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What do you do when your child refuses to do their homework?
by Mweddle
October 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM

We've been homeschooling for 1 week today!  It has been so wonderful and I feel so happy and she does too.  Today we hit our first bit of trouble.  We started doing a little handwriting yesterday and she did ok.  Today it was an all out war to get her to write anything.  She HATES it.  She scribbled and cried.  So what do you do when your child doesn't want to do their work.   Do I make her do it or do I let her take a break and do it later?  I want her to know that she doesn't call the shots but I find it hard to balance strict mom and easy going mom so I need advice.  


  • NYCitymomx3
    October 18, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    If it's something my child hates, I would try a different approach.  Maybe use a white board for handwriting, or count something else as handwriting like a spelling test, dictation exercise, copywork, or writing out a shopping list for you.  Sometimes you have to be creative rather than force something.  You can force your teaching all you want but your child won't learn unless it means something to her.  

  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    October 18, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    You could make hand writing a game instead of a power struggle. Did you ever play the game where you take turns making up parts of a story? You could do that with writing it down, you write a few lines & then she makes up what happens next. It could go like this.

    Once upon a time there was an evil dragon that didn't like anyone. If other creators got to close to the dragon he would throw them in a cage to keep for his dinner! One day a tiger was walking by, he did not know about the dragon & so was surprised when he was caged by it.      Then you would have her continue the story from that point for a few sentences & then you would take over & so on & so forth until the end. Then you two could snuggle on the couch & read your silly story together!

  • Leissaintexas
    October 18, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    It depends on their age. Are we talking about a 6 yr old or a 10 yr old? I rarely make writing an "assignment". Its more of a life skill that we practice when we make grocery lists, write notes to each other, make birthday cards for family, journal,  or whatever.  When its a practical skill, they don't balk at doing it. When its a school requirement, they drag out the hysterics and drama LOL.

  • AutymsMommy
    October 18, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    How old is the child?

    A 5 year old? Bag it for the day and try again tomorrow - kindly and gently.

    A 10 year old? Nothing *fun* happens until school work is done. Caveat: I would break from it for a while and do something else entirely (bake brownies!), then give her a brownie, a glass of milk, and set her back down to finish the day.... in other words, do it kindly, make it more enjoyable if possible (everything is better with brownies), but ultimately (at this age), it has to get done.

  • Mweddle
    by Mweddle
    October 18, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    I LOVE the ideas!  Thanks guys!  I have a tendency to be on the strict side and I am working really hard to find the balance.   She is only 6.  I having her write in her journal like she did at school but she had a lot of trouble at school so it only makes sense to try it in a different way!  

  • kirbymom
    October 18, 2013 at 7:20 PM
    I would make this as creative as possible. Maybe make a recipe that you want to make for a special dinner for a few days from now and you need her to help you write that recipe down.
    I love usmom's idea and totally agree with NYCitymom.
  • kmath
    by kmath
    October 19, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    At 6 I wouldn't force it.  My DS can't stand writing.  I tend to count other things as writing right now.  He has a pen pal and that is his major source right now because he loves getting letters and doesn't fight me when he writes back.  I also let him type a lot of stuff.  This way he can work on sentence composition, grammar and different writing styles without actually writing.  He loves it.  He works on his handwriting in other subjects. 

  • DyslexiaParent
    October 19, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    I'm with others.. let it go a bit.. You could have her dictate to you and you write for a little while just to keep her in the process of thinking of things to write. 

    When you resume, I'd suggest Handwriting Without Tears and then Brave Writer.  If she's going to be a reluctant writer, you'll want to take it gently so as not to make her hate writing. ;-)

  • pinkcsmtlgy
    October 19, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    When it gets to the point that ods is crying we let him take a break. It is usually only 10 minutes to have him calm down, then he has to get back to work. It usually works for us.

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