Homework, how responsible do you

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Registered: 03-28-2003
Homework, how responsible do you
Wed, 09-17-2003 - 11:53am
Make your kiddo's be.

Cait is 4th grade and of course her organizational skills are lacking. I have homework well structured and we have a routine for all the kids. I do offer support and oganization but I am trying to make Cait more independent (ie, I don't go over every stitch and make sure all is done and in her backpack.) She has a form she brings home every night with what is to be done and then she is to have me sign the front that she did her homework and the back that she did her reading everyday.

She has been forgetting things, and I think a good portion of it is just trying to get away with me doing it for her, which in teh past I would make sure it was done with her help, kind of hold ehr hand through it. So yesterday I just asked her a couple times "Are you sure your homework is done? Is it in your backpack?" I knew I had not signed it and that only most was done but she had forgot some, and naturally she was upset when she discovered that the next day.

How independent do you make your kids when you know there are organizing difficulties. I struggle between the "she can't do it herself" and the "she needs to learn how or she will be expecting me to come do her checkbook for her when she is 40". Naturally I know I need to provide support and modifications, but how much do you let them fall on there own?


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2003
Wed, 09-17-2003 - 11:56pm
I can only tell you that my approach on this has been the same one I would take with any child. You give them the amount of responsibility they have proved they can handle. If she is not ready to assume the responsibility of getting all her home work done on her own, you may have to provide some assistance, at least in making sure it has been done, until she is. Seth has much the same issues with homework and he is in the 6th grade gifted program. He can't remember if he has homework from the moment he leaves the school door. He also sometimes forgets to write it down. Now he wants to join the school band. We have told him that he can't assume any extra work if he is not able to do the regular work he is suppose to. Not so much as punishment, but we feel that he is not ready.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 8:27am
Jade has 'homework' every night. I know, it's not quite the same since we co-op school and I am still her main teacher. But she has worksheets and labs that she has to do on her own everyday. She forgets that she has to do it and even what it is most days and I have to remind her. She would loooooove for me to sit and do it all with her, but she's at a place in her advancement now where her limits need to be stretched just a little. So, our compramise is that DH makes a point of asking her every day at the same time "Jade, It's 8 o'clock, what homework do you have?" He doesn't ask *if* she has it, he asks *what* it is, and he makes sure to state the time (which is always the same) so that she starts to associate 8 pm with homework time. He has her go through her binder (equivalant of a backpack) to make sure she has everything out and hasn't missed anything. Then SHE has to do the work and show it to him for a quick review before she puts it back in the binder (which he makes sure she does byt doesn't do it for her).

Part of her daily homework is to sit and read to an adult for at least 15 minutes everyday. To help her remember to do that we put a blank list on the fridge where she writes down the name of the book, who she read to, and how long she was able to read for if over 15 minutes. Unlike most Aspies, Jade hates reading. She has Profound Dyslexia and is legally blind in one eye so I do understand that it's hard for her, but she still has to do it. This is the area we have the hardest time with her over, especially since we encourage her to read to people other than DH and I these days. She has been known to lie to people and tell them she can't read at all just to get out of doing it. This is very agravating, but it still doesn't get her out of doing it. I ask her every night as part of her bedtime routine if she has read to someone yet and if she hasn't then she has to sit and read to me before she gets her ritualistic ovatine before brushing teeth.

Jade is making progress with her homework and her reading. We are finding that one by one the 'reminder list' is getting smaller as her reading time is getting longer. Today I even caught her sounding out sentences to herself out of her Discover Magazine. LOL, of course, she thinks 'Autrolapithecus' is a sight word that is pronounced 'Lucy', but she's working on it. And DH says he doesn't have to ask her about her geography worksheets anymore b/c they are always done now (her favorite core subject this year).

If Cait needs the reminding go ahead and do it. After a while slack off on the number of questions you ask and see if she will just do that part on her own. If so then let her do it like that for a little while then release some more. If not just keep doing the reminding for a little while longer. With Jade it helps that we make the homework check a specific time, that helps her make it 'routine'. And I think it also helps that homework check is so close to the beginning of her bedtime routine. She is encouraged to get as much done earlier in the day for fear her longest running routine will be interupted by a new one running into overtime, LOL.

Okay, that's my two cents on what seems to be working for us. I better hit the hay now or I'll never be able to get up in the morning.


Candes (insert dyslexic spelling disclaimer here)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 10:47am
Tristan just started with homework this year in 2nd grade. He isn't liking it very much, but he is learning rather quickly that we will not allow him to do anything else after school until he has finished his assignment. We help where we can, but do our best to make him realize that HE is the one responsible for it, not us. And yes, that means that he has returned to school the next day with it not done at all, only partially completed, etc. (not very often, mind you!) We have figured that the only way to have him see just how important this is, is for his teacher to impress that upon him. Being his parents, there is only so much we can do before he thinks "yeah, but you're my mom/dad, you *have* to act like that, say that, etc."

As for his organization skills and homework.....he has a small box with some crayons, markers, small ruler, scissors and pencils - all the things he may need for homework - and he knows where that is at all times. Putting his homework in his folder and then in his backpack - I have small, neon-orange notes posted at his eye level right at the front door, to remind him to grab his snack, homework and take his pill. That way, he can't come back to me with "But you never told me" --- it's right there, bright as day, for him to read as he opens the door! (I also have a note for my daughter to remember her snack, glasses, and school ID card) These notes seem to be helping tremendously! It's my way of reminding him to remind himself.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 11:32pm

Jordan's also in the 4th grade and has major organizational issues. I've got his teacher to write his homework assignments in his homework journal and he has to find the books to take home. His teacher also gave me a full set of books and workbooks to keep at home because even with her writing his work down, he can't always get to the next step of putting them in his backpack. I thought he was old enough to start to remember (on a very basic level)simple things, but I know he'll never carry through. I know I've done as much as I can do for him as far as homework is concerned, the rest is his responsibility. Thank god for the IEP - I put his horrible organizational issues in his IEP so teachers wouldn't suspect him of being lazy.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 10:56pm
One thing that we had the teacher do last year and this is to e-mail us the homework assignments along with Seth writing it down. This way we can double check. The teacher took this a step further by having Seth type the e-mail. This way Seth has to write down the homework assignement twice and is more likely to remember it. Not that he always does.