So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

School is in full swing. It’s October. 

I’m just wondering…Do you feel as if  you are being held captive by your child’s homework?

AH! I’ve been there in the cell with you!

No matter if the child is a high achiever or a struggling student, his homework often becomes mom or dad’s. Parents can get emotionally attached to their kid’s school work.

Most of us would say we HELP our kids with homework. But many parents actually take it over. Intentions are good, we want our kids to succeed but are we actually impeding their learning?

Some parents unintentionally enable their child to be an underachiever by the amount of parental involvement (or you could say…rescuing).

Let’s redefine homework success before talking about strategies to get there.

Homework is given by teachers to either extend learning by going deeper, expand learning by going wider, or reinforce lessons taught in the classroom. Success happens when the student’s knowledge base, understanding, and ability to synthesize, apply, and transfer what he or she has learned has taken place.

Success also includes learning from mistakes. (You may want to read a post on this topic. See the link below).

Ownership of the work and responsibility for the learning must be the child’s. That’s success.

Homework can become a bone of contention between parents and kids. One mom and her child stayed up for HOURS attempting to do a middle school math problem. They were stuck. They snapped at each other. Finally they quit. The frustrated mom contacted the teacher the following morning and explained the effort and time “they” had put into this assignment. The teacher responded with, “Well, I’m just glad to hear you spent some time with your child.”

What? Really?

I’m sure that mom (and kid) could come up with all kinds of other more enjoyable ways to spend time together.

Assignments done at home have the potential for creating an “Now I’m in charge of your school work too” environment. Another mom shared with me that each evening when it’s time for homework, her nine-year-old child has a major melt down. The session concludes with mom and child angry and in tears. Not uncommon.

Okay. Take it off. Take off homework controller hat and let your child wear it.

Think of it like this, parents are in charge of most everything in their child’s life: food, entertainment, extra-curricular activities, church, meals, and bedtime.

The child needs to own his learning, his successes and his failures. 

Here are 3 ways to get out of homework jail free and let your child own his homework.

1. Help your child set up a place and time to do homework.

2. Be available. But don’t HOVER!

3. Resist the urge to take over. (Of course you could do it better…with the exception of me helping with math. In this case my kids were better off without my “input.”) Remember you are not the one receiving the grade.

With your youngsters, actually become The Assistant. Make a special badge that says, “Official Homework Assistant.” Put it on during home study time.This will serve to remind the child and the parent that the homework is the student’s.

Say, “This is your work AND I’m here to help you. You are in charge of letting me know how I can help you.”

By using this approach, you will be on your child’s team as opposed to being pitted against him. The student will be invested in his work. And… you will be released from the homework jail.

headshot 2015

 Lori Wildenberg, mom of 4 , co-author of 3 parenting books and licensed parent-family educator is available for parent coaching/consulting and to speak at your event. Click here to connect with Lori. Join her at the upcoming Minneapolis HeartCORE Conference (family, faith, and education) on November 14. 

Related posts by Lori:

Success via Fail

Refrigerator Worthy

If you found this post helpful check out Lori’s co-authored books: 

Raising Little Kids with Big Love   ( toddler to 9) and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love   (tween to young adult).

Lori Wildenberg

Lori  Wildenberg, is passionate about helping families build connections that last a lifetime. She meets parents where they are with her warmth, transparency, humor, and straight-forward, faith-filled approach. Lori is an author, licensed parent-family educator, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting ministry, lead mentor mom with the Moms Together Facebook Community, national speaker, and parent coach. Her 5th parenting book Messy Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections (New Hope Publishers) will be released in August 2018 and is available for preorder over at Amazon. The Wildenberg home is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A perfect day in Lori’s world is a hike with her Tom (her hubby), five kids (four plus a daughter-in-love), and Murphy– the family labradoodle! For more information or to connect with Lori go to www.loriwildenberg.com 

Summer Goes by Too Fast

In: Kids
Boy lying on bench at park, color photo

To my oldest, As our summer vacation nears an end and we begin school supply shopping, I think about all the things we didn’t get to do together this summer. I instantly feel mom guilt. All the plans I had made? Only half of them done—if that. RELATED: Remember When Summer Lasted Forever? All the books I was going to read to you at bedtime? Only a couple short ones. All the creative art we would do? Maybe just one time. The fact is, I let time slip away from me. I was too focused and anxiety-ridden about work, my...

Keep Reading

Going on Family Vacation with Young Kids is Work That’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom with two young kids on airplane

Our routine will be a mess. Our toddler won’t sleep in a new environment. Our baby needs all of the gear. The flight could be a disaster. I went through a mental checklist of reasons why this kind of family vacation would be hard. It was a pretty convincing list if I’m being honest. I considered throwing a pity party dedicated to the concerns I shoulder as a mother. A few days later I felt a wave of conviction wash over me. I was dreading a trip that was meant to be a blessing to our family. Any kind of...

