Are you frustrated about the lack of homework happening in your home? Do you find it hard to be consistent and persistent with your child and their homework?

persistence with a child's homeworkI’m here to encourage you to persist. As Babe Ruth the famous American baseball player said, “You just can’t beat the person who won’t give up.

Webster’s dictionary defines persistence as “the quality of being persistent”. And what is persistence? It is “lasting or enduring tenaciously, especially in the presence of obstacles, opposition and discouragement”. Just like a good coach and parent is really.

Positive persistence is when you continue to quietly and firmly make a time for homework each day. When you regularly sit down with your child doing homework, set clear and fair boundaries around when and how and where homework is done, and check carefully that it is done.

The positively persistent parent does not stay flustered, worried, angry or surprised. They may often feel those emotions, but they put them to one side as quickly as possible, and concentrate on what is important. Homework is important. Regular homework enables your child to do well in class, and now it is homework time.

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

Confucius

Persistent, consistent effort is the key to regular homework in your house. When, for whatever reason, homework doesn’t happen, realise that this failure to do the homework today is an opportunity to try again more successfully tomorrow. Sit down and positively plan how you can make homework happen.

This is what parenting is all about really. You have the responsibility to train your child  in the skills and attitudes they need to do well in life. An invaluable attitude you can help them develop is that good results in life take persistent effort. You have to show them this by ‘doing’ effort. Both you and your child  can put effort into making homework a habit.

Persistence about homework happening works!

To all those flustered and worried parents out there – remember that you are the ‘boss’. It’s up to you too how much, and when, and what your child does for homework. You can negotiate with them, but don’t leave the decisions up to them. Your child doesn’t earn the money that keeps your household going, nor does he or she always have the wisdom to know how important homework is for their learning future. You do. But in order to take up your rightful authority in your home, you have to assume the role of authoritatively persistent coach. And when you do, your child will show opposition, whining, crying and for some, major melt-downs. Keep a calm, cool head especially then.

It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock

(Author unknown):

Your positive persistence will certainly go through a testing period. I encourage you to not be discouraged. When you see your child sitting down doing their homework without any effort on your part you will understand through your own personal experience what it means to endure tenaciously, especially because the ‘obstacle, opposition and discouragement’ will probably be having a meltdown right before your very eyes.

Persisting in spite of the resistance you find from your child, your own self, your busy life isn’t easy, but it’s worth the battle scars. If you positively persist, your children will learn a life skill on how to persist and succeed in spite of obstacles, so they continue to succeed beyond others’ and their own expectations.

Check out my other postings for more ideas on how to support your child to do well. My next blog will give further ideas on how to successfully help your child do regular homework.

I’m working in partnership with you the reader and I like to know what you are thinking! Please feel free to write your thoughts, questions, and comments at the bottom of this page. 

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Warmly,

Anne

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About annethecoach

I coach families how to help their children, and their children how to become excellent students. I love my work!

4 responses »

  1. Katie Leigh says:

    I’m wondering when you think homework should start. We have a lot of schools starting with large amounts of homework in kindergarten. I think it’s too much for a 5-year-old to be in school for 6-7 hours and then expect them to do more at home. At this age, I try to make it relevant, like writing thank you notes or making his own chore chart, but not just rote writing practice. I do, however, believe in reading (either the child or the parent) every day. What age group are you targeting with this post? Thank you.

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    • annethecoach says:

      Hey Katie. Yes 5 is too young for lots of serious homework. I totally agree with you that the writing you encourage related to what is relevant to his life and his interests is more than enough. You are reading with him. Great. The only other thing I can suggest is that perhaps 5 minutes on practising something he is struggling with in for example Math is something more you could do gently. But the emphasis is on short little bursts of practice. I guess I’m aiming these posts at children who are a little older at the moment – seven years upwards – and at families who don’t do very much yet with their children at home.

      I know from your posts that you and your son have busily worked on a number of interesting projects that stretch his skills and knowledge in many areas. That with little spurts of practice in any area he might struggle a little with – using games, and competition, and making and doing things – is more than enough at the moment. The ultimate aim is that homework time should be fun and relevant to his needs and interests whatever his age really. What do you think?

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      • Katie Leigh says:

        Five minutes sounds doable! I totally agree with you about persistence. And usually it only takes one or two times and they get used to the habit. Sometimes it’s amazing how quickly they adapt. One huge crying fit and the next day it’s like we’ve been doing it our entires lives. I’m talking all areas of discipline from sitting at the dinner table to putting away your own shoes to practicing reading every night. Thanks for the post, Anne!

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  2. annethecoach says:

    My pleasure Katie. Yes. Our children know in their bones when we are feeling sure about something and will be consistently persistent about it happening. That is why it is very important to have clear goals for them and good reasons why you want to coach them on something. And you are right. It can be something as basic as sitting at the dining table and using good table manners, or going to bed at a certain time, or reading a book regularly as part of their homework time. It is your attitude that decides what will happen in your house. And your child will know that and capitulate over time.

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