Author Topic: working parents and children's homework?  (Read 1023 times)


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working parents and children's homework?
« on: April 17, 2015, 01:11:31 PM »
My Eldest is in grade one. She's doing fine, but has been struggling a lot more than expected with French (we're French-speakers). She had a hard time learning to read, now it's kind of OK, but she's also now having problems with spelling. The nanny who picks her up at the end of schooldays doesn't speak French so Eldest does her homework under her supervision and practices her weekly spelling words but when I get home, I have to do the testing of the spelling. what I realised recently is that she can spell the week's words by Thursday. Never an issue. I quizz and quizz and she gets the week's 5-6 words. But the spelling test on Friday encompasses all the words up until that week as well, and those, she totally sucks. It's like she forgets entirely words she learned 2 weeks ago. As a result her spelling test results are pretty bad.

We had a long discussion yesterday so she could tell me what would motivate her. She isn't motivated by special perks, if I say "I'll give you a treat if you do well", she isn't motivated, she's actually negatively stressed. If I tell her "I will take away a treat if you don't do well", she still isn't super motivated, but at least she isn't as stressed. AFter trying a few ideas, we ascertained that if I told her "bottom line, you're getting this treat just for writing the spelling test. BUT for each work you write correctly, you will get an additional treat", apparently that works as motivation. So we'll do that. I am NOT a fan of giving out treats in exchange for performing well at school, but we're at the stage where I have to pull out all the stops. This is a temporary measure to make spelling a positive experience.

My biggest problem is that I have no time. I rush home at 6:20, the two girls go to bed at 8. They need down time, the youngest and I need to eat dinner (the eldest eats before we get home, she is too hungry to wait.) So we do our best somewhere between 6:40-7:10, but any work I do with Eldest is interrupted by the Youngest. The Youngest is only 4, so it's not easy to shoo her away to do something else. I try, but she doesn't last long. Putting Youngest in front of the iPad to watch videos doesn't work either because Eldest feels it's very unfair and she sees the work with me as punishment (which has to be avoided.) I have this problem during the weekend too, since Youngest has stopped napping. So I cannot rely on just working hard with Eldest on Sunday afternoon.

So with little time, and a small child requesting my attention, I really don't know what to do to increase my vigilance and help Eldest get through this difficult patch at school. She's very good, she doesn't resist having to work extra, but she's not very focused at the end of the day because they work them very hard during school hours, so she's exhausted by the time I get home. This also means I really can't just keep her up later to work with her at say, 8PM when Youngest is in bed.

This is a lot of detail, sorry about that. No one can add hours to the day, and contemplating quitting my job to be a SAHM is just not feasible. It's not even possible for me to consider leaving work early. I feel very guilty because really, my children should be my focus and I feel like I'm not giving her the attention and help she needs to succeed. But that's the life I am leading and I can't see how it can change.

Maybe if I hear some of your experiences and solutions to your own issues, that'll help?


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  • aka MissingmyTim
Re: working parents and children's homework?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 10:47:57 AM »
Have her make flash cards of all if the words, babysitter can test her even if she doesn't know French and will learn something too. 5 or 6 words isn't too much for babysitter to learn in a week too. 

Have her start on Monday making the flash cards.  Tuesday babysitter tests her on new words, any she gets wrong she writes 5 times.  Wednesday repeat.  Thurs test old and and new words.  Sometime over the weekend break out all of the flash cards old and new and review the old ones.

You're doing the best you can in your own with 2 young kids and you don't want to stress her out.  Your time with them is precious! 

Good luck!
You will forever be my always.