or lunch break or after school is not the way to deal with him..

It was a night mare.. yelling, fighting, sitting for hours at a time trying to do this stupid math....I find that there is a problem with the math today almost 90% of the kids in my youngest class would fail, sorry I'm not helping this situation to well. But it's true. Don't you think if that many kids fail this program that there is something wrong with the program or the teaching of it?? what happened to simple math it works fine for us (the older generantion) why not the kids of today??
When he was in school I would teach him my way of doing math he understood that a lot better than what the teacher was teaching.. He got the right answer but because he did not do it the teachers way he failed..

Talking to the teacher at that point was useless, she would not hear of it being taught the simple way and all she cared about was he did not come in for extra help.. she did not see to it that he remembered or ecouraged him to come in.. She said well if he does not come in by himself then what was she supose to do?? like I can be there 24/7 to make sure he shows up !!
I'm sorry but you can not keep a child in school without a break for the whole school year..
We tried toutors, friends extra help in school everything under the sun.. I even took a course so that I could help him at home, and I like you was very good in math.. but nothing helped..

At one time he was labeled A.D.D. which he did not have, and I was labeled an uncoopertive parent.. when all I wanted to do was help him get throught this never ending battle of math....

Try talking to the teacher maybe she will be of more help than mine were.
try teaching the simple math and see if he understands it that way, then you can try the "new" way.. try putting old and new together.. you might have to as I say go around the problem instead of go at the problem..

my younger son never passed in math but now is a chef uses math all the time.. and he is 18 now..hope I was a little bit of a help..keep your chin up.

sorry for the spelling this was not my strong point lol lol lol

November 21st, 2007, 09:49 AM
Gosh... it must be so hard to be a parent these days. No wonder I elected to not have children! :laughing:

I think kids today are frustrated because on some unconscious level they feel like they are being groomed to becoming little repeating machines, to absorb data and spew it out on a test to prove that they memorized something.

IMO that's not learning, that's indoctrination. Fortunately I did not receive that type of education because the teachers at my public schools did not treat us like that. They all encouraged us to think for ourselves and not just repeat stuff. Our schools were also heavy on the arts and I spent many happy years in the music program, playing the flute and piccolo in orchestra and stage bands, and was a flag twirler in the marching band. We traveled all over for competitions as well and won many awards. Our music teacher was brilliant and we all loved and respected that man. He made learning fun!!!

One of my favorite teachers was my Physics teacher in high school. She was also a Sunday School teacher at our church and was one cool lady! She invited us all to her house out in the country one summer and we all ate great food and watched the meteor showers. I had some concerns one day and was talking to her and she said something that's stuck with me all these years. She said, "The smart people are the ones that ask questions." And I've never stopped asking questions and now an info junkie, spending many hours a day reading, researching, learning new things. All because she said that very simple sentence.

Kids need to learn how to make decisions, how to be creative because many times creativity is bred out of them.

If it's OK I'd like to share a link to a video talking about this very subject. Has anyone here ever heard of the TED conference? Some of the brightest minds in the world are invited to attend these conferences every year to put on presentations. Every subject is shown. Some is entertaining, some of it is musical or technical, and the rest is lectures. I wish I could attend some time!! I would be in hog heaven there.

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining (and profoundly moving) case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it. With ample anecdotes and witty asides, Robinson points out the many ways our schools fail to recognize -- much less cultivate -- the talents of many brilliant people. "We are educating people out of their creativity," Robinson says. The universality of his message is evidenced by its rampant popularity online. A typical review: "If you have not yet seen Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk, please stop whatever you're doing and watch it now."

