Column: Having fun with homework

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Commentary by Heather Kestian

My oldest hates homework, unless it has anything to do with math. Math is fun, which is exactly how I felt about the subject. Perhaps, the way you feel about math is genetic?

We have had our homework battles. I imagine my son and me as Beyblades some nights – two of us enter the Stadium of Homework Battles, only one will leave a victor! Truth be told, I rarely know who has won. He inevitably ends up completing his homework, but not without leaving me with scars to prove that we spun around in circles, completely wound up at one point but ending on our sides, without an ounce of energy left inside.

However, this simply cannot continue to be the way to approach this subject. He has plenty of time left in school and I have way more kids that will face this issue. So I do what any smart person does when what you have been doing no longer works – you change.

One night, he asked me if he needed to do his homework. I told him, “no.” Why on earth would I have said that? Good question, allow me to explain.

I will not always be around to tell him what to do and when to do it. I told him he did not have to do his homework, but he should be ready for the consequences. He decided to evaluate the situation – what were the consequences? Well, I have no idea, but certainly there are consequences. I told him I was going to clean the bathroom, and he could decide what he wanted to do: his homework or something else.

When I came back in the room, guess who was doing his homework? No battle, no debating the merits of homework, only the sight that it was being done. But this time, by someone who may better see the value in homework, since it is now his decision of when and how to complete it. Personal responsibility is a good thing.


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