Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Homework Guy! to the Rescue!

The last time Jack was sent home from school with a big packet of homework to do over the course of the week, we ended on Thursday evening with a 90-minute stress session where I used every tool in my arsenal to get Jack to write ten sentences.

Ten.

Sentences.

It was terrible. To get those ten sentences, I used something close to 70 stickers, Lego incentives, and a timer to give him breaks. And that's not the first time we'd had a tough time with homework either.

Aside: Ironically that paper with those ten sentences was sent home with his report card as an example of the work he's doing. Frankly, he didn't actually come up with any of the sentences, he just wrote them down at my strenuous insistence. End aside.

Today I lucked out. Jack's obsession with Legos worked to my advantage.

Jack is always handing me Lego people and asking me to "be this guy." So today when he did that as we were sitting down to do homework, I decided to use my little Lego guy for good.

I grabbed the toy, said, "I'm Homework Guy!" and then (in Homework Guy!'s voice), "Jack, let's read your homework."

(The exclamation point is very important to Homework Guy! Otherwise he'd be just a guy. Who does homework. Where's the fun in that?)

It turns out that Jack is happy to do homework for Homework Guy! Who knew?


Homework Guy! pointed to words with his little rockets, walked all over Jack's paper, and gave him tips on to what to do next.

Next time Homework Guy! may not work, but I'm putting him in my bag of tricks, that's for sure.

20 comments:

  1. Genius! This is really what it comes down to though. You do something random and what do you know!? That it - the answer! Who knew?

    Tonight I had that with George who insists on being held all the time. Every time I put him down - screams. And he can scream for a LONG TIME. Finally I started lining his matchbox cars up on the table (something he likes to do) and only then would he willingly leave my arms. Why did I not think of that before? Of course it won't work tomorrow.

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  2. Homework sucks. Especially in kindergarten. I don't get it. Especially in Kindy, homework is nothing but making parents try to force their kids to comply when the kids are dead dog tired and crabby (and usually so are the parents). Is anyone learning anything at that point? Of course my son likes to wear "homework costumes" so obviously what do I know? Remember this? http://miscthing.blogspot.com/2008/01/what-difference.html

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  3. This post is too familiar. Homework does suck. Even in second grade. The endless breaks and sips of water and prostrating himself across the table in a highly dramatic "woe is me" pose. It's all too much.

    And no, I'm pretty sure no one is learning anything. Except maybe homework guy.

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  4. Brilliant! I may be stealing that one in a few years.

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  5. I find that my kids respond better to any one but me. I will have to dig out a homework guy from our stash of lego men too. Thanks for the tip.

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  6. You are a genius! I am so stealing this idea. We also have the daily* struggle to write sentences as homework and nothing I've tried has made it go any easier or any quicker. I'm doing this today. You are my hero.

    *It's not daily. I'm too lazy to do that battle every day.

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  7. I hate homework! I am getting payback for assigning my 10th graders essays every week. Now I'm struggling to get my 2nd grader to do anything.

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  8. You deserve a freaking medal for that one.

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  9. Whatever works right?? I think Homework Guy is kind of cute! :)

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  10. Homework Guy! Awesome! I love when those spontaneous ideas turn out to be strokes of genius!

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  11. Love it and good for Jack! Remind me of this next year when LMT enters K and we need our own Homework Guy or Homework Princess!

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  12. I love the idea of Homework Guy but I think A would freak out over me touching his Legos! LOL!

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  13. Didn't Mr. Topum hat help Jack go to the bathroom?

    Great job. You're a great mom.

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  14. Whatever works. And it's amazing what works sometimes, isn't it?

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  15. It's funny you should say that, because I know a certain k'er who went to bed early tonight and without stories because this certain Boy Who Shall Not Be Named acted like such a Royal Poopyhead about the whole thing.

    Does Homework Guy do housecalls?

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  16. When i was little, and I wouldn't do things or talk about things, my father would turn into an Irish character. Wouldn't talk to Dad. Had no trouble talking to his Irish twin.

    Kids are weird.

    Or maybe just me.

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  17. I am totally trying this. My 2nd-grader practically needs me to use his hand to write his homework for him.

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  18. How clever you are - and my husband reading next to me says "That's homework guy? That's funny!"

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  19. Once again, you are my parenting hero. Stimey, the mom I want to be like.

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Thanks for commenting! May you be visited by unicorns and kittens.