Here's how it works at our house. The kids get home at 3:30ish and can get a snack if they want. Then they have to do their homework right after. They are not allowed to do anything else until it is done. If it takes them 15 minutes, great! If it takes longer that's the way it is. They have until 8 pm, if they have been screwing around and it isn't done, it is put in their backpacks and they take it back to school as is and have to explain to the teacher why it isn't done. If they have been seriously working and it isn't done, I give them some more time. Our school gives "yellow slips" that are sent home if work is late that we must sign and if the slip and the homework aren't turned in the next day, they have to be in detention that day. Never had that yet. If my kids bring home a yellow slip they are grounded for that night and aren't allowed to do anything. I also stopped telling DS to get busy, stop screwing around, or whatever. I might give him a reminder that if he doesn't get busy, he won't have any play time that evening. This may sound cruel but we've had to take a "tough love" approach and make him responsible for his work, not me. It about killed me in the beginning but it's worked out wonderfully! I will help if he's having problems otherwise I stay away. I will check his homework maybe once a week before it is turned in, like a surprise grading. Otherwise all I do is check what has to be done when he comes home then check again when he says it finished just making sure it is all done. We talk about when his tests are and I remind him that he needs to bring such and such book home for review the night before, if he doesn't bring it home, that's his problem, not mine. His grades have improved a lot nd it isn't nearly as stressful for all.
Something else we do is he only gets $1 per week allowance. He gets $.10 per A that is brought home during the week up to 25, he rarely brings home that many papers but DD has even more than that! We don't give special rewars for the grade card except to maybe go get ice cream, but they are counted with the A's for that week. If he brings home an F it cancels an A.
Sorry, I got kind of windy but it has worked great for us and if I can help another mom who struggles with homework, I'd love to!
Edited 4/5/2003 5:32:29 PM ET by digger30