How To Help Your Child With Their Homework Without Losing Your Mind

father-helping-son-with-homeworkHomework is the bane of my existence. As a kid I loved it, but as a parent with a kid who most certainly does not love it, I dread the hour after school that’s been set aside for homework in our house. There are only so many times that you can answer the question “But WHY do I have to circle all of the stupid odd numbers in the number search?” before you start contemplating terrible things.

However, here I stand, my mind relatively intact, ready to drop some wisdom bombs on how to stay sane while explaining the difference between long vowels and short vowels.

Step One: 3:00 is not too early to drink

Start out light, of course. A pale ale, maybe a simple chardonnay. Whatever. Pour a glass. You will need it. Pace yourself.

Step Two: Hold your breath and reach into the cavern of horrors

Also known as your child’s book bag. Try not to freak out if something sticks to your hand. Pull out homework folder/binder/notebook.

Step Three: Determine what needs to be done. Spoiler: A lot.

I might be remembering wrong, but I don’t think I had this much homework in elementary school. Whatever. Make a few piles: reading homework, math homework, social studies. Mourn the death of thousands of trees who gave their lives only to be reincarnated as a worksheet that will inevitably end up in the trash.

Step Four: Time to get started!

Have your kid pick a starting point. Which they will presumably get immediately underway. Right after this glass of water. And this potty break. And this quick snack. And also this pencil needs to be sharpened. A lot.

Step Five: Confiscate pencil sharpener

Hide it on top of the fridge where the beer is. Just so you know, there’s beer in there. Just, you know, as a side note.

Step Six: Now it’s really time to get started!

Yay, math! Whoops, looks like your child forgot how to subtract double digits. Could you show them once? Really quick, as an example? Maybe one more time? Okay, they think they have it now, if you could just do one more example, yeah, just like that, but make sure you show your work…sucker.

Step Seven: It’s time for the migraine minute!

All that whining and pencil sharpening and midafternoon beer has given you a headache! Better take something while your child pretends not to know what a noun is!

Step Eight: Home stretch

Ah, here we are, reading homework. That’s the best part of the day, because they have to read silently for 20 minutes. Take this opportunity to do some deep breathing. Inhale the delicious nicotine, exhale all of the good you did for your health by quitting smoking 10 years ago.

Step Nine: Homework check time

Yay! You made it. Math problems have been solved, nouns have been identified, settings have been described. All that’s left now is checking it. Oh, too bad. Looks like you accidentally helped with tomorrowhomework. Silly you!

Step Ten: Time to get started!

Remember, there’s something profoundly healing about a prolonged crying jag.

(Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

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