Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Homework Wars

Today is a short week for the kids and for that I am glad. For me that means no more homework until next week. No homework on Thursday and no homework on Friday.

You would think that since I am not the one doing the homework it wouldn't matter. WRONG. Here's how my afternoon goes.

ME: Harrison, lets do your homework before Holden gets home from school.
HARRISON: No, I don't want to.
ME: Well, you will be all done and can play later.
HARRISON: No, I am not doing it.
ME: Well, alright but you won't learn anything if you don't practice.

And that is how it is day in a day out with Harrison.

That however, is mild in comparison to what happens when Holden is asked to do his homework. He gets home from school at 3 :00 so we get him a snack and go to get Haley at 3:35. When we get home from picking her up, this is what happens about half the time (twice this week already).

ME: Holden, let's do your homework.
HOLDEN: (GRUNTING) No, I don't want to.
ME: Let's see, would you like to do your math or spelling first?
HOLDEN: (Getting ever more agitated) No, No, Nothing. I don't want to do anything.
ME: Well, that isn't an option.
HOLDEN: (STOMPING HIS FEET AND GRUNTING) I hate homework. I can't do it. I don't want to do it.
ME: I am not listening to this (which obviously I am)
HOLDEN: (FLAILING ON THE FLOOR AND GRUNTING) I can't do it. It's too hard. I hate homework.
ME: (Sometimes said in a calm voice, other times in a not so calm voice)Okay, fine. You win, don't do it.

Eventually he will calm down and come do his homework. By then, he has usually wasted 30 minutes pitching a fit. I try to explain that if he had just sat down and done his homework to begin with he would be done. That just doesn't seem to register on him. And it is very frustrating for me. Some days I want to strangle him because I have a million other things to do and it isn't fair that I sit there for 30 minutes asking him to do something he knows he will eventually have to do. Most days though, my heart just aches for him because deep down I know that more often than not, the real reason he pitches these fits is because he has a hard time writing and spelling.

I have spent many hours trying to figure out how to change his attitude about homework. I keep thinking that somehow, I will find the thing that helps avoid these fits. I realize that I cannot control how he acts. If he wants to pitch a fit and waste time, then it's his time to waste. If he chooses not to do his homework, well then he can explain that to his teacher.

That is all easier said than done. I want to make it better. To understand and share in his pain. I want him to finally "get it". I keep hoping and praying that things will come easier to him. I keep searching for that one thing that will make it click or that one reason that it hasn't. Because after all I am his mom and that's just what moms do. They sit beside their kids and hold their hands and give them love and support even when they really feel like tearing out their hair or running away from home (at least temporarily).