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Thread: Homework hell?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Richmond Hill, ON

    Default Homework hell?

    My son is 9 now and school has never been an issue. We have talked to his teacher but have never needed to make any accommodations for him so we don't have an IEP or anything in place. But at home it's a different story. Homework is hell. It's been this way for the last 4 years since he started getting homework (he's in grade 4 this year). The mere mention of homework sends him into an absolute meltdown... He throws things, flings his body around, thrashes around on the floor, yells and screams... this can go on for an hour... then he will do his homework... but if he comes across something that he doesn't know right away (or if he say, breaks his pencil and can't get the sharpener to work), it starts all over. He's screaming how much he hates ms, throwing himself into the wall or floor, or down the stairs... screaming, breaking things sometimes... It's awful. It makes the entire house very tense. I dread him coming home from school because I know what will happen. On Fridays, when he has all weekend to do his homework, he's fine. But whatever time we start his homework, this starts... And if it's not the homework itself, it's the fact that someone touched his book and if he touches it, he might die (OCD)... My husband I pretty much throw our hands up, and pack up the homework because we don't know what else to do... You can't rationalize with him when he's like this, and he will not accept help. That often makes it worse and he starts meltdown down again about how he is going to fail if he doesn't do his homework... In grades 1-3, we gave up completely on homework by February. It was just not worth the fighting... I don't know what to do about this or how to make it better... I'm wondering if we could get an IEP in place with the sole accommodation being no homework because at this rate, with him screaming at my feet as I type this over his homework (this time not the actual work but the fact that his sister touched it)... well, I'm just not sure how much more any of us can take...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Georgia, USA

    Default Re: homework hell?

    First of all I feel you. We had the same thing. It's hard but it gets better. I would first suggest some cbt for the ocd. It will help so much! Secondly see if the school has an asp to help him do his homework before he comes home. Third tell his teacher what happens at home with the work. I'm guessing your son is like mine. He is so super smart and he already knows this stuff. Except new concepts in math (which the brain wants to reject because it's challenging and he hasn't learned the techniques or formula to solve it yet.) In his mind when he sees a new equation he wants to solve it immediately. I will review the steps to solve the problem first. Distributive, associative, commutative properties etc. then I will just make my son watch me solve the first 5 or so problems first. Then it's his turn. When he can solve the problem on his own and understands it. I stop. I don't make him do problem after problem if he knows how to do the operation. Homework 15 minutes.
    The ocd is the worst. CBT will really help! It makes the mind do things that are uncomfortable so that you can get used to being uncomfortable and be able to move on and not get stuck. I have ocd really bad. Clean freak. I have learned a simple technique from our cbt therapist. Take a deep breath and focuse on breathing from the heart. Visualize the air going deep into the diaphram. Mentally focus on the air only. It lowers the heart rate and calms you down. Tip focus on trying to visualize the air like a cool blue stream being enhaled as deep into your stomach as you can. Like a game.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default Re: homework hell?

    I completely empathize with you regarding the homework hell. We went through issues with homework as well, but definitely not to this extent.

    I would definitely be working with the teacher on this issue. There are ways to work around the homework and it sounds like getting accommodation, at least for awhile, would be a good route to go. However, I would suggest that this behaviour will start showing up elsewhere and that you should talk to your doctor about what to do about it now and to help your son learn coping mechanisms. As Geneva suggested, one approach is CBT. It seems like homework is just the symptom right now and that the OCD and possible other issues will start showing up in other places and also cause meltdowns. The sooner you help your son address this, the easier it will be for him and your whole family to manage moving forward.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: homework hell?

    my son is 8 and i am going through the same thing right now with him, the mere mention of homework sends him into a meltdown, yelling throwing things hitting me trying to break toys. my son is on an iep and still has some homework to do. only about five min an evening. that is once we get through the hour melt down. hes in grade three but only has an sk understanding. and its hard to get him to learn anything, im not sure where to go from here either. the school thinks its ok for him not to do homework or learn for that matter. i think he has to learn something. but ill admitt it is easyer to let it go than to endure the hour or so melt down every evening.


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