Summer homework?

Even if you have an emotionally and mentally healthy child who feels safe, secure and loved; a child who receives enough attention and support both at home and in school – even they struggle with doing homework at times. Let alone doing school work during the summer holidays! How unfair – they shout and refuse to do it… Now imagine a child, who doesn’t have these advantages, who feels ‘nothing is going for me’ and who doesn’t believe they will come back to the same school in September, why should they bother with homework during the summer?

Speaking to many adopters and being part of lots of Facebook groups, Twitter groups for adoptive, fostering and therapeutic parents, when it comes to homework, there seems to be a strong consensus: Looked After Children (LAC) don’t do homework! Many support groups even go further and say ‘looked after children should not have to worry about doing homework when they have so many gaps in their development that needs patching up first; doing homework isn’t a priority’ or ‘it’s not worth the fight, when you have already so many battles you need to fight each day, you pick the important ones’.

adopted children often struggle with homework, feelingmumyet is helping her adopted children enjoy it

Doing Homework – is it worth the fight?

For my husband and I homework happens to be one of the important battles that we feel it’s worth fighting for! We both come from different backgrounds; I loved learning and I genuinely enjoyed doing homework. Hubby hated it, but he had no choice because his parents thought it was a priority. So from day one we told the boys that doing homework is and always will be a priority that has to come before movie night, before play time, before any treats. I am not saying we didn’t have to battle with them from time to time. Occasionally I had to miss the movie as well, because I had to sit at the table with 8 who simply refused to do it and the poor lad navigated himself into meltdown mode. It would have been much easier for me to drop the homework issue and just focus on helping my son with his meltdown and to bring him back to ‘my calm mode’ (as he calls it). But I think the real issue here isn’t homework itself, rather the importance of consistency and clear boundaries, so I stuck to my guns. No homework still means lots of cuddles, but it also means no movie.

I have spoken to both teachers before school finished and we discussed the matter. Naturally the teachers were coming from the angle of ‘homework is necessary for their continuous development’, while I was coming from the angle of ‘my boys need as much structure as we can get for the next 6 weeks so any input is welcome’. We compromised on some targeted tasks for both boys. 7 got some fancy sheets to practice his handwriting from school and I created some extra sheets for him about his favourite things to practice his spelling. 8 got some complex science problems to solve, which keeps him busy occasionally for hours. We try to work together for a few days each week, mostly for the sake of consistency to kill time, but it also doubles as getting some improvements in their education and most importantly to spend special time together!

Summer reading challenge 2017

This is actually a brilliant idea, but I only found out about it by accident. If you want to read more, here is the link to Summer Reading Challenge page. Apparently 8 knew about it as he was supposed to sign up with his entire class, but he was ‘naughty’ so the teacher excluded him from the class’ last library trip. We went to the library last weekend, because 8 needed a toilet break from playing in the park. Once business done we walked over to the counter and the librarian asked if we were there for the challenge. She quickly explained the details and before I could blink my sweet little 8 year old picked up 6 books to sign out!

summer reading challenge 2017 targets primary school children like feelingmum's adopted boys to read 6 books in 6 weeks.

The 2017 Summer Reading Challenge’s theme is Animal Agents.

I thought we are sorted for the summer. Granted, the books weren’t too long, but 8 finished them in 3 days! After each book I asked him to tell me all about it so I could check if he really read it properly. This also gave us some special time together when I focused all my attention on him and he loved it so much that his story descriptions covered even the tiniest of details. 🙂 I think Quality time must be his Love Language (I wrote more about the 5 Love Languages here). We both discovered a new way to spend quality time together so when he finished his 6 books, we went back to get some more.

Last week he finished 5 Roald Dahl books!

He asked for Horrid Henry books but after having a quick survey among my ever helpful Twitter friends we agreed his emotional age is not ready yet to read those books without any negative repercussions. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid – series will also have to wait a few more years.

So, anybody has any reading challenges for my challenging son? His reading age is 10+, his biological age is 8, his emotional age is 5. Any book suggestions for the rest of the holidays?

adopted children often struggle with homework, feelingmumyet is helping her adopted children enjoy it
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45 thoughts on “Summer homework?

