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He Hates Homework!

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: My son has always hated homework. It is a constant battle every night. He is on a set schedule and nothing else is allowed until he finishes his work. He puts little effort in his work so I make him do it over. How can I make homework fun for him?

A: Nightly homework battles will destroy the relationship you have with your son. It is a no-win situation. The more you push him to do homework, the more he will continue to resist.

You must give the responsibility of doing homework back to your child. You don't have homework to do, he does. Let him suffer the consequences of failing to turn in work or handing in sloppy work. It should be an issue between him and his teacher. Be sure, however, to explain to his teacher that you have been helping your child with his homework and will no longer be doing so.

Sit down with your son today and set some new rules. Tell him he is now in charge of doing his work and you will no longer be issuing homework reminders or supervising his work. At the same time, point out this responsibility comes with an obligation to do well. If his grades fall, explain you will need to establish a penalty for not doing homework, such as eliminating television viewing or having friends over.

One reason your child may hate homework so much is because you have insisted that he complete it before being able to enjoy more pleasurable activities. Many children need a period of relaxation and playing with friends before tackling homework. When your son is able to set his own time for doing homework, he may not find homework as unpleasant a task.

For some good advice about disengaging from homework battles, we recommend that you read Ending the Homework Hassle by John Rosemond. At the same time, your son could profit from reading How To Do Homework Without Throwing Up by Trevor Romain for some witty insights about homework.

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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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