Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Homework Blues

So, after 5 days of school, I am fed up with homework- and we hardly have any. I am of course talking about homework with Akila. In her first homework packet, which came home on Friday, there is just a list of spelling words, and a reading log in which she has to write about her reading twice a week. I sat down with her to do this on Sunday, and it was not fun.

Monday night was even worse. During dinner, I told her we were going to do homework after we finished cleaning up dinner, and told her she could have some time to play first. Michael did homework with Imani and Hezekiah first, as it does not work to have Akila working on homework at the same time as the other kids.

I came down to get her when it was her turn, and she started to rage. We went round and round awhile. I explained to her that if she didn't sit down to do homework with me, that she would have to go to her room for the rest of the night. This enraged her even more. I told her she could choose a book to read, she could read it to me, or not, I would sit with her, I would read my own book, etc. Nothing was appealing to her. She just sat or stood there and threw stuff and called me names. I remained really calm, on the outside.

After much monkey business, she finally sat down with a book, at least 30 minutes after this fiasco started. Then, she wasn't really reading, but just flipping through the pages. We also have issues over where she would like to do her homework. Our dining room table is not the most ideal, the table is a bit shaky, no matter how much we have tried to stabilize it. I have been begging for a new table for awhile now, maybe for my 40th birthday coming up next month. Or not. Akila has a desk in her bedroom, she doesn't like doing it in there either. I sometimes make a homemade desk with a stool and a little chair we have, and put it in whatever room is interesting to her. The things I do for her, sometimes drive me nuts. I fell like I'm always having to bend over backwards, because I guess I am. Ridiculous.

Anyway, she sometimes likes to do it on the couch or on my bed with a clip board. Last night we were on the couch with a clip board. When it was time to write the name and author of the book on her sheet, she flipped out, saying that the paper hurts her arm.?? What?? I tried to have her explain this to me, and she just got furious, name calling and yelling. I suggested we sit at the table, desk or something else. This made her mad. Then I suggested that she wear her sweatshirt so the paper would not touch her arm, and she yelled, "Duh, that's what I was saying". She said nothing close to that, but OK, now we're getting somewhere. She gets her coat on and starts to write with a serious attitude.

She now needs to flip the paper over, to write about what she just read. I tell her, "Turn the sheet over please.", and she starts to freak out. She begins to yell and goes nuts, saying that she is going to get a paper cut, and she is genuinely freaked out to get a paper cut. I then tell her to rethink how she could politely ask for help. She does so, with an attitude. I eventually flip the sheet over, the paper is maybe within 6 inches of her as I flip it over, and she practically falls off of the couch while angrily yelling at me that I almost gave her a paper cut. It was not even close. I was trying really hard not to laugh, and she could see that and got really mad at me.

It was not fun, I don't think we are going to be able to do homework very much this year. Michael and I were talking about it later that night, and she definitely is not capable of doing very much of it on a school night. Last year, I was about to talk with her teacher to say that we wouldn't be able to do homework anymore, and that is when we started her on medication. We were able to do the homework for the most part, but only on the weekends right after she had taken her meds. We would do her entire homework packet on Saturdays.

The other challenge with it, is that her comprehension skills are low and writing about something she has just read, is difficult. When they do the neuro-psychological testing with her, one of the tests is reading a short paragraph to her and then having her answer questions about it. She always would do very poorly at this. She could only answer the questions when prodded and given verbal clues. This from the girl who can remember the exact spot that she had an owie when she was 2 years old.

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