Is Homework Harder For Little Boys?

Shark Boy hates doing homework. Hates.

Well sure, what's to like? It's not fun. He's been at school all day, he goes to After Care and does his math homework and then gets to play a bit, then comes home to reading and spelling and Spanish or whatever else. It's a heck of a lot of school work each day.

I heard a couple of moms talking this weekend about how their daughters just come home and do the homework. With minimal complaining. With minimal assistance. They just do it. My daughter was like that too.

Boys, they seemed to be saying, make a Big Dramatic Issue out of it, with heaps of complaining and sides of whining and a metric ton of assistance required to do it. So far, this has been generally true of Shark.

Tonight we were writing sentences with his spelling words. One word was "mistake." I suggested, "I made a mistake." (I'm a creative genius.) (Also, homework at our house employs the KISS principle so that we all make it out alive.)

He felt he couldn't say that because the teacher would think he actually did make a mistake.

I replied, "Then write that Bob made a mistake." (We don't know anyone named Bob.)

He laughed and giggled and happily wrote that Bob messed up.

I can't always make it fun. Sometimes we're all unhappy.

We suspect boys mature later than girls. (I bet you've never ever heard that theory ever right?) And at this age, it's just plain harder for most boys to do homework than it is for most girls. (There is always the exception of course.)

So, anyone with an older boy want to tell us when he'll begin to come home and apply himself to his school work without any help or trouble?


Jill Ann said...

My son is in 6th grade and he is doing his work om his own! Can I get an Amen! We have had this struggle for years. It is only the second week and I hope it contunues! My 3rd grader has be lead through every step. He knows how to do the work too.

purejoy said...

my son is a sophomore in college and came home and used my computer to download some of my music onto his ipod (a miracle in itself) and check his facebook.
i'd love to tell you that he rushed right over to write his paper due tomorrow, but that would be a lie.
i'm sure that after i went to bed at midnight he started his paper.
and probably finished it before he had to be on the road at 6:15 to get back to UTC before his first class.

it's really not that bad, but yeah, boys are tougher.
my daughter used to come home and finish her project the night it was assigned, turn it in the next day and then relax for the next two weeks. who. does. that???

enjoy. boys are awesome, and require more intervention. consider it insurance to that mother son bond.

it's a bond that lasts forever. rock on with that sharkboy!!

Sheri @ www.careergirlinterrupted.com said...

i posted a comment on my facebook page last thursday about needing a straw in the tequila decanter to get me through my son's homework session. yes, it's that bad. 2 boys - a year apart - both whining and kvetching over even the simplest of tasks. Last year we had homework in every subject - this year it's been much lighter but still the whining continues.

larissa said...

Oh, and I thought I was alone in needing a drink to get through homework with my 4th grade boy! By the time my husband gets home, I am a complete mess of nerves. My husband thinks I'm overreacting, I'm sure. I'll bet that changes around the time of my next business trip...heh!

Amy said...

Jill - 4 more years of this huh? Well, at least there is hope!

purejoy - College procrastination won't surprise me, having crammed for a few tests myself. But this grade school homework can suck the life out of our evenings. Urgh.

Sheri - I hear ya girl. At least I only have one boy with homework!

Amy said...

larissa - Ha! When you leave, leave him a good luck note stuck to the tequila bottle!

Michele R said...

I don't have girls to compare things with and my hubs is an elem school teacher and the when the boys are in elem school they have to go to his classroom and wait till 5:00 or so and do their homework. Now that two are in middle school (8th, 6th and 3rd)the amt of work is UNBELIEVEABLE. They get started right away when they get home at 5:00 and it takes hours. No exaggeration. I feel bad for them.
Anyway, perhaps there is a gender difference with writing. Mine like stories but feel writing one out is a total drag.

Life As I Know It said...

Yes Yes Yes! Coming home from school and having to sit down and do homework seems just so not right when you are a 7 year old boy (or girl for that matter).

They are sitting in school ALL DAY. And most of their homework (at this age anyway) seems like busywork.

Allyson/HBMomof2 said...

Wine, lots and lots of wine. Wait, you said what you need for homework or what Shark Boy needs?

In all seriousness, as a former elementary school teacher I used to tell parents to get the kiddo home, play first (15-30 minutes), snack and drink next, homework after (at the same time everyday), before dinner. Reason being, they get to move a little, settle with a snack and get something done before they are too tired. Never T.V. on a week night so they have no distraction to look to as an excuse to not complete it. (For most of my students that was the carrot dangled, but backfired on the parents big time as the kids got older with tons more work with no time for TV.)

That being said, my oldest child, a girl, is starting Kinder in a couple of weeks and our school has no homework until 3rd grade. My son is a handful and won't even wear a helmet when I ask and he is 2. All of my sage advice may be out my own window in a few years. All I can say is good luck to us all.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

If it makes you feel better Miss C absolutely abhors math homework. :(

mudmama said...

I am so not there yet, I am just praying my four year old won't pull anyone's hair or escape preschool -- so hopefully it can only go up from here! ;)

Busy Mom said...

Older boy? Um...um...yeah.

Lori said...

I am no help with this since I have a younger child. I can only offer support and sympathy.

Yesterday, it took No. 1 Son an hour and fifteen minutes to put away his backpack and lunch box, write 10 spelling words and complete 4 math problems.

1 1/4 hours!!! I feel your pain

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