I feel as if it was just yesterday, that I was tripping over their little construction toys and encouraging them to take their first steps. Then in blink of an eye they dashed out of my arms, amidst my own tears, sadness, and pride, out of our door into their first Kindergarten class.
Now here they are, a bit more grown-up, working after dinner on their tasks. They look peaceful and content here in these photographs. I love when they settle into their work so nicely. That evening they were working diligently, and when that happens I am always thankful.
However, most often at our house, & especially for these older two, homework time is a a series of grumblings and resistance in the afternoons & evenings. Our middle has dyslexia and there are days when he comes home and he JUST wants to be done translating everything he sees into a contextual understanding. He wants to so disengage from it all that it is hard to pull him back into the work he so needs to do. Our oldest is just that, the oldest, with a good sense of responsibility but lately, as he has entered his teen years, he puts everything off until the last minute. And when both of these worlds collide I feel as I will collapse. The most trying for me is when they engage in toddler like behavior: where they stamp their feet, pout and create a ruckus over, what seems to their dad and me, an insignificant amount of school work at home. Then it seems that they each try to out do each other, vying for some sort of unknown medal in the battle of the homework. Sometimes I wonder if they have met in secret, betting their allowance on who can make mommy break down first.
We are never sure which way to go with it. Homework as soon as able after school? Or homework as the evening draws to a close? We have found that the boys are a bit more focused in the evening hours, but we, as their parents are not. Also, if I am the only one home, I am battling three different wills, that are going in three different directions. Ultimately I would love it if the later evening time was our time as grown-ups to unplug, but with a teen rapidly approaching his last years in middle school and our middle man who struggles with severe learning differences, perhaps our "down" time really can't be, yet, what we want it to be.
Do you struggle to find the happy homework system? Does it clash with what your vision of the afternoon and evening should be? Have you found a way to work the chore of homework in your house? I would love to know what works and what doesn't for you.