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Author Topic: Homework  (Read 935 times)

Trillian

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Homework
« on: April 29, 2010, 01:44 PM NHFT »

     Every night I struggle to get my 8 year old to do her homework. It’s almost always math, and something she is more than able to do. She likes reading and art stuff, if any of her homework involves either, she gets it done in an instant. It kills me that I’m forcing her to do something I don’t really even think she do, especially when its a skill I know she’s conquered.
   
    Alternative means, such as home school or even a private school I feel are entirely out of reach for me right now. It’s a goal, but unrealistic while I’m in school. I just don’t know how to balance working in the system that I don’t believe in, and fostering her interests more.  And for obvious reasons I can’t rationalize it to her in the way I think about it. You can’t tell an 8 year old, “Well, mommy doesn’t think that you really should have to do this either, but while we’re in public school you have to go ahead and do it anyway. This way I can keep pushing you through a system that is going to try to make you conform and lose your creativity and interests, until I can put you somewhere else.”
     
    I'm sure I'm not the first person to feel torn on this subject, I want to hear from others that are or have been in the situation we're in. I’m looking for suggestions, or thoughts as to what should I not push on her, or how to encourage her to do this work that is repetitive and mundane so she won't be punished at school. I can’t just altogether say OK, you don’t have to do it because that will take away her recess time at school, and could possibly hold her back in a grade that already bores her.
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Trifith

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Re: Homework
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010, 07:34 PM NHFT »

Disclaimer, I don't have children, so any advise I give comes from my own thoughts and studies on the raising of children, not from real world experience. It's probably worthless.

An incredibly tough situation to be in. My sympathies.

As I see it you have 3 options

1. Allow your child to do, or not do, her homework as she sees fit while encouraging her to learn what she is interested in as much as possible. Explain that the scores on the report card don't mean as much to you as her happiness, and that you don't want to send her to government school, but have no choice right now.

2. Withdraw her from public school and homeschool/unschoool her. Find a way to get her out of that evil system. Work with like-minded neighbors to ensure she is supervised when you are not around, and encourage self reliance so that she reaches a point where you can do the work/school you need to do for yourself while she cares for herself.

3. Force her to do the work she hates to maintain her public school appearance, homeschool where possible, and beg forgiveness later.

My parents took option 3, not realizing option 1 and 2 existed. For the most part I think it worked out okay. I never did do the homework though.

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porcupine kate

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Re: Homework
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2010, 08:22 PM NHFT »

My sister has had a similar problem with her son who is in first grade.  He is incredibly bright and way above the rest of his classmates in everything but penmanship.  They are trying to get him into a good charter school near them.  The can't afford private school.  If they can't get him into the charter school they will home school him with a program that provides a teacher on line.  It will be approximately $1500 a year and I can get the info from her if you would like it.

My sister is a full time college student so I understand your time issues for homeschooling.  She needs a program with a teacher for him.

In the mean time my nephew hates the public school.  We have seen behavioral changes in him since he started there.   He did get upset when he didn't make honor roll due to his penmanship and my brother in law explained that public school is a game.  If you want to master it you need to work on your penmanship, do the work and play their game.   My nephew has to be pushed to do it.  They are lucky that he responds to rewards and use goals and rewards to motivate him.   He has never been the type of person to do something if there is no point to it. 

They do let him express himself in his homework.   The school sends him home with early readers.  He reads on an high school level.  They of course have the questions you have to answer at the end.   One of the books asked what did you learn about turtles from the book.  My nephews reply was something to the effect of,  I didn't learn anything because I knew it already.  My sister made sure his answer had a period at the end of the sentence and put it in his back pack for school the next day.

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KBCraig

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Re: Homework
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2010, 11:45 PM NHFT »

They do let him express himself in his homework.   The school sends him home with early readers.  He reads on an high school level.  They of course have the questions you have to answer at the end.   One of the books asked what did you learn about turtles from the book.  My nephews reply was something to the effect of,  I didn't learn anything because I knew it already.  My sister made sure his answer had a period at the end of the sentence and put it in his back pack for school the next day.

