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SS's Daily Homework Log (Week 2)

Drac0's picture

Day 6: I come home to find SS doing work on his bed. I ask what is he doing. He says he is doing a geography assignment. I ask “Why aren’t you doing it on your de – eh?…” I was about to say ‘desk’ as I turn to it. His desk has disappeared. In its place is a mountain pile of empty Coke cans, lego blocks, a slinky, and other junk. “What the!? SS! WHAT IS THIS MESS!?”. SS just shrugs his shoulders. Apparently we have a poltergeist that likes piling sh*t up on SS’s desk. I go ask DW about it. Later, after supper is finished, DW tells SS that he is to finish up his homework and that he is to clean his desk afterwards. This is part of his daily chores so it shouldn’t be piled high with crap. SS finishes his homework but has no time to clean it because he needs to get ready for bed.

Day 7: SS is in a hyper mood. SS is in his room doing his homework but he comes out of his room every 2 minutes to talk to DW about something or to play with BS and BD. I tell SS to get back into his room to study three times, (the third time I yelled). BS and BD don’t understand why SS has to retreat back into his room so they follow him. I corral them both and tell BS and BD to get out of SS’s room. SS cannot be distracted. Unfortunately, my two bios don’t understand this and they start to cry. They want to play with SS and Daddy is being a meanie-poo-poo-head *sigh*. I look at DW and she can see in my face that I am getting frustrated. SS’s desk is still a mess.

Day 8: This day is almost a repeat of Day 7. SS is still hyper but this time it is DW that yells at him to stay on task. The karate studio calls. They want to know if SS intends to continue the courses. DW and I were not sure and we need to discuss it. I want SS to continue the courses because he NEEDS the discipline (and it makes him sleep soundly through the night). Unfortunately, money is tight at the moment and DW and I need to keep money aside for a tutor for SS. I tell DW that it is painfully obvious, judging from SS’s attitude and his inability to stay focused on his homework, that his next report card is not going to be any better that the last one and that hiring a tutor is inevitable. DW says that she is getting a raise at work. Her probationary period is over and as per terms of her contract, she is getting a substantial raise. So it is possible for SS to continue his karate lessons and get tutoring. I feel somewhat relieved. SS’s desk is still a mess.

Day 9: I arrive home early. As I pull into the driveway, I see that the living room TV is on. I come into the house. The TV is now off and SS is in his room. I greet him and ask him about his homework. He says he can’t do it. “Why not?” I ask. SS responds “I need to use my computer but the internet is slow”. There’s a long uncomfortable pause between us. Our internet connection is the top of the line in our area. “You truly expect me to believe that!?” I ask. “SS, I am not an idiot! You could have used the laptop or the iPad to search the net. Oh but no! Instead I come home to catch you watching TV!”. SS is silent most of the evening, especially after I tell DW what happened. SS’s desk is still a mess.

Day 10: SS has a project due. Every time we ask him about it he says he is on top of it but most of the work has been done at his Dad’s place (he’s been working on it on the weekends). Since most of the work has been done at his Dad’s he has left it there even after we have told him repeatedly to remember to bring this stuff back to our house. The day before it is due, SS realizes he has left some “key” components to the project at his Dad’s place. We call up his Dad. His Dad says he can email us the portion that is missing but this would mean that SS has to redo the gluing, the cutting and pasting, etc. SS stays up until 11:00pm (2 hours past his bed time trying to finish this off). Needless to say, we are not happy. DW must have yelled at him a dozen times. Normally she would back off once SS starts crying but this time she didn’t. I stay silent throughout this ordeal. Once SS finally goes to bed, DW and I sit on the couch with a couple of cold beers. SS’s desk is in even more of a mess.

My thoughts: I was really frustrated and angry on Day 9. I was close to actually calling the cable company to cancel the cable feed but I later thought that would have been a little extreme. DW is doing her best to stay on top of SS, but with her job, the stress, it gets difficult at times. I knew there were going to be weeks like this; where nothing goes right, so I felt it important to cap this blog entry with a positive note. DW took SS to the child therapist the other day and SS admitted that part of the “problem” (as he sees it) stems from two buddies of his that he hangs out with at school. They are a bad influence and SS said they teased him the other day when SS didn’t want to hang out with them and show up late to class. So I am glad to see that SS doesn’t submit himself to peer pressure.


Drac0's picture

I swear, after our summer vacation trip together, I honestly think SS will wither away and die if he doesn't get to watch the 1768756756th re-run of Jessie, iCarly, ANT Farm, and Wizards of Waverly Place.

3LittleDragonflies's picture

At 8, I thought similar to that (only it was Rugrats and Hey Arnold! that I was worried about)...
Then, my parents canceled everything but PBS...

