End the Homework Battle – XP


Raise your hand if you dread back-to-school time and the homework it brings more than your kids!

Ugh. Me too, sister, me too.  As if we don’t have enough to pack into our precious after-school hours, worksheets and journalling have to find their way in there too.  And when it takes my kid 50 minutes to complete a task that should have taken 10 (15 water breaks, 3 temper tantrums, and 1 trip to the bathroom later…), I am wishing for an eternal summer for more than just the beautiful weather and umbrella drinks. 

Wait, did someone say drinks?? Yes, that’s it! End homework battles by drinking heavily!

Just kidding.  I save my heavy drinking for after the kids are in bed, tyvm.

Seriously, though, something has got to give on this nightly battle of wills over the homework.  Thankfully we’ve come up with a good system in our house.  It’s not perfect, but it’s a whole lot better, and it just might work in your home too.  The crux of the solution all revolves around 1 key tenet: homework is the child’s responsibility, not yours.

Woah, right? Any day I can take a chore off my never-ending list and place it on the list of its rightful owner is a good one. I’ve still got the task of offering the time, space, and materials needed to complete the homework, but making sure homework gets done? NOT MY JOB. 

Here’s the “Homework Plan” that currently hangs on our fridge:

– R is responsible for his homework.
– R may choose to complete his homework, or write his teacher a note explaining why he did not do it.
– Homework time is over at 5:30pm.  R is free to choose when to do homework until that time.
– We are not willing to fight over homework. 
– We do our best work in our family.
– Mommy and Mama are happy to help with homework, as long as R is working as hard as we are.

Ahhhhh, I love the homework plan – it’s so…peaceful! Granted, it doesn’t mean the whining or attempts at power struggling are over, but it does mean that I don’t have to respond or be drawn into it.  Homework is an agreement between teacher and student and while I’ll do everything in my power to support that relationship, it won’t come at a detriment to my sanity.  What’s more? There hasn’t been a single day in which homework wasn’t completed – and done well, at that! 

So I offer this up to my fellow weary moms of school age children, dreading the battle that is to come this evening.  Perhaps you might consider pouring yourself a drink taking a deep breath, and stepping right on out of the ring.

Any other great homework tips to share? What works in your house? Teachers, what are your thoughts on a parent’s role in homework completion?

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