Keep Reading

I Want To Raise Good Sisters

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four girls sitting on a rock in the forest, color photo

My current dilemma: how to teach four little girls how to be good sisters when I have no idea what I’m doing? I was an only child growing up, and a tomboy at that. It was a lonely, quiet childhood. I remember wishing for a sister, but knowing that with my single mom, it wasn’t going to happen. So, the sister thing is a big mystery to me. I’ve noticed (admittedly with some envy) adult sisters together and their inside jokes, shared history, and language known only to each other. I’ve read about sisters in books. The relationships between the four...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Just Love You, I Like You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boy standing at bridge, color photo

My growing child, my heart often aches when I look at how big you have gotten. You aren’t a baby anymore, you’re a whole kid. You are your own person, with your own thoughts and feelings. You have your own friendships, and interests.  Parts of me realize you don’t need me the same, but deep down I know you need me all the same. And I’m realizing, that in all of these changes, my love for you is also a like.  RELATED: Being Your Mom is the Greatest Honor of My Life Because now we can connect in a whole...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergartner, I’ll Always Remember You This Way

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child touch foreheads

The first magical flickers of your strong heartbeat on a black and white screen— the reassuring evidence I needed to know you were gaining strength for this world. My belly grew, and I proudly went shopping for maternity clothes to cover it. I felt the first dances of your little feet, and it reminded me of butterflies taking flight— the movement of a true miracle. I’ll always remember you this way. The sounds of your first cries—music ringing in my ears. You were real, Earth-side, and wanting only to be loved. The softness of your skin, the way you smelled,...

Keep Reading

Having the Tools To Parent a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder Changes Everything

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child playing with water in tube

My heart leaped into my mouth as Soccer Mom, with her matching foldable chairs and ice-cold Gatorade, glared at me. I wanted to explain how hard I tried to be a good mom, to raise a kind human, but I swallowed the words so I could vomit them at my 5-year-old son on the ride home.   Didn’t he know that pushing another child was unacceptable? Hadn’t I taught him to use gentle hands?   RELATED: To the Special Needs Mom Who Sits Alone Despite implementing the parenting books that promised me a new kid by the week’s end, I often wondered...

Keep Reading

There’s No Instruction Manual for These Middle Years

In: Kids
Little girl smiling on porch

As a preschool teacher and a mom, I’ve always felt pretty confident in my parenting from ages birth to 5 years old.  I by no means am perfect, and I silently rejoiced the day my kids could pour their own cereal and turn on Netflix for themselves while I caught some extra sleep. Even though that’s probably not a proud mama moment to celebrate, it’s just the reality of parenting.  We both celebrate and mourn independence as our children need us less. And let’s be honest, oftentimes independence makes our daily lives easier. Yet it is bittersweet.  It feels like...

Keep Reading

I’m Halfway Through Raising Little Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two girls smiling outside

Today I stayed in my car a few minutes more than usual as my kids hopped out onto the hot driveway and ran inside. The cold air conditioning felt amazing after a long day at the local water park; so did the silence. Then it felt odd, so I turned on the radio. The song that started playing hit my soul: “Woah, we’re halfway there/Woah, livin’ on a prayer.” I’m always living on a prayer, but I also noticed we are halfway there. RELATED: Growing Up, You First Then Me Halfway through the year, more than halfway through summer, and...

Keep Reading

Kindergarten is the Start of Letting You Go

In: Kids, Motherhood

We’re physically ready for kindergarten. We’ve got the backpack, the school supplies, the school clothes, and the new shoes. We’ve talked about it all summer. We’ve practiced the skills he will need, and how to open everything inside of a cold lunch box. We’ve talked positively about it and imagined all the friends he will meet and the places he will go, and how kind and caring the teacher will be. We’re physically ready for kindergarten. But here’s a little secret . . . My heart? My heart can’t fully be ready for him to go to kindergarten. I know...

Keep Reading

The Truth about Puddle Jumpers and Toddler Drowning, From a Grieving Mom

In: Kids
Little boy in Puddle Jumper on waterslide

The very last video I have of my 3-year-old son, Levi, is of him bobbing up and down in a Puddle Jumper.  His little legs kicking underwater, his eyes the spitting image of his daddy, and his older sisters, his happy grin, and his little voice saying “Cheese!” This time-stamped video, counting down the precious minutes we had left until he would end up in this very same pool, less than two hours later.  But this time, it was without the Puddle Jumper. I understand the sense of panic building inside you to avoid my story or read it just...

Keep Reading