  1. mackenzieglanville says:

    It is hard to find suitable books for children who are younger yet read at an advanced level, I have this with my daughters. Some topics are just inappropriate for their ages even though they can read them. I consider them doing their homework important, but I haven’t really had to fight them on it as they love school work. I am not sure what the right answer is though! #blogcrush

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  2. Imperfect mum says:

    He may like the captain underpants or
    Diary of a wimpy kid books. I wish my two were readers like me but they need to be dragged to the library each week. As a teacher and a mum I am really anti homework and have written about why in depth. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

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    • feelingmumyet says:

      We looked at the Diary of wimpy kid but he isn’t ready for that yet 😦 I have no issues with homework but I am very interested to read your reasons, will find them on your blog soon! Thanks for reading and commenting

      Like

  3. Sarah - Mud, Cakes and Wine says:

    Interesting read, my little boy has asd and the school day is very hard for him. When he gets home is is emotionally shattered and then we get homework meltdowns. We always finish it but it is hard. Love the reading challenge sounds great #Blogstravaganza

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  4. mamagrace says:

    I love this! I used to research what books each child would work on with their mentor, depending on what they needed. He’s a little young but in the future, not too distant though, I’d look at biographies. With children who have behavioural problems, which it sounds like they do, reading someone else’s story opens up to some great discussions and it can motivate them to plan their course accordingly. I would also include fiction but I’d choose the book that suited the circumstances. #ThatFridayLinky

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  5. Alicia Owen (@BoredinArkansas) says:

    Is homework over summer break, like, “a thing” now? The only time I EVER remember having homework over the summer was between my sophomore and junior year in high school. I had to work on a special project for my American Studies class. My children aren’t in school yet, but I see more and more about summer assignments and the like for young children and think, “What is going on?!” lol #fabfridaypost

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    • feelingmumyet says:

      Wow, really? I can’t remember NOT having any summer homework growing up even in primary school (granted it was mostly reading and handwriting). As I said it is good for my children, might not be for everyone. Thanks for reading and commenting

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  6. Madeline (This Glorious Life) says:

    I bought a couple of workbooks for my 6 year old to go through over the summer, mainly to get him to sit still and focus on something now and then so it’s not a shock to his system when he goes back to school and has to do work again! As far as book suggestions go, are there some Dick King Smith or Enid Blyton books that he might like? x #TheListLinky

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  7. Muffintopmummyblog says:

    Your little ones are very lucky to have such a dedicated mum! I think it could be so easy to give in, but like you say, their stability and boundaries are clearly the most important thing to you. I used to work in a library and loved it when the children came in all excited about the summer reading challenge! My old favourites were the Animal Ark books… but I think they might be a bit too girly for someone who wants to read Horrid Henry! Good luck in finding some new adventures and thank you for linking with #Blogstravaganza

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  8. Cat says:

    Have you tried the adventure island series of books by Helen moss? They are a bit like famous five but with modern references (she’s a Christian so no nasty surprises). My son devoured them last summer. I can’t remember all the stories but you’d be able to read ahead easily to check they were ok.

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  9. Jane Capstick says:

    There is a series of books called Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborne which would be just the right age for him. There are tons in the series if he likes them.

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  10. thetaleofmummyhood says:

    In our house education is paramount and so I wholeheartedly agree with schools providing students with homework over the holidays.I think the reading challenge is a fabulous idea, I wonder how the the Famous Five and the Secret Seven books would go down? Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

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  11. Lydia C. Lee says:

    The Magic Tree House Series? Mary Pope Osborne or Anthony Horowitz Diamond Brothers? So Hilarious. Might still be too young but M.T Anderson wrote Whales on Stilts and something about Leiderhosen – sooooo funny! #KALCOLS

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  12. ethannevelyn.com says:

    Wow! This is Amazing that 8 has found his passion! That’s so awesome! E&E are also doing the Summer Book Challenge too, but to be honest it is me reading to them rather than them reading to me. lol! Oh well… as long as they enjoy books that fine to me. Ethan is a fan of R.D. too. He just started the Marvellous Medicine. I read to him for his bedtime story. He loves that time with me too. I’m so glad you have found that Love Language with your boy. Keep up the reading passion. xx

    Thank you so much for linking with us on #FabFridayPost

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  13. diynige says:

    I think it’s a good idea for schools to give homework over the holidays so they don’t forget great read Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week for

