Message Boards

Topic : 03/23 Homework Hell

Number of Replies: 241
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Friday, December 01, 2006, 03:23:49 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 12/07/06) When it comes to helping kids with school assignments, some parents just don’t make the grade. Angela says her 12-year-old son, Masen, takes up to six hours to finish his homework, and she says she can’t stop nitpicking. Her mother, Gayle, says Angela acts like a drill sergeant, and has called Masen "lazy and useless." What’s behind Angela’s frustration? Then, tempers rise as Angela feels her parenting skills are being criticized. Find out the conversation Dr. Phil has with her during the break. Plus, Dr. Phil gives Angela a test of his own, and Dr. Frank Lawlis, author of The IQ Answer, weighs in. Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

More March 2007 Show Boards.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

December 5, 2006, 6:22 am CST

Homework balance

I'm all for homework , but it should be in proportion to the age level and  grades.  It would appear logical to have the last period of the day to be a study hall where the students can work on thier

assignments.  If the school day was one hour longer which is a study period; most of the assignments could be completed.  Doing so, will allow for more family time.  Since  students are already in school thier frame of mind is such where it would be easier and enable them to focus rather than going home and becoming distracted.

 
December 5, 2006, 12:37 pm CST

Nitpicking Parents are not helpful

I've worked as a tutor to elementary, middle and high school sstudents for the past three years.  I help them with the lessons that they didn't understand well in class, as well as their homework and any other academic issues that may arise.

 

I live in florida and let me tell you that the homework that is given to students is steadily getting more difficult, not to mention that the parents of the children I tutor are getting even more difficult.

 

The one complaint that I've heard from each and every student that I have worked with is that when they do their homework they often have their parents breathing down their backs checking up on them every fifteen to twenty minutes, often disrupting their concentration and self esteem with comments like, "Are you still doing your homework?" or "What's taking you so long?" or "Why are you having problems with this, it's easy!"

 

I've also witnessed alot of this as well.

 

Let me make one thing clear, heckling your child and nitpicking as your child is trying their best to do their homework does not help them do their homework faster.

 

It has the opposite effect. It breaks the child's concentration as well as chips away at their self-esteem.

 

Also it hurts the child to have their mother and father on their backs instead of offering them any actual help.

 

 

 

 

 

 
December 5, 2006, 12:49 pm CST

Should Be An Interesting Show

I figured out some time ago that we were not alone in our homework woes. Unfortunately, many things cound be operation here:

  • Mom is taking out her own frustration on her son.
  • The child isn't "getting" the lessons in school, and Mom may or may not be equipped to "re-teach" the material at home.
  • The child has emotional issues that are completely unrelated to school, but that's where the behavior is "acting out".
  • The child really is lazy, or even outright balky/stubborn/oppositional.
  • There really is too much homework.

The guideline of "10 minutes a night per grade level, i.e., a 5th grader could expect 50 minutes a night" has gone out the window in high-performing schools these days; a better rule of thumb seems to double that figure, so that the 5th grader can more closely expect to be at it for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. This is our experience at a well-regarded suburban elementary school.

 

Concerning the "What are the teachers teaching in school all day" query, I'm not sure, but a friend of mine crystallized the current thinking by teachers: Instead of teachers being the "line workers" in the education process, teachers now regard themselves as the "managers" who manage the parents, who are regarded as the  "line workers."

 

I'll be interested in the good doctor's thoughts.

 
December 5, 2006, 5:31 pm CST

Very Personal

I am  a teacher and a  parent.  I can help my students until the cows come and loose my patience very few times.  When it comes to my own kids, it sometimes takes an hour or 2 to complete a 15 minute task.  Even though I am a teacher and I keep in constant contact with my chidlrens' teachers, my boys still see me as mom and not a teacher and "mom doesn't always know what she's talking about" - or least that how my kids feel sometimes.

I agree 6 hours is too much homework, but concerning what goes on in schools (making comments that we aren't teaching as much as we should and putting the burden on parents at homework time) - contact your legislatures (state and federal) concerning the amount of content that must be taught and then schools are held accountable during testing.  As stated in a book written by Marzano, it would take 22 years (K - grade 21) to cover the 200 standards (in just the basic subjects) and 3,093 benchmarks that are established for teachers to teach our students
 and then endure assessments.

Teachers pour an extensive amount of time and energy into covering every bit of content possible.  As a parent it is my responsibility to support my child's learning through reinforcment and review activities (which is what homework should be - it SHOULD NOT be new learning).
 
