I need all your tips, tricks and ideas - both to help my kid get started on and finish her work, and to help me get through it. Because currently it’s painful for both of us. I feel like I want to crawl out of my skin, sitting with her and trying to make myself stay focused so I can help her stay on task.

What does your evening look like? How often do you take breaks and what do you do during the break? Do you have any fidgets, wiggle chairs, etc., that you keep in the “homework area” for them to use while they’re doing their homework? Anything you’ve learned almost always derails things?

What we’ve tried so far (she’s in 4th grade):

  • Do one entire item (ex: worksheet, reading passage, spelling list) then take a break and do something fun - this works for some things but others we’re sitting there for 20-30 minutes struggling to finish it
  • Set a timer and do as much as she can in 10-15 minutes then take a break - this works well at the start each evening but each time it’s more of a struggle for both of us to come back and do more homework. I feel like it may be too many transitions for our tired, end-of-day executive functioning abilities (or lack thereof).
  • Earn a small piece of candy for each question answered, math problem solved, etc. - This works well for math, but I don’t like to use it before we eat dinner, and usually we do at least some homework before dinner.

I just want to help her find some skills she can use to tackle “have to do” things - because as we all know it’ll be a daily struggle even as adults (at least during the work week).

  • @surewhynotlem@lemmy.world
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    172 months ago

    If I remember my childhood, a lot of crying and screaming. I hope to do better when my kids get older.

    M&M for math is a good one. I used to “earn” a dime per page of math problems.

    Just be ready with several strategies. What works today won’t work next week, but if you keep rotating strategies, it keeps the dopamine going. This also works for your own to-do lists. Migrate the list to a new system occasionally just to shake up the process and get it moving.

    • @ChaosCoatiOP
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      82 months ago

      Yeah, you’re right. Switching what we do even throughout one evening would go a long way. I pretty much almost never had homework until I got to college, and that was a very rude awakening for me. I had no study skills, and I’m determined to better equip her.

  • Ada
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    82 months ago

    We were lucky enough to find a school that didn’t do homework. It made a huge difference

    • @ChaosCoatiOP
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      42 months ago

      That would be amazing. We’ve been fairly lucky so far - up until now it’s just been reading (which she loves to do) and spelling words to practice (which she usually gets through in about 5 minutes). This year it’s still usually just those, plus the occasional work that she didn’t finish during class.

      But last week she was sick 3 days so we’ve been trying to slog through a pile of makeup work and I realized we may need some more tools in our homework box before she gets to middle school.

      • Ada
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        52 months ago

        Unrelated, but I just noticed your user name. Love coatis! In many ways, they’re ADHD in animal form :)

  • Perrin42
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    72 months ago

    As someone with 7-year old, ADHD-I and AuDHD-C twins, I just have this to say: If you figure it out, please let me know!

  • @KittenBiscuits@lemm.ee
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    2 months ago

    When i have a “have to do” thing I’m struggling to start and I’ve already done just about everything else avoiding it, I “put my ears on”. That is, I get my noise canceling headphones and play something like the lofi study girl on YouTube. I actually prefer something more up tempo, so experiment around with the different suggested videos, but that classic is a good starting place.

    I wish I’d had this in my toolbox when i was in school but I didn’t figure it out until my late 30s. When i put the over the ear set on, it’s like it signals to my brain that it’s buckle down and do the necessary thing time. I do still have to take some breaks, and I’m afraid to overuse this since it does work well for me. I don’t want to wear out its effectiveness! 😅

    • @KittenBiscuits@lemm.ee
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      2 months ago

      I think the underlying mechanics is the instrumental music keeps a portion of my brain occupied/ interested in the same way that fidget toys are supposed to while simultaneously blocking environmental distractions.

      That has made me remember another trick…I have “wiggle pedals” for my feet. They are similar to an under desk bike pedal device but allow for multidirectional movement. Found them, they’re called Hovr. A really good substitute would be those elastic exercise bands stretched over the legs of the chair. Like these…

      I have on occasion used the headphones and the Hovr pedals at the same time, and I experienced what can only be described as the Vince McMahon reaction meme (the glowing eyes one). Shame I used that power on drafting board financial reports and not solving global warming, but I didn’t have that on my to do list.

    • @ChaosCoatiOP
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      22 months ago

      Thanks! We’ll try some lofi tracks. I always forget they’re a thing, so I should probably look some up now.

      That Hovr thing looks awesome!

  • @z00s@lemmy.world
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    42 months ago

    There’s a website: goblin.tools

    Ignore the name, it’s an AI assisted to do app that breaks tasks down into smaller chunks for you.

    • @ChaosCoatiOP
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      22 months ago

      I have on my todo list to try this out, thanks for reminding me it exists

  • @UpsKaputt@discuss.tchncs.de
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    32 months ago

    Our daughter is in 4th grade as well, she struggles when she has to do her homework at home. So whenever possible we try to leave her at the school long enough to do her homework there as part of the afternoon care. Depending on your school / country this might not be a thing…

    When she does them at home, it’s best to start as early as possible. The closer to the end of the day the more exhausted you both are.

    Change it up, use different techniques. Don’t have anything she can spill on the table. Play music over speakers. Allow her to listen to music over headphones. Make little games of the subtasks. If she has to write or come up with sentences or stories, it sometimes helps when we come up with super silly or even wrong answers. Have fidget toys ready. Have scrap paper ready that she can tear/smear/poke/cut/rip apart so it’s not her school book. Have something to drink and eat close by.

    Most of the time though it just sucks for all of us. She knows it is so much easier to do them in afternoon care. She gets frustrated with herself. We get frustrated. We say stupid things like “if you just do it you’ll be done soon”. We’re looking to get her into a school that doesn’t do homework for secondary school.

    I have ADHD and I hated homework. I hate it even more now that I have to force my daughter to do it.

    • @ChaosCoatiOP
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      22 months ago

      I hate it even more now that I have to force my daughter to do it. Truth.

      I like the scrap paper idea. So simple. She gets 20 minutes of free time when we get home and then we get started. All of her work for now is on paper worksheets, and she hates writing. I’m looking forward to when it becomes electronic assignments just so we can use voice to text.

  • @Jakra@aussie.zone
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    22 months ago

    In very small, discrete chunks. This question, that sentence, one piece at a time. Which is how I handle my own homework (I’m a teacher, so I have marking at home). If things go really well, we can get into the flow of it, and get a decent chunk done, but the deal has to be just this one little bit. Anything more is a bonus that you can heap praise upon.

  • @hystericallymad@lemmy.ml
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    12 months ago

    Go get accommodations that tell your kid’s teachers you will do fuck all for homework. You shouldn’t have to make your baby cry…

    We had our daughter in a laboratory school, with first grade weekly homework packets, and have experienced the horror of upsetting our child over the homework packet. We no longer go there nor is there homework or crying at the table over homework.

    • @ChaosCoatiOP
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      12 months ago

      I’m glad you were able to find your kid a better school. We’ve been working on some accommodations too, gotta stick up for our kids, right?