My child won’t do homework

“I hate homework”

Children are often quite reluctant to engage with their homework in the evenings.  The way they see it, they have just spent 6  hours or so in a classroom learning (because they are told that they have to) they are tired, and they want to enjoy their home environment, eat, play outside and watch TV.

For primary school children it’s probably very helpful to develop a strong routine where for example, every weeknight (apart from say, Tuesdays when they have soccer and are home late) they have afternoon tea when they arrive home, relax for 20 minutes, and then all get together at the kitchen table to do homework while a parent or Nanna cooks, helps, and chats.  That is a congenial environment for children to knuckle down and to be able to make the odd request for help.  They’ll have fond memories of those times afterwards and they have the reward afterwards, of a good spell of play outside, a walk with the dog, or watching a TV show.  Notice I haven’t mentioned computers, video games or the wii: that’s a whole other ball game – see our blog on that one!

But sometimes a child will really act up over the need to do homework.  You might see tantrums or running off and slamming doors.  Maybe yelling and hitting?  Here, something different may be at play.  When a child does this there’s certainly something to investigate.  There can be a variety of causes, from personality issues or a lack of coherent routine, to a child who is struggling with a short attention span all day at school and who is exhausted and “over it” by the late afternoon.  Some children may have minor and un-diagnosed areas of learning difficulty and they are finding the whole experience of grappling with large volumes of text very hard.  If a pleasant routine with adult help doesn’t fix this, ask for a quick look by an expert!