My son hates homework and I am taking responsibility for most of that hatred…because it is shared! The one aspect of parenting that brings me the most anxiety is homework.
Since my son was in kindergarten, he has had homework. His attention span has never been his strength. There are a million other things trying to grab his attention…like the eraser shavings that surround him. He gets distracted and discouraged. This results in arguments and consequences… and drinking wine on my part (and by wine I mean vodka…vodka just doesn’t seem very Christian of me to say).
His attention span is not the only aspect of homework that stands in his way. I don’t get him at his best. I get him at his grumpiest… when he’s tired. His peak has come and gone by the time homework time comes around… it was from 11:00am-12:00pm… at recess and lunch time. My peak has come and gone too… it was from 8:40am-8:50am… yep, about 10 minutes then it is all downhill.
My son and I began to have conversations about our homework woes. He needs to change his perspective and attitude because homework isn’t going away. Here are the highlights of our conversations (I won’t burden you with the lowlights):
Bring glory to God, even in your homework:
- “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” ~Colossians 3:23
Homework prepares him for a career:
- He is a professional student.
- Just like Mom and Dad have jobs, his job is to be a 4th grader. Part of that job description is to do homework.
- Next year his job will be to be a 5th grader…hopefully.
Homework develops character and skills that will serve him well:
- Time management
- Problem solving
Homework teaches life lessons:
- There will be things in life that you don’t want to do…but you still have to do them.
- You are in control and responsible for your education.
- We are all life-long learners…for the successful person, learning never stops.
After our conversations and our decisions were made to change our perspective about homework, my son and I were talking about it with my husband…his Dad. Well, I guess all that we talked about and agreed upon didn’t stick too well because my son didn’t remember much of our conversation. I am just hoping he absorbed my words as they washed over him and they just became a part of him.
My responsibility in this was to get my priorities in check too. Realizing that I too am tired after a long day, homework needs to be in a more relaxed environment…for both of our sakes. I have to stop rushing him through homework so that I can move on the next thing. I have to stop being selfish with my time. Instead of me trying to get dinner ready and the dishes done while homework is trying to turn me into an alcoholic, I am going to sit close by and read a book so that I am available…not hovering. Reading will be my homework. This is beneficial in three ways: 1. It sets a good example 2. It encourages and reiterates habits of a life-long learner 3. I get some much needed down-time. The dishes will wait for me, unfortunately.
I’ve had to learn how to be a good Mommy…much of that through trial and error. I shouldn’t be surprised that I had to learn how to do homework too. Through the changes that I am willing to make I am showing my son that I am invested in his education, his success, and his future. I love my child enough to put down the dishes (and my shot of vodka…oh, I mean wine glass)… and pick up a new attitude, a book, and an investment. I am buying-in to his future one evening of homework at a time.
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