December 5, 2006, 5:40 pm CST

12/07 Homework Hell

Quote From: boobear328

I cant agree with you more about this particular mother on the show.

 

I have a 11 year old daughter and she has a hard time learning how to do word math problems and other subjects as well. She has to go to another teacher (during school) like a tutoring class for her. The school provides this free of charge to kids having trouble in certain areas of curiculum. And the teaching happens during school hours (Ex.: instead of having her home room teacher for reading, math, or english, she goes to another teacher that explains it in terms she can understand). My daughter ISNT dumb, or has ADHD or anything of the like, she just has a time understanding certain things and needs help(especially with certain money problems). She is a A & B student, and like many of us when we were in school, has trouble in certain subjects( mine was math, I HATED IT). I dont hound her like a drill sergant saying "That is WRONG change it", she has to learn certain things by her mistakes. But by calling the child names like "lazy" and  the like ISNT going to help them at all and agree that is mental cruelity as well. That will have the child thinking he/she IS worthless and the child needs to learn just as we did when we were in school. Some children catch on more quickly then others, some needs a bit extra help.

 

The way we agree on the homework after school is this:

She comes home from school, she does her homework, gets the mail and other chores she has to do, then her "fun" time begins(like going on the internet, playing her video games and such).  Most of the time she only has reading and does that on the bus(its a good 30-45 min. bus ride with the route her bus driver takes even though its ONLY in town) but there has been many of times where she has ALOT of homework and I ALWAYS let her have a break. Even if its when we eat or when she gets frustrated cause she doesnt understand a particular problem/subject. I always keep scrap paper on hand for math problems that should arise and explain it the best way I can to her (I let her write it out and such), then explain step by step how to do the problem. Usually that works. Or she will do it they way her teacher taught her how( sometimes I even have trouble understanding certain ones and she explains it to me on how to do it).  About her report cards, she has occasionally had C's (which she does try her best at to bring them up and most of the time she has) I also told her D's she'll have to try harder and study more, F's (which I havent even seen one yet) but if the case should arise, she will have to buckle down. I dont yell at my child and always help her with her homework but i do know she has to make certain mistakes in order to learn.  I offer my help on her homework sometimes she even tells me"No thanks mom I know how to do it" and I let her go, but she KNOWS help is here when needed. I dont yell at her (and I have NO intention either) she is learning new things just like when we were in school when the subject we were learning was new to us.

 

The mother on the show should wake up and realize her own problem instead calling her own flesh and blood "lazy".

 

To the poster I have quoted:  Congrats on the SUCCESS of ur son. You have found the right help on his way to success. And I wish him luck in the future :)

Thank You, and by the way, I HATED math as well, and had to be toutered for it too.  You have a kindred spirit here, and the best to you and your daughter.
 
December 5, 2006, 5:52 pm CST

been there, done that.....

 I have a 12 year old son myself and I can't decide if it's an age thing or plain old hard-headedness. There are indeed similarities with the child in the profile and my son, if only in the area of homework, but I think it may go deeper. My son knows right from wrong and still chooses to not turn in assignments and he's falling further behind in his grades every day. I am not talking about a boy who has a learning disability or lack of intelligence. He's very smart and it's his priorities that trouble me....talk about blue in the face.....thanks Dr. Phil, can't wait to see this show!!!!!
 
December 6, 2006, 4:40 am CST

12/07 Homework Hell

Quote From: jortez

 I have a 12 year old son myself and I can't decide if it's an age thing or plain old hard-headedness. There are indeed similarities with the child in the profile and my son, if only in the area of homework, but I think it may go deeper. My son knows right from wrong and still chooses to not turn in assignments and he's falling further behind in his grades every day. I am not talking about a boy who has a learning disability or lack of intelligence. He's very smart and it's his priorities that trouble me....talk about blue in the face.....thanks Dr. Phil, can't wait to see this show!!!!!

From my personal experience, I think its an age thing. 

 

In my neighborhood, and with my own son, I have seen at least 5 different examples of boys (all about 12) heading off to middle school and all of a sudden they stop turning in their homework.  Us neighborhood moms have discussed this on more then one occasion. 

 

My advice to you is to stand your ground big time!  If he doesent turn in his homework he should be punished.  Depending on hard headed he actually is, this could be quite the battle.  Hopefully your son isnt near as stuborn as mine was.  Took me more then a whole semester and summer of no video games to get my point across.  That was real fun.  Not!  But it DID work, and in the end, he learned to always turn in his homework and graduated at the top of his class including completing college courses while in high school.