 ;D
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TackleTheWorld

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Re: Homework
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2010, 10:58 AM NHFT »

Your little girl is on the front line.  Be on her side.  Help her with what she likes and don't punish her for what the school says is her fault.  It's not her fault, she's not in this voluntarily, and has no power to get out.
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Trillian

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Re: Homework
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 09:40 AM NHFT »

Quote
2. Withdraw her from public school and homeschool/unschoool her. Find a way to get her out of that evil system. Work with like-minded neighbors to ensure she is supervised when you are not around, and encourage self reliance so that she reaches a point where you can do the work/school you need to do for yourself while she cares for herself.
  That's what I'm ultimately looking for. I know here in Oklahoma, there's several homeschooling network options.  One of which where different people take turns teaching different subjects they feel stronger in. I like that idea of "experts" to help guide her through things she wants to learn.

Quote
My sister has had a similar problem with her son who is in first grade.  He is incredibly bright and way above the rest of his classmates in everything but penmanship.  They are trying to get him into a good charter school near them.  The can't afford private school.  If they can't get him into the charter school they will home school him with a program that provides a teacher on line.  It will be approximately $1500 a year and I can get the info from her if you would like it.

I've looked at the charter school idea, but the one or two she'd be interested in are far away from my house, and any additional amount of a commute isn't really optional either.

I try my best to let her do the stuff she wants first, and we talk about how she she should do the other stuff. I've told her just by quickly getting her "seat work" done during school she's showing her teacher she doesn't need to do 1st grade work (that's what she tells me it all is).

Quote
Your little girl is on the front line.  Be on her side.  Help her with what she likes and don't punish her for what the school says is her fault.  It's not her fault, she's not in this voluntarily, and has no power to get out.
That's the thing about all of this that breaks my heart the most.

The night after I posted this she brought home some more difficult homework than she had in awhile, finally something beyond single digit subtraction and addition. She got it out without me asking, and sat next to me and said, "Look mom, my homework isn't 1st grade work tonight."  She went right to work on it in a matter of seconds, and finished it in no time.  That just reinforces my feelings that she's simply bored.  She also always finishes her reading comprehension questions without trouble because she loves to talk about anything she's just read.  That just reinforces to me how capable she is even in a subject she's not fond of, but has a difficult time seeing any reason whatsoever to do something she already has proven she knows.

The good news is, summer is coming, and I'll have that time to come up with options for the following school year, and we can spend the summers focusing on what she loves. That I'm excited about.
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CurtHowland

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Re: Homework
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 11:25 PM NHFT »

If I were in public school now, doing what I did 40 years ago, I would be doped up to the gills on their prescription drugs.

The homework was dull, so I didn't do it. I spent my time in class reading the textbooks and encyclopedias, generally ignoring what the teachers were saying. Any test came out wonderfully, so they ignored me and we got along fine.

My daughter also reads way out of her grade level, and she tells me that the teachers won't let her get books from the higher grade areas of the library, so she brings home "picture books" while reading the paperback of "The Hobbit" that I handed to her for fun. She's just turned 8.

If your daughter is going to go to public daycare, I mean "school", anyway, then I think treating it like a game is the best way to do it. Make it as fun as possible, while she reads anything on any subject. Ignore grades, just ask if it was interesting at all.

On handwriting, sadly that is a chore. But it's also less important now, with computers and printers, than it ever was. It's a good idea to be able to write legibly, and maybe it could again be a game, to do well enough. "Can you copy something from this medieval manuscript page" kinds of games, or "can you write it to look like this" and find an example to mimic.

Good handwriting can be taught, but I've never seen anyone do it well that didn't enjoy it. And those who enjoyed it had beautiful handwriting without being forced to learn it.

Anyway, once someone can read they can learn anything. So read!
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