I’ve complained to his Rebbe and English teacher, and nothing seems to help. I’ve tried everything from incentives to punishments, it’s just a battle I can’t seem to win. What do you suggest? Signed - Chedva from Woodmere.
This is such a huge issue, and there are many parents that feel the same way. It seems that homework is a much bigger battle nowadays, so I want to explain part of the issue. It seems that we have a syllabus mandated by the school district or state, and we must try and keep up with the public school system. However, between the Yomim Tovim, early dismissal on Friday, and of course Hebrew, it seems that there is lot less time available.
To make thing even more frustrating, the Rebbeim also give homework. As a result, your 2nd grader comes home at 4:45, and has to spend a very long time doing homework, after he’s already spent countless hours (in his eyes) learning in school. This is not a good situation.
I’m a big believer that homework should not be a battle. It’s so difficult for parents to connect to their kids these days, and the less battles there are, the better off everyone is. On the other hand, you don’t want to let your kids learn to be irresponsible and fail classes. Here is my “Do and Don’t” list for homework.
I see from your E-mail that you complained to the teacher and/or Rebbe. While it’s possible that you just wrote that in passing, it still shows your frustration. It might be better to just mention to the teacher “My son is having issues doing his homework at night. I would love to be involved, but I think I need to cut down the workload initially. Is there a specific subject I should be focusing on?"
You also wrote about incentives and punishments but that’s beyond the scope of this E-mail. However, try and realize that your kids are just that…kids. It’s not worth possibly jeopardizing your relationship in an argument regarding homework.
Wishing you much success and savlanut.
Rabbi Yitzie Ross is a Rebbe and has been working with parents and kids for many years. You can read more about him in the "about" section.