November 21st, 2007, 10:04 AM
I am sure who old you are Ceara but when I went to school things were a lot better most of the teachers cared and were not affraid of the kids like they are nowadays.. I find that the teachers these days just care about the curiculum and not teaching.. I was always taught if you can't figure out the problem go around it until you can find a solution.. or if you did not know a word tasking about what you are trying to say..simple is not always better but sometimes it helps....
I have fought with my kids teachers so many times I lost count.. one of my sons have a photographic memeory, when he had to study spelling he would be able to tell you what line the word is on.. he very seldum got them wrong.. one teacher instisted that he wrote out ALL the words ten times even the ones he knew, he refused.. boy did I get an earful from the teacher but I sided on my sons side.. sure enough he got all the words right on the test.... She was not impressed as I was..
My other son did a project it was a great project in my eyes and his, the teacher did not like it cause it was not done on a computer ( we did not have one at that time) so she failed him.. it is crazy out there.. I am very glad that my sons are out of school now.. but it is hard for the ones that are in school.
this is a place where kids are supose to be safe and learn, well it is not all huni dori.. and the teacher just don't seem to care . you get a handful of teachers that DO care but they are few and far between..

I find IMO the terachers want all the kids on rediline. they are very fast to say that this kid or that kid is A.D.D. or A.D.H.D now for the kids that are I am all for them to get the right treatment, but not all kids are like that.. and no one kid is the same as the others and the teachers should not think that they are.. some kids like school, other do not. but if they made learning fun and understand the problems with the school systems then I think we would be all better off.

November 21st, 2007, 10:28 AM
I find IMO the terachers want all the kids on rediline. they are very fast to say that this kid or that kid is A.D.D. or A.D.H.D now for the kids that are I am all for them to get the right treatment, but not all kids are like that.. and no one kid is the same as the others and the teachers should not think that they are.. some kids like school, other do not. but if they made learning fun and understand the problems with the school systems then I think we would be all better off.

I turned 33 earlier this month.

There is a reason all this is happening, with the ADD/ADHD drugs. Also to blame is human vaccinations which contain some nasty chemicals that shouldn't be in our bodies. These alter the brain, which in some instances make it almost impossible to teach the youngsters. Then the education system gets blamed, parents get blamed, crime escalates as people act out of frustration because they don't feel they fit in our modern world. Then we punish them. Millions are in prisons. Cookie cutter education does not work.

But... these reasons are very touchy subjects and I don't want to scare people. It's my personal belief system that I cannot force this information on anyone, they have to have the desire to learn more. But I love to share information. Very very scary what's going on in the world today and most people are blind to it all. The philosophy in the movie The Matrix is a prime example of what's going on.

Believe nothing, question everything. Don't rely on what someone else says, no matter if they have any sort of alphabetical abbreviations behind their name. Most intelligent and wise people I have met over the years never set foot in university.

Short documentary called "Return to the Source: Philosophy and the Matrix"

Scroll down on the "related videos" area to see the other 5 parts.

November 21st, 2007, 10:42 AM
I feel for the parents and kids that are going through this..
I've been there, and there is no one easy solution to this problem..

they say that it is a three way colaberation, but it fact it is not..
some kids feel very "dumb cause they don't understand and do shut down, they are not taught to think logicaly they are bumbared with learn learn learn my way or else fail, thats not good, there are many ways around a problem, not just one.. I have learnt that..
the smaller kids say the teacher wants it this way, well maybe it does not work for them that way.. so way can't we show them a different way..

does the world work just one way?? what works for one does it always work for the other one?? nope it doesn't..

I have one son that loves school but until we found that one teacher that was willing to think outside the box, he was ready to drop out..
my other son does not like school but could not conect to one teacher in order to help, so I had to think outside the box for him..
you are right take nothing a face value, and to ask questions.. but when you have a child that is not willing to do that we have to rely on thinking outside the box..

November 21st, 2007, 11:25 AM
Thinking outside the box.

I like your approach. :D It's not often I hear people say that phrase.

:thumbs up :highfive:

I find my niece behaves in much the same way with school and life. She's 11 now. Last time I saw her we had a heart-to-heart and I encouraged her to always ponder over things on her own and not always 100% rely on others' approach on things and that she is very smart and capable of so much.