Now, I'm good without TV. I literally will leave it off all day, then my husband gets home and it immediately gets turned on. Drives me up the wall.

Go ahead and cancel. He'll live. Or he'll die and you won't have to worry about the desk being messy anymore. Wink

Lalena75's picture

I'm betting his "bad influence buddies" don't exist, bet the project isn't being done at dads either. My own ds tries this excuse crap and since he likes money anytime he has an excuse or blames others he pays me a dollar. I had 20$ in the first 2 weeks of school this week he paid me 5$ and is begging to earn some money back. He likes to use the "my mom doesn't have the money" (missing school supplies) "my mom/dad wouldn't let me." or my favorite "I was at my dads and couldn't because I forgot my work at moms." (I can see his dads house from my yard). I've made sure now in advance all teachers are aware of the parental arrangement and that we actually communicate there isn't any bizarre issues (when it comes to kids and school at least we communicate) So dear little ds ain't getting away with crap. Password the cable or take the power cord if you can to the cable box. DW needs to go toss all the stuff from his desk on his bed it's what we do.

Drac0's picture

Oh these two "bad-influence buddies" do exist. I met one of them (and I wasn't impressed with him). I met the parent of the other. SS's teacher even said "SS would probably do a lot better if he made better choices of who he hangs out with". The teacher wouldn't say anything more because apparently teachers are not allowed to say stuff like that. The science project he did do at his Dad's. SS (and SS's father) wouldn't lie about stuff like that. SS was just being his usual scatterbrained self when he forgot a huge portion of his work at his Dad's. He realizes it was his fault and was even crying about it.

I like the suggestion of putting a password on the cable feed. I am not sure if it exists on my box but I will definetly look into it. Thanks!

twoviewpoints's picture

Just a suggestion, but why not remind SS about the desk mess the evening before and tell him that he will be getting up a half of hour early tomorrow morning to tackle the desk. Not only is it a required chore but having the desk will help him organize his studies blah blah. Give him a trash can for trash (yeah, he likely has one. Get him a bigger one, kid can basket shoot the cans from his bed, lol).

Unplug the cable cords in the basement or wherever they enter until and/or if you want the stupid cable on. Of course don't tell the kids you did this, let them think you've suddenly gotten the worse cable company ever.

I'll give SS one tiny bit benefit of the doubt on the internet slowness without more info of what he's doing on it. I know my daughter has online program that her teacher paid herself her that her class logs-in and does the timed work (I frickin' hate that program) anyway, the site does run slower directly after school when all the kids are logging I and trying to do the assignment. There is nothing slow about my connection, but after trying the site during regular assumed homework hour/s I myself have found it seems to be first come, first served. If I log in after 6pm it's speedy zip right on through.

You might also try silencer headphones/earplugs for SS. It might help him focus on what he's studying into of hearing all the 'fun' things outside his bedroom that he's not participating in.

My daughter's pretty good at 13 keeping up both chores and studies, but she will indeed try to pull the 'but Mom I have homework to do first' which she has on occasion dragged out an unrealistic length of time. When she pulls that stunt, I simply remind her she has x amount of time or days to do it herself or I will be doing it for her. Trust me, no way in h*ll does my daughter want me to clean her room. Anything not in it's place would get pitched or stored. Amazingly no matter how much homework daughter proclaimed to have, she's never failed to both get it done and do her bedroom chore by deadline after that simple reminder. She made the mistake of blowing me off and letting me clean it once. That's all it took for her to never try and call my bluff again on the bedroom.

As to homework/projects done at SS's father's home. Maybe wife can talk to Dad about double checking to be sure SS has everything before the exchange ready to go. Should Dad have to at 13? No. But if it gets the crap home and avoids another late night marathon to re-do, sometimes doing what shouldn't be necessary is worth it.

Kudos to SS for not caving to peer pressure. Yay SS Smile

Drac0's picture

All excellent suggestions! I am not sure about the headphones bit. Does your daughter have some music playing or are the headphones just serving as "noise protectors". SS has ADHD so it's important that he has little to no distractions as possible when doing his homework.

twoviewpoints's picture

DD13 is ADHD and has been med-free for several years now. She wears the headphones to tune out if she is reading a book for school or just self enjoyment. She does have a ipod she listens to music to , but it's get limited to what homework she is doing. If it's practice words for spelling test she's writing (over and over) she gets to listen. If it's doing math, no.

