Yesterday Rhonda's mother came to me. "I'm having some trouble with my daughter," she tells me. I can't imagine what the issue can be. So I ask.
"Rhonda doesn't want to do her homework. I have to argue with her each night in order for her to complete it. There's arguing and often tears." The mom is talking with me with Rhonda in the room as well as her two other sisters.
I tell mom what an ideal student Rhonda is in the classroom and at school, but that she so comfortable with Mom that she lets loose at home. I ask Rhonda why she acts this way at home and quietly she tells me that sometimes she doesn't want to do her homework. After a small pause I respond to Rhonda, "Then, don't do it."
Mom looks at me puzzled. I tell Mom, "After a hard day of work, you still have three girls to take care of. You don't need to know that you'll be fighting with Rhonda night after night. Tell her to get her homework done, and if she doesn't let her know there will be a consequence. Then, move on...and let me deal with it at school."
I told Mom that her life at home should not be a battle and if homework is the core of that battle, I'll have her do the work with me at recess, and if she needs to miss some of our fun activities to get the work done, so be it, but I want their home to be peaceful.
I remember when my girls were in grade school. they did their homework, but there were those days that they felt overwhelmed or frustrated and I would try to help, but if they started to lose it, I'd just tell them, "Don't do it."
I think homework is important more because it teaches responsibility, but it shouldn't destroy the sanctity of home. So, if you are heading into conferences soon and your child is like Rhonda, consider asking the teacher to shoulder that homework burden so you can have the peace at home that the family deserves.
image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/sad-learning-school-reading-544730/