In our YouTube video, there’s a bit where Ruth is begging “Jimmy” to write ONE sentence and then ends up doing it herself……with her left hand.
It wouldn’t be so funny if it weren’t true. In an effort to end the pain and suffering, I often finished my son’s homework. It was just plain futile at a certain point. Not only did he have to do the newly assigned homework, but he had to finish all the unfinished homework, and most of the time we were in the weeds…….again, it was like Groundhog Day.
What you don’t know is that I got called out by my son’s second grade teacher in front of the child study team……and I DENIED it….until they all jumped in and said they KNEW I was doing it!
And then I had to CONFESS! The child study team went all Perry Mason on me. I crumbled under the pressure and spilled the beans….
“YES! YES! I’ve been doing his worksheets! It’s true!”
But I won’t lie. I became a serial homework doer.
Forget about the feeling of impending doom with the really big school projects…….sigh. Add on top of that notes and reminders from teachers about homework due or missing. To make it extra special and right on cue, add my husband waltzing in at witching hour with a litany of questions regarding anything and everything that was getting done or not done.
I caved. It was kind of like something Ruth wrote about. On one day you might be a good mom to “Jimmy” by helping him out and relieving everyone’s anxiety. On the next you are an over-involved mom that is keeping him from growing and learning.
And what about siblings who HAVE to do it all on their own just because they CAN? Ruth and I have talked a lot about that. On one hand, Thank God … and on the other…….well……crap.
I must admit I have a recurring nightmare where I have ALL this homework and I can’t get it done or I can’t finish it or find it.
As we are in August and school is upon us, I am sure there is a mad scramble going on to finish summer reading for some. Every day like clockwork, moms and dads are asking their kids how many pages they have read……and don’t lie, some of you have used Spark Notes.
Our kid’s homework is OUR homework when they struggle.
I don’t know. Seems like something is wrong there.
Bingo! Wish I had written this one myself! 🙂
When I was writing this I came across other articles about parents doing the homework for kids who DON’T struggle and having full blown conversations with each other about how they did math problems and writing papers etc…….
Is everyone doing their kid’s homework?
And if you’re not does your kid suffer because he/she is competing with other adults?
It’s making my brain hurt.
When I first watched Ruth in that video clip, I was struck by how happy she first seemed that it looked like a really easy, no brainer HW night. Then…. all hell breaks loose. I then was in awe of her genius move of using her left hand. I loved it! The huge glass of wine was a given at that point.
How many times did I look over my son’s assignment pad thinking, hey tonight wont be so bad, only to have to eat those words a short time later when the realization hit that this night’s HW wouldn’t get done unless I did it myself? I have shockingly learned how many parents are doing their kids HW. It is way more than we think. The workload demands are so ridiculous now in some cases and the expectations are out of synch with what could be called even close to reasonable on a nightly basis. Then there is the issue of what a particular kid struggles with (reading, writing and general English based assignments anyone?). Even if the load is light, I have watched my kid take hours to compete an assignment that should have taken 15-20 minutes tops. I swear I am not exaggerating one bit. Focus or lack thereof is a MAJOR issue in our house.
Last year I got a call on day one of school because my son did not complete his extensive summer worksheet packets in math and social studies. I didn’t push him or harp on him the way I do during the school year because I so desperately needed a break from the hours long demands each day of keeping him on task so that it all gets done. I felt like a fool trying to explain to his teachers why the work didn’t get done.
First year of high school coming up. I am scared to death. Though the summer packets are all happily completed this year, I never let my head get into summer mode and that’s the price.
Oh, HB … you do not need to swear to me (or, I’m sure, any of us) that you are not exaggerating when you say it could take hours and hours to complete an assignment that should have taken 15-20 minutes. Focus, organization, ADD, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, … his handwriting still looks like a first grader’s, even at age 22 … what a nightmare, even for the simplest assignments. And the longer-term ones? I don’t even need to tell you …… Martha and I joked about it in the video, but it was NO joke at the time. It was tears and frustration for everyone, and the collateral damage was huge.
On a funny note, one of my friends noted that we left out a few steps of the homework process in our video …. we forgot to include “How about if you dictate the sentence to me, and I’ll write it for you!” and “I will write the sentence and you copy it!” It also didn’t show the real screaming, the mess in the kitchen, the unmade dinner, the other kids, and the husbands coming home and walking right into that. I was often mad at my husband at the time, but now I can certainly see what that must have felt like on his end (especially since I am now doing the same long commute and work day that he used to do). Wait, I got off of the funny note ….. well, not surprising, since this whole thing is an up and down and all around roller coaster!
I’m so impressed that you got your summer work (shudder) done …. and oh my god, I just realized that I wrote “your summer work” when it was really your son’s summer work ….. wow …………….(as Martha noted, it does become our homework) … but I understand the price that was paid. I hope you get some real summer in before school starts! And good luck to you and your son with high school. Does he have any activities that he likes? The Robotics Team was the best thing for my son in high school — a great activity with a great group of kids (OK, I did call them the “great unwashed”, but aside from that they were great) … and they are still his group of friends, three years after graduation! Stay in touch with us and report back from the front!!!!!!!!
Oh God Ruth!!!!!!
I forgot about dictating!!!!!!
Oh God Ruth!!!!!!
I forgot about dictating!!!!
So appreciated, thank you. Sometimes I swear that I am swearing because I still at times can’t believe how long it frequently takes to complete daily HW. I had both kids start on summer work on day one of vacation so as not to lose and momentum. I wasn’t taking any chances this year. No, its definitely no joke when you’re in it but laughing later on is vital to sanity.
I know my son will go out for robotics and math club. Unfortunately the practice and game commitments for sports are way over the top for him to successfully manage as is marching band which he really wanted to join this year. I feel torn about it but he is not the kid who can juggle multiple balls in the air. I try to fill in those gaps during the summer as best I can for him. I have to work with what I’ve got and so does he.
Endless thanks ladies.
Robotics is the best!!!! I can’t recommend it highly enough! It was exactly the kind of social group that was perfect for my son, and it was also a challenging activity that required group work, teamwork, cooperation, creativity, persistence, etc. … and included travel opportunities, competitions, being part of a much larger effort, etc.
Endless thanks to you, too, by the way!
Yep, been there, still doing this! Usually I tell the teacher that my son dictates (which he does in short pi$$y sentences) and I will write or type. It’s really amazing just how close our printing is. It is funny how we have undergrad and/or graduate degrees and we are still stuck doing our child’s work only because we know they know the concept; they just won’t do the homework. I love your blog. I have always been “the one” that makes everyone else feel better about their Jimmy’s. It is nice to know that you two have been there and didn’t turn into raving maniacs (well at least stay that way, lol).
Isn’t it amazing that a kid’s homework could reduce someone to a puddle of stress, nerves, tears, and stark raving mania! And you’re so right, it has nothing to do with whether or not they know the concept and can do the homework. I think maybe that’s the most crazy-making part!!! It should not take four hours to write three sentences!!!! (or not get them written at all …) …. but it does. Kudos to you and your son’s teachers for agreeing on a solution that works!!