When she was on Adderall (during most of grade school) she took it in the morning and it would be wearing off by end of school day. Homework was always med-free so I did have to keep an eye on her to be sure she wasn't doing 2 problems and then 20mins of 'relaxing' (yeah, she tried to call it that, pfft). She does really well now (99% of the time) but it's been self taught (with my help) all along. She knows if she wants to keep straight 'a' she must discipline herself and focus. We started out back in kindergarten having her sit at kitchen table with her homework kit (colors, scissors, pencils, blah blah) and there she stayed until finished. As she got older and better capable of disciplining herself at her studies she got moved into her bedroom work station. I still peek my head in daily to see how she's doing and she hunts me down if she needs to ask questions/needs help. She has a computer in her room without internet. She has to do internet out on mine so I know what she is doing. Otherwise I know you-tube would be much more interesting than doing her social studies research.

overworkedmom's picture

You are doing the best you can. SS is going to be as lazy as he can and spend more time and effort trying to find ways OUT of doing what needs to be done than would be needed to actually do it.

At least it seems like your DW sees the light, she is just exhausted like the rest of us Blum 3 Stay strong and keep up what you are doing.

Drac0's picture

I've read a bunch of books too. Nowhere did I read anything like that. SS's ADHD is the inattentive type so I am not sure if adrenaline rushes would factor into his staying focused but I suppose it makes some sense. From my understanding; structure and discipline (and meds) is what kids like my SS needs (on top of regular encouragement).

whatwasithinkin's picture

I cant keep track of what I had for dinner last night but you seem to have a running mental journal of this stuff.

I am so glad I dont live in your head. I cant imagine who would want to since it seems to be clogged with a running journal of your SS's faults.

Drac0's picture

Ha! You should see my notes when I decide to go on a diet and an exercise regimen!

What I have written down is a cumulation of a week's worth of notes. It's a trade habit I suppose. I do it so that when SS's report card comes and DW acts all surprised at his low grades, I'll show her my notes so she can see for herself the events that transpired up to SS's report card result.

Quote: >I am so glad I dont live in your head<

I don't blame you, not many people are brave enough to face the long dark of Moria

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

Um. why are you all over his ass about homework, what is his mom doing? . Truly I think you need to disengage from the homework , chores and let Dw take care of her son. if you were a SM that is what most hear, stay out of it. Let the bio parent do their job.

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

My son is ADHD too and they need regular breaks from homework. they just cannot focus that long. Yelling at kids with ADHD further disrupts their thoughts and make them as anxious. IMO you are not helping this boy with your expectations. He will never be like you, and I feel sorry for him.

Drac0's picture

>He will never be like you, and I feel sorry for him.<

Oh he most certainly will NOT be like me. That much is a given. But my step-son is not a sacred cow either. He needs to be pushed every now and then and he often needs to be re-focused on his tasks.

JennSunnySideUp's picture

I do not understand these people that get on here and complain to you for being 'too focused' on your SS. I agree DW needs to up her game, and based on your blogs she is slowly but surely coming to the point where she needs to be in disciplining him but.. DAMN. Ten thousand women on here complain bc the husbands are too busy, too lazy, playing video games too much, doesnt hang with the kids.. and a guy gets on here and not only interacts with the kid, but actively tries to help him.. And its a terrible thing. Draco, you should be ashamed for caring. Blum 3

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

yabbut those women are complaining about the dads not parenting their bio kids. this is not his bio kid. Dw needs to step up up and parent. That's what most of the women are complaining about, parents not parenting their bios.,

Starla's picture

My DH was having problems with keeping his son focused while doing homework. Both DH and SS have been diagnosed with ADHD too and DH started expecting SS to complete a certain amount of homework within a certain amount of given time. When SS failed to complete the goal, DH took SS outside to exercise him as it was done in a positive manner which greatly helped SS learn how to focus. Before long, SS would come to us and ask if his dad would go out front with him and do some exercises together. After a few months of that, SS came home from school, grabbed a bite to eat, went outside and worked off his extra energy, and came in to do his homework. It worked like a charm. Dirol

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture


Drac0's picture

Well I am glad things worked out for your BS17. Trully I am.

Unfortunately, letting SS fail would have disastrous consequences in our household. A quick look into my crystal ball reveals that should I disengage completely from SS's academic endeavours and SS fails, his father (Donkeykong) would be running to the courthouse with a motion to change custody faster than a cheetah strapped to a jet pack. As a result, we'll be dragged into court yet again, along with all the stress and financial drain that accompanies it. To make matters *slightly* worse, SS may be considered to be at the age of maturity so the presiding judge may give SS a chance to weigh in on where he would like to live. SS won't lie to the judge, he will state straight out that his step-father, the same man who swore in court 7 years ago that he would do everything in his power to help SS's education, has decided to not lift a finger to help SS in his school work.

Now this may or may not factor in a judge's decision, and the likelyhood of Donkeykong's home becoming primary is slim. However, the chances of our home becoming primary in the first place was also slim way back then.

And should Donkeykong succeed in yanking SS from us, DW will be utterly devasted.