Nov 6, 2007

Homework At Our House

I'm sitting in our dining room watching, out of the corner of my eye, as Christopher prepares to do homework. He has just come home from a friend's house, it's 4:30 pm, and the sun is already setting. I've suggested he do his homework at the kitchen table, because the light is better there.

As I write this, I've counted him going back and forth from the kitchen to his school bag in the hallway 3 times. Each time carrying a single item from his bag. First his math book. Then his notebook. And finally, his pencil case.

There is no way a girl could've been this distracted, is there? She would have been able to get all three things out of her bag at once, surely? Or better yet, moved the school bag into the kitchen? Heck, most boys may even have thought of this. But not my Christopher. He's too busy chatting to anyone who'll listen to concentrate on what he should be doing.

[One hour later...]

Christopher continues to do his homework. He finished his math pretty quickly. Math is easy for that child, but he still manages to make it look horrendously complicated by being so. darn. messy.

He is now reading about Northern Norway. I understand that this is difficult for him, seeing as it is in Norwegian and all. But he has come into the dining room twice in the last 5 minutes with sentences starting like this: "You know, when we were in Hawaii last year..."

"Stop right there, Christopher! Unless Hawaii has suddenly become part of Northern Norway, you need to go back to your work." I say with as much firmness as my voice can muster (and believe you me, that's quite a lot).

He's clearly taken aback, because 2 minutes later I hear: "Are we having pizza toni..."

"Christopher! Nose. In. Book."

30 seconds later, realizing he's getting nowhere with me, he attempts this one on Mike: "Do you remember in Planet Earth, when the baby whale drank 3000 liters of milk a day?"

Mike acknowledges the question, says he can't deny that this is an interesting fact, but shouldn't Christopher be doing something else right now?

Why yes, he should. Northern Norway. Keywords in notebook. Now.

Please tell me it isn't just him?

*******************************************************

Rewind 4 hours, to when Benjamin came home from school happy as could be. Rosy cheeks from the crisp air, jacket unzipped, just to drive his mother batty. He bounced joyfully into the house and declared to no one in particular, "I don't want to do homework the very minute I walk in the door." (Never mind that he'd already played for 2 hours in the after school programme at school). I told him if he wanted to play outside for a while, he could do so while it was still light, but that as soon as he came inside, it would be homework time. No playing inside before homework was done.

Wouldn't you know that he proceeded to stay outside for an hour? Using his scooter, he went around and around and around the block. Aimlessly and without any purpose, other than avoiding homework.

*******************************************************

So I guess it isn't just Christopher after all...argh!

34 comments:

Karen MEG said...

Gritting my teeth in sympathy here for you :). Your boys are too smart. I am still so impressed that they're doing their schooling all in Norwegian!
We've tried to set up a schedule for Liam's homework. Going nowhere fast.
Very hilarious about Benjamin too -Liam is just like that, gets home from a 2 hour playdate and then says "no homework yet, just got home! Relaxation first!"
Huhhhhh?!!!!

Rimarama said...

The V-meister and J-dog don't have homework yet, thank God, so I don't have any words of advice, but I must say I just love the image of Christopher going back and forth from his book bag to the kitchen. Dude, that is procrastination at its finest!!!

Suzanne said...

I just know this is awaiting me. My son is in kindergarten, and he has just a smidge of homework. It's FUN homework, for Pete's sake, and he still drags his feet. Just wait till the hard stuff kicks in.

Julie Pippert said...

Hmm the bag thing might be a boy thing. My husband is the same. I have lost four layers of tooth enamel over it. LOL

As for homework, I don't know. I'll blog to avoid housework so maybe it is universal. :)

Julie
Using My Words

Jennifer said...

Do you remember in Planet Earth, when the baby whale drank 3000 liters of milk a day?

Too funny! I have given up on the whole "Homework after school" idea around here. It just doesn't work for my boy -- for the reasons you just described. We've moved on to "Homework after dinner". It's easier...a bit. And his homework only takes him 10 minutes! I can't imagine how it will be in a few years.

Reading in Norwegian?? So impressive!

familymclean said...

Wow! I think I will live in the moment right now. Because if I don't I will just pull my hair out anticipating those years! Good luck!

Lisa said...

Boys. (Smiles and shakes head.)Its kind of funny but also frustrating. (In the same boat as Suzanne.)

THANK YOU SO MUCH for letting me know the site was loading so slow. Can you do me a favor? I think I fixed the problem. I think it was my photos. Can you stop by again and let me know if I've fixed the problem. Or if its the same or even (gah!) worse? Would appreciate it much.

So sorry the page was ungodly slow to load for ya. I know you're a busy mom and its frustrating for a page to take FOREVER to load -- especially if its someone you don't read. :-)

Take care,

Valarie said...

Hmmmm, that kinda sounds like my and my housework. :)

Lisa said...

Thanks lady for letting me know! Most appreciated! (For what its worth, I thanked you in the post and put a link to your site.)

Can't wait to see what is in store for you and your family! You'll be blogging about it, right? RIGHT!?!

:-)

Kyla said...

I am so glad we haven't hit Homework Stage yet, but I know it is coming. Actually, I take that back. KayTar has weekly speech homework, but she's still small enough to think of it as Big Fun!

girlymom said...