 

Good luck, mom!  Stay strong!

 
December 6, 2006, 10:50 am CST

age-related homeworkitis

Quote From: jortez

 I have a 12 year old son myself and I can't decide if it's an age thing or plain old hard-headedness. There are indeed similarities with the child in the profile and my son, if only in the area of homework, but I think it may go deeper. My son knows right from wrong and still chooses to not turn in assignments and he's falling further behind in his grades every day. I am not talking about a boy who has a learning disability or lack of intelligence. He's very smart and it's his priorities that trouble me....talk about blue in the face.....thanks Dr. Phil, can't wait to see this show!!!!!

It's an age thing...We have a 13 year old...very intelligent...has the attitude that homework is for those who didn't learn the concepts in class.  He has ADHD, and is on watch for bipolar disorder, but the homework issues are the same.

 

We have an agreement with the teachers that my son has to call me from class immediately if he doesn't have his homework assignment.  Since instituting this policy, his grades have gone from Ds and Fs to As and Bs.  I also went to school with him for a week, to get a feel for his teachers' teaching styles and to find out what to expect in the homework department.  Our schools have a policy that a dayplanner must be filled out every day for every class, listing the homework assignments.  I check it every day.  His must be initialed by the teachers every day, to make sure that he is writing down the whole assignment.  Our focus this year is on being truthful about what assignments he has, and getting them done, no matter how late they are, and whether or not he will get credit for them.  My son knows that after a certain number of missed assignments, I will show up in his classes wearing my leopard pants...spandex exercise pants!! LOL  (I really do have them, and I am not above carrying out my threat...the fear of embarassment is another thing that keeps him honest.)

 

I have internet access to the school's website and can see the current grades in our kids' classes, and any missing assignments...it is updated once a week.  I also frequently email the teachers to check up on him and get informed of any large projects coming up.

 

It is a big task being the homework police, but I take my job seriously...most of the time, I have had to practically sit on my son to get him to do his homework in a timely manner...he will play and fidget if I am not watching...not just an ADHD problem...a universal problem for adolecents.

 

If it's any consolation, they do eventually outgrow it and become responsible, with the right parental supervision over the years.  Our 18 year old became responsible in his junior year of high school...he is completely independant on doing his work, and he suffers his own consequences if an assignment is missed.  It is his responsibility to ask for more time to make up the assignment.  For years, he had a diagnosis of ADHD, now we come to find, through a sleep study, that he has Narcolepsy...the right meds made all the difference in the world.

 

Parents, make sure you are making the grade.  Make every effort to make sure that your child develops good homework habits...bad habits will follow them throughout life.  Don't just talk...take action...be proactive...even if you have to take time off work to do it.  I stay at home with my kids...a financial sacrifice that is well worth it.

 
December 6, 2006, 11:40 am CST

I hate math, especially geometry

Quote From: ceildh1

Thank You, and by the way, I HATED math as well, and had to be toutered for it too.  You have a kindred spirit here, and the best to you and your daughter.
I grew up a math-hater, and still managed to land in a job that involved accounting!!  Adding machine math and balancing books is just OK.  Geometry, with all of the proofs that we had to do, based on theroms!!!  ICK  I do remember the algebra enough to help my son endure it too...he is gifted in math, but he still hates it.
 
December 6, 2006, 12:55 pm CST

My child has way to much homework!!

    

     I agree the amount of homework that is give to totally out of hand!!!  My son comes home every day with tons of it and he is in 3rd grade.  He gets so frustrated because he just spent all day at school and then he ends up coming home to an hour break (to grab a something to eat and then we are right back at it).  It is not that my son is not smart (he is in gifted classes).  He is already on pre-algebra stuff...plus other kinds of math.  He had to drop out of football and other kinds of things he loves because there is just not time.  We don't even go to church on Wednesday nights anymore because of homework.  Our family life has suffered.  But what really chaps me is like when he was in kindergarden....every time me and my husband went to pick him up from school she had them sitting in front of a t.v. watching video's and then she sent all the work they should have done at school for homework.    His second grade teacher was a dream but it seems the third grade teachers are just as lazy as his kidergarden teacher.  Teachers like that should be fired.  My big fear is my son is starting to  hate school and instead of going to college (which is our dream) he will end up not going and making something of his life.     Please someone give me some advice.....I am at the end of my rope.

 
First | Prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Next | Last