Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Homework Blues

Homework is no longer a test of what the child is learning in class...it is a test of a parent's patience.  It is an exercise in torture for a child who works so hard at school just to hold it together and make it through all of the social landmines and expectations.  When he comes home...what he really needs to is to just chill.  

However...Blue is continually thinking about the future, about college and what it takes to get there.  This is a good thing...a wonderful thing, within itself.  The result however, is that he puts so much pressure on himself, that he can become overwhelmed and end up completely shutting or melting down.  

The teachers seldom if ever, see this side of him.  They see a mostly calm, together, mature, extremely bright boy.  They have no idea how tightly wound he is.  Sometimes, when he gets home he unravels. What may be a very simple thing for him to do during the day, becomes a cause for explosion here at home. 

Thought we had the homework issues resolved after our last meeting with the team.  We had the end of the six-week grading period last week and things seemed to ease up for  a few days.  However, over the weekend, Blue was hard at work on an assignment that for the love of him, he says he did not understand.  He got so frustrated that he just shut down.

"I can't do this!  This is ridiculous!  I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing!" 

He comes in Monday evening with a very upbeat attitude...that is until it gets down to homework time.  

"This is just too much!  I don't get it!  This is too much pressure! Mrs. So and So is mean!" 

I finally shut him down when we get close to bedtime.  Suddenly, he remembers that he was supposed to read for 75 minutes over the course of the week.  This is the last night.  

"Help me mom! How am I supposed to do this?" By this time we are slamming things, kicking furniture and yelling in frustration.  Nothing I say means anything.

I suggest doing a book on tape...or text to speech reading so that he can sit back and relax instead of being so worked up.  I leave the room and refuse to come back and be yelled at anymore.  He calls me when the book is finished.  I send in Dad instead.  I can not trust that I won't loose it if he yells at me again.  

After talking with Blue, Hubby comes downstairs to tell me it's safe.  Blue has calmed down and really wants to see me.  

When I enter his room, he reaches his arms out to me and says, "I'm sorry mom."  He allows me to kiss him goodnight and tell him that I love him.

I call this morning to talk to the school Psychologist so that she can work with him today on settling these homework issues. She has a good conversation with him and the teacher.  Hopefully, he feels better about it. 

Today, it's raining along with the rain came a little friend called THUNDER.   I'm sure that he is just a bundle of nerves and anxiety.  Tonight should be a bundle of fun!