November 21st, 2007, 11:53 AM
Thinking outside the box.

it's amazing how many times you have to do this with kids, young adults and even life..:D:D:D

November 21st, 2007, 12:08 PM
I have one son that loves school but until we found that one teacher that was willing to think outside the box, he was ready to drop out.. My nephew is the same way. He's diagnosed ADHD, mind you. He had a very hard time with school, because people were expecting him to "sit still and learn". They finally found a teacher who understands his issues. She has her class set up in stations, so he's getting up and walking around during class, which works great for him. He now understands that, when he's feeling "jumpy", he needs to burn some energy and then he'll feel better. Far better than making him feel like a failure, like something's wrong with him because he can't do it the way the other kids are doing it, don't you think? :thumbs up

We had one wonderful teacher with whom my son really got along well, really respected, and really understood. He had her in SK and Grade 1. Grade 2 was a nightmare. I hated that teacher. How am I supposed to take her seriously as a professional when his report cards came home with spelling errors, grammatical errors, calling him "she" instead of "he", etc...? His math worksheets were photocopies, which is fine, except that sometimes they came home with questions cut off so we couldn't read them, or they were too blurry, or they had the answer key photocopied with them. :rolleyes: This year's teacher isn't bad, professionally speaking, but she clearly isn't connecting with him. She had no idea he has a younger brother. :frustrated: I can't understand that - he talks about him constantly, writes about him in his spelling exercises, etc... The wonderful teacher from grade 1 is teaching grade 4 this year. Hopefully, she'll be teaching grade 4 next year and he'll be lucky enough to have her (or maybe I'll make sure he has her ;) ). Mind you, that's if he's in the same school next year. I don't know why, but most of the parents on my street whose kids should be in Catholic school have decided to send them to the local public school instead. Two of them are Catholic school teachers, too! :confused: I'm thinking there's more of an issue there, and I'll have to talk to them about it if I ever see them out and about. Maybe I'll be sending my kids to the public school as well...

November 21st, 2007, 12:24 PM
It's things like this that make me happy I never wanted kids. :laughing: One of my good friends at work, used to have a horrible time with her 2 boys and their homework. After being at school all day, it just wasn't in them to sit down and do homework at night. She didn't let them get away with it, but it was a struggle every night.
Then there were all the calls from the school, daily sometimes.
Both boys were diagnosed as ADHD. I understand that Omega 3 supplements have been identified as a natural way to control that instead of going to something like ridilin if you want to give it a try, it may help them concentrate and it can't hurt them.
Anyway, she only has one left in school, but instead of being happy when the school year starts, she used to cringe.
Quite a few of the other mom's have the same problem.
You'll get through it.....maybe with a few more gray hairs.


November 21st, 2007, 12:30 PM
there were teachers my kids adored and teachers that they realllllly disliked I for one did not want to make sure the kids got the ones they liked cause that would not teach them that you have to deal with any type of person.. but I did make sure the other "good teachers" were avable for my kids when needed.. It taught them how to deal with things they did not like, or how to stand up respectively for what they belived in..

it is a hard world out there and it's very disappointing that some teachers will just not help or take interst in who the child is and what the childs family is like..

November 21st, 2007, 01:05 PM
add and adhd are the same now most are classified with adhd with a subcategory. you find even in university profs can be it's my way only. my daughter has run into this with flute lessons (she's in music therapy) i have always taught them to question things and this prof takes it as an affront.thank g-d she is able to audition for vocal whose prof has a different approach otherwise 4 years of a very unhappy kid.

November 21st, 2007, 01:46 PM
aaaahh, i think i understand a little better.... my daughter is also 8yo but her school (public!!!) is so small (K-8 with one class per grade and no more than 20 students per grade) that all of her teachers (besides K) all knew her before she even got there LOL!! i would have complete strange kids asking me if i was Cailyns mom because we looked alike.

the sort of attention they get in class is amazing. we have been so unbelievably lucky that all 4 of her teachers so far have been amazing and attentive and very enthusiastic about teaching.

