A consistent homework strategy is something we struggle with in our household. We have tried various forms of incentive programs, better service delivery, more robust and detailed calendars and schedules, pens with smelly ink, pencils that look like giraffes, enhanced complementary computer time, private motivation sessions with Tony Robbins, demonstrative overreactions from Jason Graham and sometimes, gasp, even laugh-in-your-face indifference.
It’s not like it always doesn’t work. Occasionally we are surprised by the time allocation and studious planning of our beloved grade six student. Usually it’s all for show as he diligently flaps his notebook open and purposely drags the dining room chair loudly into position. A few huffs and puffs later, he is whistling or, get this, beatboxing, as pencils are sharpened and dirty fingernails are stared at.
Berate, rinse, repeat, and he is off again, pressing the lead down on the gorgeously blank foolscap, pink tongue tip now showing, letting me know the big bad brain (“because of the metric system?”) is now in full effect. Fast forward eight seconds and one quarter of a math problem later and a housefly is the problem or his brother’s toots are the problem (they are everybody’s problem) or hunger is the problem.
Or am I the problem?
Long division? What’s that?
Ultimately the responsibility of homework falls on one person. And that person is a distracted lanky son of a businessman. We try to provide the best environment for him to succeed, but in a house the size of a small elevator, it is a challenge. We are currently embroiled in the potentially redesigning of his room to provide more space, including some sort of work station, but without the looming shadow of a parent, I am afraid even more distraction will kick in.
We shall see.
I know some kids diligently sit at desks and pump out their homework with not an ounce of struggle or a blip of distraction, and let’s face it, I hate those kids. Getting 15 minutes in a row of work done is a major accomplishment in our household and that 15 minutes is usually about 15 minutes too little.
Good thing he is cute.
Pearls of wisdom smarter than me internet readers?