I am not looking forward to the days of endless homework and projects. Shoot I get complaints if I ask my oldest to take something upstairs, as if her legs are too darn tired to make it that far, can't wait till I have to convince her to do her work! Yeah
Thanks for commenting on my blog today! Much appreciated!
http://momof4girls.blogspot.com/

Kathryn said...

Boys, boys, boys. Ya gotta love 'em. People keep telling me that girls are much harder to raise, and that may be so during teenage years, but OH the energy level of boys. It is astounding, isn't it?

another good thing said...

hah! see, in my house,the boy does all his stuff ahead of time and well- with much organization and forethought-- the girl, on the other hand-- she is a princess of procrastination, an abuser of time..I have learned to sa,
"What should you be doing now?" ANd setting the oven timer for ANY of her tasks.

what is ost frustrating for me -- is tryig to find your child's passion- or help them to, I should say. What do you think?

chichimama said...

We had a very similar experience here this afternoon. I have to keep myself from really losing it. But how HARD is it to concentrate for 15 minutes, which is about all his homework would have taken???

Sue said...

Bwa ha ha - at least you know they are creative.

Emma, who is supposed to be picking up blocks. "Wait, I just need to get a kleenex." "Wait, I just need to get a drink." "Hold on, I have to lie down." "I can't find the blocks, they are missing."

Amy Y said...

Oh gosh, I don't think I'd have had the patience...
Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

I'm such an enabler - I'd want to talk all about Hawaii and Planet Earth too.

Liesl said...

Not just you! My three-year-old does stuff like this when it's time to get dressed. It can take an hour some mornings. Ay yi yi! But it sounds so charming when your son is procrastinating - he was obviously taking painstaking care wiht his bookbag and homework organization! :)

hokgardner said...

Uh no, it's not just your son. My daughter can spend an hour doing five minutes' worth of homework. It drives me insane.

Kellan said...

Nooooo ... he is not the only one! I watch this very same sort of thing every single day with my son. It takes him 3 hours to do something it would take any one of my daughters to do in 1/2 and hour. I don't get it - they just don't like to do homework! My girls get right to it - I never have to argue or pursuade them to get to it. I feel your pain. See ya.

Sleeping Mommy said...

No it's not just your boys. My oldest is already doing this stuff too. It drives me bonkers!

Mrs. G. said...

Sometimes when my son is doing his math work, I'll pass him and he will be looking out the window. I'll ask him how it's going and he'll say fine. I'll come back a half an hour later and he will still be looking out that window. I'll walk over and look at his paper, and he will have done ONE problem in 45 minutes. It's a boy thing.

Alpha DogMa said...

Ah. I can see my not-too-distant future. And I'm scared.

Gina said...

I have a feeling you are describing my future.

Ginaagain said...

My boys were both terrible about homework in completely different ways. There were so many evenings when I thought I was just going to go insane. But now, as a freshman in high school, Zane is very responsible and no longer needs me to nag him.

The girls are a completely different story. They have never given me a single problem. They seem to be natural organizers (they don't get it from me!) Thank God! Because I don't think there is any way I could spend another nine years arguing about homework.

Mountain Dweller said...

I think kids must be the same the world over. Mine quite frequently spend an hour procrastinating over homework that would take them precisely 5 minutes. Good luck!

hellomelissa said...

here's how it goes at my house:

me: "h, you need to do your homework before cub scouts (which i really shouldn't tell him. he knows. it's supposed to be his responsibility, right?)"

h: "where is it?"

OMG!

Cyn said...

I have to LOL about the homework situation. Christopher's leaving the backpack in the hallway makes me think of what N would tell me -- "I can't bring it in here because you told me I have to keep the backpack in the hallway so it won't get lost." Sigh. Yeah, I mean it about leaving it in the hallway except for the unspoken exception to that "rule" which is "unless you need it for your homework and then you can take it as long as you remember to put it back."

I also had to LOL about playing outside so long to avoid having to do homework - I only wish that would work with my two - they just do not want to go outside. I'm about ready to lock them out of the house, kwim?

Misty said...

Brother did the exact. same. thing. last night. It is enough to drive you (and me) bonkers. So no, it is not just yours. It is mine as well.

gmcountrymama said...

Oh, girls are the same. When E gets home from school I set an alarm for enough time to unwind in front of the TV or play and have a snack. Then it takes her quite a while to pull out all her crumpled papers from her bag and more time to find the one she needs. Then every day I ask before school "do you have all your homework in your bag?" of course "yes". Then later in the AM I get a call (got one today,as a matter of fact), to bring her the homework she left at home! UGH!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

You just gave me a fabulous idea! I have been having trouble getting my kids to play outside lately. It is cold but they have coats and need the fresh air. Now I will just say, "Extra homework time. If you want a break first you can go play outside, but when you come in it is time to work." That should keep them playing for more than 15 minutes. Thanks!
=)

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Trust me, it's not just a boy thing. My girls are like that too. It's gotten better since they've learned that computer time does not happen until homework is done.

Swistle said...

When they made our sons, evidently they did NOT break the mold.

Seriously, Rob is spending So! Much! Time! on his homework, and with EXACTLY the kind of questions yours comes up with! WHY??

suburbancorrespondent said...

Have him do homework in his room - it works better!

And, yes, girls are just as easily distracted.