BUT the new stuff is HARD!! they have been almost zombified to just flow in one direction their entire learning career that this new stuff makes them think outside the box too. once they understand the rhythm of the new stuff they can work much more fluidly because it IS a fluid way of learning (if its the same stuff they are teaching here).

i woudl seriously consider going to another school NOW instead of after he has really rooted in with his friends there. right now (at 8yo) they are just starting to form their cliques at school. if your son learns better with more teachers attention, then find him a school with a teacher who will give him attention. some kids can go in and pick things up like a sponge with little to no encouragement. others need one on one attention, someone who will work with their confidence AND the content. my daughter is one of those kids who simply needs food motivation to do her homework. if i let her eat first she will take forever to finish her homework.

she knows what the rules are, she does her homework, eats and then plays until dinner time, after dinner we practice piano and she brushes her teeth. then she reads and goes to bed. if we eat early we get a game of poker going. i think she needs those fun times more than anythign else.

is your son in any sports? martial arts? music lessons? Chris and i are firm believers in having an artistic outlet/learning(music, art classes, drama, dance) and also a physical outlet (soccer, baseball, martial arts, ice skating, participation in dog training?!) to have a well balanced diet of physical and mental stimulation. maybe having a few things that he CAN do will give him the confidence to do the things he CANT (we all know he CAN... but maybe HE doesnt??) do?

also, one shocking revelation we had this year was that Cailyn and Cailyn alone was responsible for herself now. 3rd grade is such a transitional age between a very dependent 2nd grader to a independent 4th grader. she rarely ever looses marks on her homework content but the first time she misses it, forgets it at home, blames it on the dog/baby eating it... she gets marks taken off (she gets a stick behind her name) and looses her 'treasure' at the end of the week. one thing her teacher made VERY CLEAR to us is we need to stop doing everything for her. we are to go over her homework with her, be available while she works on it and listen while she reads outloud. no more packing her bag for her, no more making her do her homework, no more reading her assignment sheets for her. very tough stuff for my little pumpkin ;) boy did she learn quick that she had her own stuff to keep up with!!!

also- these kids who dont learn like 'the rest of the class' is diagnosed with learning disabilities. its just a crock in most cases. go through some activities with him, talk to a therapist, find SOMEONE who is able to help you figure out how he learns best and roll with it from there. finding help will prevent some of the frustration from you guys trying to figure it all out. many therapist can tag him as a visual learner or a hands on learner within a session or two. those two examples are just two in a few dozen ways people learn.

another idea is to contact a tutoring agency like our Sylvan Learning Centers ( here in the states. they are there for that extra attention students need. not because they are SLOW but because they learn differently.

ok... ive talked your.... eyeballs off now. :) sorry! kids are one of those subjects im quite keen on.


November 21st, 2007, 04:04 PM
Brings back memories,I remember my son having to write one essay after another and always remembering the night before it was due:yell:
Talk about hissy-fits,mom had them all the time:laughing:
Just trying to get 3 sons out of bed in the morning to go to school,was enough to cause a nervous breakdown...and math-homework,math was never my strongest subject,I was in to languages,but OMG did we have many late nights trying to figure things out,that was before we had computers.
Oh,and book-reports,without having read the book,or translating Shakespeare(sp?) OMG,I am glad those days are over..:laughing:

November 21st, 2007, 04:08 PM
chico2.. you are defintaly bring back memeries that I am willing to forget..
mind you I am still having problems getting my youngest son up in the mornings to go to work....:frustrated:

I think those of us with kids that are grown or going thought it can relate..
parenting the best kept lol lol

November 21st, 2007, 04:12 PM
Yeah,I had the same problem when getting them up to work and trying to get ready for work myself:yell:
Gosh,emptynester retirement is sooo good:laughing:

November 21st, 2007, 04:20 PM
well It's not empty nest here yet, notice I said yet....
mind you I have mixed feelings on that one right now....
My oldest 21 I have no prblem with it's my youngest 18. but I guess you can't have one that is really good without having the other one causing all kind of trouble.. It balances out the scale.. lol lol lol lol lol

I love them dearly please don't get me wrong.. I could not ask for any better kids, young adults...

