I hate homework.
I probably hate it even more than my kids do(though I try really hard not to actually say this to my kids).
So, I get when kids whine about doing it.
But, they do it. Thy have to- it’s their job as students. And we’ve actually gotten into a good routine about homework over the past few years.
Because it’s the beginning of the school year and I’ve already heard lots of talk about how to get your kids to do homework and what to do if they don’t bring home what they need or if they refuse to do it, I thought I’d share what works for us. A big part of it is having a routine for doing homework, though that looks different for everyone based on what your schedule looks like. But if you can remember this one thing, it will help save your sanity:
First of all, realize that it’s their homework.
It’s not yours and you shouldn’t let it stress you out.
I’m not saying never help your kids with their homework. It’s extra practice and sometimes they do need some of it explained. Especially younger kids who are just getting started with homework.
But, you shouldn’t have to sit right beside your kids and force them to do it. I am usually in the same room as my kids when they’re doing their homework so they can easily ask for help, but I’m not watching every little thing they’re doing. I don’t want someone watching me work that closely, either.
Also, because it is their homework, if they’re choosing not to do it, this isn’t something that’s worth you fighting over.
You don’t feel like doing this assignment? *shrug* Okay, I can’t force you to do it. You’re not heading out to any of your activities or going to your room to play video games, but you can sit right there not doing it for as long as you want. Watch me do the dishes and start dinner while you wait.
Again, it’s their homework. So if they don’t bring home what they need in order to do their assignments, oh well.
It is not up to me to then go hunt down the assignments for them by texting another mom whose child is in the same class and asking her to please take a picture of the work so my child now has the right worksheet or spelling list or whatever they’re missing.
If they want to do that in order to get their work, then they can. (Or, maybe, if it’s the first time this has ever happened, I might help them out- but not when it’s a repeated problem).
And if they aren’t able to get everything they need to do their work because it’s in their desk… let them get that zero.
If your kids are still in elementary school, know this: their grades don’t matter.
Yes, I just said that. Their grades don’t matter.
They might not get on the Honor Roll if they get a bad grade (and yes, enough bad grades could hold them back), but in general, a bad grade isn’t going to have any long term negative effect on your child. But hopefully it will show them that their actions have consequences.
Which is your child going to learn more from: an A they only got because Mom covered their little butts and got their homework for them or the C they got because they couldn’t keep track of their assignments? Kids need to learn that they have to take responsibility for their own work and elementary school is the best time to learn this, since colleges aren’t asking for your elementary school transcripts. Plus, it’s good to instill these good work habits early on.
Any time you start stressing out over your kids homework, just remember: it’s their homework. Not yours.