Tuesday, August 24, 2010

day 161 - homework

homework. wow, just saying that word brings tension to my mind and body. i've always had great respect for homework and thought of course kids needed to review what they did in class. a little work never caused harm to anybody. well obviously no one has been to my house. in my house homework does cause harm. it brings chaos, hatred, anger, frustration, destruction, and fear. it's a mad house trying to help 3 kids with homework they don't understand, keep a toddler away so older kids can actually do homework, and make sure dinner is on the table before the night is over. my kids get so frustrated over homework that if their questions are not answered right away (which is impossible) they get upset. and with their high sensitivity to stress homework makes us all want to pull our hair out, myself included in that. they already have a fear of failing and feeling stupid so now they are going to attempt to do more work and have more attempts at failing and feeling stupid. what? why would i do that to my kids?

i'm not sure what to do here because i want to fully support the teachers and be on the same team with them. i don't want my child to be coddled and unchallenged. but i want to do what's best for my kids. even though their grade level might say 3rd, 5th, and 6th, emotionally and mentally they are much lower. doing homework for 5 hours is unhealthy for them. i'm in much need of some help and advice. and no, homeschooling is not an option.


-A. said...

Could you take turns with them doing it one-on-one? Maybe it wouldn't take so long if they had your undivided attention? Of course that would only work if the other boys were cool with each other and watching the toddler while they waited their turns. As far as meals...gosh, crock pot meals only go so far... maybe have one Saturday where you make several meals to freeze and re-heat throughout the week? Hope you get things figured out a little, I know it's rough. Keep smiling and keep up the good work!

Megan M. said...

Sounds like you really just need extra helpers for an hour or two after school. Wish I could be closer to help you! Maybe along the lines of the other comment, you could work one at a time and have the older boys work on something easy for supper. Something that doesn't need supervision, like opening cans, shucking corn, buttering bread might help you get supper on the table, but give them a sense of accomplishment, too. That way they could at least feel that they had done something well for the afternoon. Also, don't be too hard on yourself if supper is sandwiches for a few nights in a row. No mommy wants to cook EVERY day! Also, is it feasible for the older boys to help the younger ones with homework?

Amber said...

As a teacher, I would say not to hesitate to talk to the teachers about this issue. You can do it in a respectful, non-confrontational way that demonstrates you are still on their team. The teacher may not be able to change the amount of homework (because they have to be fair and give the same amount to all students) but they may devote a little extra effort to making sure your kids understand the subject before they get home. A lot of teachers go out of their way to help a struggling student (before school, at breaks, during lunch, and after school).
I don't know if you have access to tutors in your area - I know that can get expensive - but it could help as well.
Another option would be to ask the kids if they have friends in class who do really well and see if the other kids would come over for a study date.
Make sure you are all taking breaks occasionally. For every 30 minutes of homework they could get 5 min of game time or they get 15 min of play time after they finish all their homework for one subject. Breaking it up makes it lest frustrating and sometimes without breaks you end up just staring at something and not getting anything done. They could rotate breaks or something. That would also give you the opportunity to work with 2 kids instead of 3.
As far as meals go - could Brian take the kids for like 3 hours every Saturday so you have some time to prep and cook for the week? There are tons of great website resources for that kind of thing - meals you can freeze and reheat or just getting all your chopping, slicing, etc... done beforehand.

Sorry this is so long. I know you're really frustrated.

Eryn said...

I have a friend who does once a month cooking. The concept is that you spend one day a month prepping a bunch of freezer meals and then fix them during the week. I haven't tried it, but I'm sure there are books or websites out there that would help you figure it out. That could make meal time go a little easier. I'm afraid I haven't gotten to the homework stage as a parent, so I have no advice there. Praying it gets easier!