I think I need a vacation :laughing::laughing::laughing:

November 22nd, 2007, 07:06 AM
Breeze,I love my"kids"too,very much and they are good adults.
However,that does not mean in their teenage years,at times all I felt like doing was scream:yell::laughing:
Now with 3 four-legged males,hmmmm....

November 23rd, 2007, 01:56 PM
lol. I think my mom will atest that it is a boy thing. She has 3 boys and me (a girl!) and I have to admit I am the only goodie when it comes to school out of the bunch. Mind u I am not the smartest, my eldest brother ( who took 7 yrs to do an ungergrad) is by far the smartest...and the laziest. Lol.

I would love any advice cuz right now being one of only 2 children left at home ( lil bro and myself) I have to help enforce the doing hwk with the lil bro and omg is it a NIGHTMARE! He just got back his report card too "must do his homework DAILY", even tho he said he was :frustrated: He's in grade 12, but only just turned 16, so I dunno ...part of me is like well hes old enough to do his own thing..but the other part thinks well, we (im in my last year of undergrad) know better and he needs to do well in this last yr so he doesnt regret messing up his chances! *sigh*:shrug: He's too worried about being cool me thinks.

November 23rd, 2007, 02:16 PM
Now THAT's a tough age!! At 16, they think they're invincible and the "future" is some grey hazy thing that old people keep talking about and surely isn't something for him to worry about right now. :laughing:

Sorry, I can't give you any advice on this one. And, even if we do, he's not likely to listen to it. :rolleyes:

November 23rd, 2007, 02:36 PM
lol, don't forget he is macho all that is man. He'd rather die than take advice from his sister ( or heaven forbid be seen with her:wall:)

November 24th, 2007, 01:47 PM
As a former elementary school teacher and a mother to a boy and a girl I can tell you how I feel about homework. I think that too many teachers overuse homework to cover curriculum. The purpose of homework is to reinforce a lesson. Period. That's my opinion but of course I think I'm right. LOL.

For instance, if you introduce a new math concept and you go over it in class, it would then be appropriate to give the kids 10 problems to reinforce it. Or 20 problems for an older child, or whatever. So that it's a little practice for them before they come back to school becaue they will have had a few other subjects, and an after shool activity and some television before they do the work again. So if the teacher is giving your child enough to keep a concept fresh in their minds, or a little reading in history so that they can discuss it in class the next day then that's ok.

But.....if they are asked to do 3 pages of math, and read an entire chapter that's something I would question.

My son had a kindergarten teacher who was fine. We didn't love her or hate her. She was nice and she was very comptetent. Three years later my daughter had her and by then she was pushing for an all day kindergarten program. Really campaigning. She gave almost no homework when my son was in her class but when my daughter was there she assigned TONS. When parents questioned her she said that she couldn't possibly teach them all they needed to know in a half day and it was time the school board changed to a full day kindergarten. :rolleyes:

She assigned them a book each week, meaning they had to make a book with pictures and text every week. Like a mini term paper for kindergarten. They had to draw pictures--no fewer than 8 pages, with sentences on every page teaching about the subject. That's a big assignment for kindergarten students who are just learning how to read and write. For Pete's sake---it involved research. Great if she wanted to do that as a class project, or if she didn't also assign three math pages a night and 4 reading worksheets. These kids were babies, just getting used to going to school.

I used to go through the homework and pull out the amount I felt was appropriate and allow her to do that much. Maybe a worksheet one night. Some nights nothing. And I told her to tell her teacher that her mommy chooses how much homework she does.

I expected to get an earful from the teacher but she never said a word. :shrug:

November 24th, 2007, 03:33 PM
Joeysmama,what used to really bother me was all the papers.
A binder for that another for that,very few textbooks mostly printouts,I guess no money for text-books.
We came from Sweden,where every student had a new text-book for every subject,I thought all these loose papers was really a pain in the butt.
I don't know if it is still the same now,but suspect it is,money for books is spent elsewhere..