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  14. Lisa Pomerantz says:

    Our school leaves lists with ideas, but my Mrs. and me, we set some parameters for this summer. With Big, we would focus on math. She already loves reading, so that is an easy one. She is well ahead too. But math causes tears and frustration for my Big. I told her it is just like dancing, hard work will pay off in the end. The basics we are working on now will make it all easier later, in September when school is back in session. We have a few more tears, and carry on! We will get there! There is a NY Times best-selling series, by Grosset Publishing that I recommend for all – The Who Is…, or Who Was series… fill in the blanks: Raold Dahl, Lucille Ball, Hillary Clinton, Pope Francis, Princess Dianna, Serena and Venus Williams… A wide range of people and topics to ignite all! #FabFridayPost

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    • feelingmumyet says:

      Thanks I will look into those books! With 8 we are still very busy playing catch up and fill in random blanks in his development, eg going to toilet regularly and not wait till 5 sec past desperate… once we master instant rewards we can look at longer term rewards. Thanks for reading and commenting

      Liked by 1 person

  15. The Pramshed says:

    Wow your son is doing great! I think that homework is a tricky one, I can completely see why it’s needed, but ath the same it stops any fun, and stops your enjoyment too. It’s a fine balance so that they are having the best of both worlds. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

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  16. Lucy At Home says:

    My personal opinion is that homework for little ones is wrong (in school holidays or during term time) – they need time to be children, not just working all the time. BUT the school sets homework and so that means I will make sure that my children know that they need to do their homework and I make sure they do it. The reading challenge sounds like a great idea. I love reading stories with my little ones, and my eldest has started reading by herself now which is lovely. #blogcrush

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  17. jeremy@thirstydaddy says:

    I’ve always been a bit on the fence about this. My daughter loves to read and its been highly encouraged, but I hate that schools sometimes make it a “chore”. It sounds silly, but I’ve found comic books to be perfect for bridging that gap between little kid books and those meant for pre teens. It can be hard to find stuff for those in that 8-10 year reading range. #triumphanttales

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    • feelingmumyet says:

      I like comic books too, but lately all have content in it that my 2 adopted boys find upsetting. Show me a superhero who doesn’t have serious issues! 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting

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  18. mummytoosh says:

    Have you tried any David Williams books? My 7 year old will read Roald Dahl all day long where my 10 year old loves David Williams.
    None of my 3 primary age children got homework for the summer, but they all love to read x
    #PostsFromTheHeart

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  19. collette dunn says:

    I have 4 children at 3 different schools and none of them have any homework over the summer. That being said we have looked at lots of book, read loads and have visited lots of places of interest. I feel that when relaxed children seem to learn organically and are allowed to follow their interests. For me the piles of homework my children will receive when going back to school feels like we are jumping through hoops and the actual learning can be minimal and stressful when tired. Catch them in the right mood though and it can be a lovely time spent together. So swings and roundabouts! I spent a year home educating and really enjoyed being a facilitator to learning rather than a teacher and definitely learned loads myself. #triumphanttales

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  20. ohprettycity says:

    My kids have never had any homework over summer except maybe to write about what they did to share with the class when they got back. I have always encouraged them to read though and there seems to be more choice than ever with books so they shouldn’t get bored! Thanks for linking up with #kcacols hope you can join us again next time 🙂

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  21. Mrs Jibril says:

    Interesting post, I believe homework is so important for the child’s development. I can’t wait for my little one to start school so we can do a reading challenge and practice his writing and spelling #KCACOLS

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  22. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... says:

    My son is very sensitive so we have to be careful in choosing books. I worry about the amount of homework he gets as he is so tired after school that it seems a shame to have to do extra as well (he’s only 7!) #triumphanttales

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  23. aimz18 says:

    How lovely that he loves reading, and so encouraging of you. My son is only 6 and hates reading and but my daughter loves it! How about the Tom Gates books? Or David Walliams? Bethany likes those? #kcacols

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  24. Suburban Mum says:

    Well done for keeping a routine and on your sons reading challenge! I’d meant to get my boys to do some reading and work a few times a week over the holidays but it’s proved to be difficult as both my husband and I work/work from home with the boys in the background. I think I’ll try and get back on it for the last few weeks so it’s not such a shock to the system! #KCACOLS

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