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What do you do when your kiddo complains everyday...

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What do you do when your kids just don't want to do school related things anymore after school hours? My ds (12) just wants to do sports and run around after sitting all day but there is work to do to get him caght up. We are trying to remediate spelling and math and I would like for him to be reading a book every evening for at least half an hour. We are really talking one hour per night, but he complains daily and is almost to the point of tears sometimes.

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Could he be hungry or fatigued? Perhaps a bit of time for exercise and a snack prior to hitting the books would help?


Another thought is to break it up and do some in the morning?


Or have some days when you do 1.5 hours and other days when you only have the .5hr reading?


I think it's reasonable to require at least a half hour of reading every day. That should leave plenty of time for all the other things he wants to do. Are you keeping the TV off limits during the school week?

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My DS is tired at the end of the day. That could be the issue. You could try helping him unwind and then sitting with him for part of the work as some kids will just refuse to motivate themselves unless an adult is around. I would suggest a break after school, a snack, some extra curricular activity (like music or sport etc) before doing afterschool work. In our house, there is no screentime during school week except for school work related stuff - the parents come under the same screentime blackout rules.

And could you try a rewards system? It works in our house.

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My kids haven't been keen on doing anything much after school. I am hoping that part of it is just the whole thing of learning to do school, and that they won't be so tired once they are a bit more used to it all.

I have been using a mixture of strategies:

They walk home and have a snack when they get here, so they should be physically comfortable and ready to sit down and do something.

If it's just mild protests, I insist on them doing whatever I've set, even if it's only one thing.

Sometimes (warning: bad mom alert) I bribe them.

It they truly do look exhausted, I just have them flop around the lounge room and read read read to them, which is semi educational and gives us some quality time together.

If I don't think we've achieved the bare basics during the week, I cram a bit in over the weekend.

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When my kids were still in school, they were tired and hungry in the afternoon. They needed time to relax and unwind - DD from the hours of extreme boredom and bullying, introverted DS from being forced to be in a room full of people for seven hours. There was no way I could get them to do any school.

We got the daily evening reading in, because they both enjoy reading - but that was it. We afterschooled by providing a lot of enrichment on weekends and over the summer, but eventually we ended up homeschooling.

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We are are after schooling...for now. I want to bring ds home next year but he isn't so thrilled. He initially wanted to because he had been held back twice and attending a school that neither of us liked. However, we just changed school districts and they promoted him a grade. So, for the time being, he seems to be liking school and of course, making friends that he isn't too keen on leaving. But next year is middle school. *cringe* This is exactly when I pulled his sister out years ago for a few years...but she didnt crave the socialization like ds and only wished to be left alone with her library of books ;)

He may not do well with the daily isolation, even with lots of friend time and outside activities. But then again, that may be exactly what he needs. So we shall see...

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