We had our first homework battle last night and it was fierce. Kanin is a good student and a leader in his class but this year I've met a little resistance when it comes to doing homework.
Kanin's "homework" each week consists of: 3 nights of reading for 15 minutes, 5 minutes each day of math facts, 10 spelling words, 5 vocabulary words, and a teacher's choice assignment. The teacher's choice this week was to read a book, write a 3 complete sentence book report, grade the book from 1 apples to 5 apples, cut and color the apples, trunk, and tree and then glue it altogether. Simple, right?
Since it was a book report the book was supposed to be an actual story and not a non-fiction book in which there was no beginning, middle, or ending. I made sure to tell him this before he chose his book. After reading his chosen book, African Cats, I sat down with him to complete the homework and he had, in fact, chosen a book that was about all different kinds of African cats. No story to it just a book about cats. When I informed him that that book wasn't going to work, the battle was on.
I'll spare you all of the details but the episode ended with me asking Kanin if he was going to do his homework or not and him saying, "No."
"Fine," I told him. "If you don't want to do your homework, you don't have to. I'll just write a note to your teacher telling her that you chose not to do your homework and for her to feel free to punish you as she sees fit or to send you to the principal's office."
I then got up and started making dinner.
Finally around 8:00pm he came down and said he was going to do his homework. I helped him summarize the story into 3 sentences and then told him about the cutting, coloring, pasting part.
Once he was finished, I showed him the note that I had written to the teacher and told him that I was going to hang it on the refrigerator (my Mom's idea) and that the next time we went through this, there would be no battle. I would just put the note in his folder and he would have to deal with the consequence of his choice at school.
Do you have homework battles at your house? How do you handle them?
Believe me, the thought of sending that note to school with him was not appeasing to me. I know that will reflect on us as parents because the school expects the parents to make sure the kids are completing assignments. I don't think, though, that Kanin has grasped the fact that it is his responsibility to get his work done, not mine.
I hope that we won't have another episode like this for a long time but I'm not betting on it just yet. I think the note probably will have to come off of the refrigerator at least once for him to "get it" and I'm ok with that. I think it will be a good life lesson for him. Up to this point, he hasn't ever been at trouble in school and has really been held up as a model student. I think that he needs to realize that even though he may be smart and respectful to his teachers that he is still required to do the exact same work as everyone else. I think that one time of him "getting into trouble" will be enough for him and he won't want that negative attention again . . . at least that's what I'm hoping.