Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Homework strategies

Now, granted, Joey has a cough and isn't tippy-top, but why does homework time have to be a disaster?

All year, there has been nary a word of homework. This week? We have three worksheets, each with attached reading, to complete tonight. So to the kitchen table we go!

I set the first sheet in front of him- a paragraph on sea turtles, with a half-page of fill-in-the-blank questions. We've been doing these kinds of sheets on our own- we did one on insects and one on spiders while visiting the Bug Box, and we just did one on bats last week. No problems. But now that it is an actual assignment?

Screaming. Crying. Gnashing of teeth. He read the paragraph. Then he started putting random words into the blanks, with his old fist grip and the worst handwriting I've seen him produce in months. What the...?

I finally gave up and sent him to sit in his room (and hopefully calm down and rest a little), and his dad is wrestling with the worksheets now. Why is it such a big deal that the sheets are for school, rather than for me? Am I going to have to set up a homework cubicle?



Stimey said...

Kids are weird. Don't you kind of wish you could spend some time inside their heads?

Angel The Alien said...

That IS weird! Maybe he's just mroe emotionally invested in the "assigments" you give him, and the real ones from school irritate him!

Andrea said...

Have you been doing the worksheets after school or at a different time? I sometimes have a difficult time with getting my son to do homework and I find that a snack, a break and some music while he's working all help to keep him calm. We've done the screaming and crying - when he's like that I negotiate a small portion of what he wants to do and then try to give him a break. Don't know if any of that will be helpful for you, but good luck!

Joeymom said...

Excellent thought, but we did these new sheets at the same time, place, etc. as I've been having him do my sheets- part of the purpose was to get him prepared for real homework. I'm tracking some of the differences. Perhaps he didn't like the topics- our topics have been more to his interests, maybe? Perhaps the not feeling well is effecting him more than I thought? Perhaps he was just hungry, or extra tired, or something? We'll get it figured out. I don't want this to be a battle forever. :P

TEACH said...

After working all day in school, the last thing children want to do when they get home is more work. Teachers have to assign homework in order to access if the students were listening and comprehending the material that was taught during the school day and if they are able to complete the assignments on their own now. Even for a child who is not autistic, it is difficult for them to settle down and do homework. Do you have a set time for Joey to complete his homework? Maybe a set routine needs to be established for Joey when he gets home from school, if one is not already in place. When he gets home it may be important that Joey is given time to do something besides schoolwork for awhile. He may need some time to settle down from the day and have some fun. Joey may want a snack and then a chance to play outside. Then, it will be time for him to do his homework. Whatever is decided, the same schedule should be followed everyday. I also think it would be a good idea to include Joey on how he may like his schedule to look when he gets home from school. I think the homework cubicle is a good idea. If possible, it may be a good idea to buy Joey a small desk. This way, he has his very own special place to do his homework. At this desk, there may be pencils, markers, crayons, etc., but these materials should only be used for homework and only homework should be completed at this desk. I like that you give him your own worksheets to complete. It may be a good idea to give him your own worksheets on the nights he does not have homework, just to keep with the schedule everyday. It sounds like you are a great mother and I can understand how you may be discouraged, but you are doing a great job with Joey. Maybe he was just having an off day. Maybe something happened at school. You said he has a cold, maybe he is starting to come down with something and he does not feel good. Even so, consequences for him not completing his homework may need to be established with Joey. For example, the longer it takes him to do his work, the less time he will have to do something he likes to do, such as playing a game or watching a movie. Also, make sure that Joey understands that he must do a good job completing his work, he cannot just write down an answer, just to finish the work and move on to something he likes to do. It sounds like you are doing all the right things, what may help Joey the most now, is to make sure he is given short breaks in order for him not to overload on his schoolwork.

Joeymom said...

Yes, we have established a routine using my own sheets (we were expecting to have more homework by now). Last year we had homework almost every night; this year, this is the first we've had actually work from school. When I asked about this, the teachers seemed to think of homework as busy work, and not necessary for Joey; so I started hunting down more online sites with different sheets, and my mom bought some homeschooling packets for first and second grade we use, so we can gauge the work as not being too easy for him- they certainly looked like the same level as the sheets the school sent home.