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  1. #1
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    Default Perfectionist kid and homework

    My kids are perfectionists, and they don't know how to not put in 110% effort. That's generally a good thing, except when it comes to homework. For a short answer, DS will write a paragraph. He loves to write and will spend time creating Quality work. Math comes very easily to him so he does that in no time, and it's a lot harder to expand on the assignments

    I'm concerned about high school, which is around the corner. DD (who is in 12th) gets so much homework and she is also like this but to a slightly lesser extent. However, there have been many times when she unnecessarily stressed herself out and put way too much time into a project that the teacher barely had time to glance at.

    DS can't possibly put in as much effort as he does now and complete the assignments and extracurriculars… Even now, he stays up too late doing homework. But how to change a personality trait? Has anyone else encountered this?
    "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What? You, too? I thought I was the only one." C.S. Lewis

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    robinsmommy is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    We're in the same boat, I wish I could average out the girls' traits in this regard - one is too lax, the other type A. We have so been there - and still are.

    I would look for some sort of educational counseling/therapy - there are a few places in my area that offer this service - ask your ped and/or school counselors. They might be best able to help DS sort out what the teachers want, what is a reasonable effort, and how to schedule it all. Having the counselors do the bulk of it, with you to assist a bit, is probably going to work better than you doing it as a parent. Better to work it out now when the grades don't go on a college application transcript than have a big meltdown in high school when it all becomes too much.

    They might also be helpful in him seeing the results of choosing to use his time that way. Does he enjoy hanging out with friends, or is he less social? For us, that is part of it - the social stuff is "hard", so hey, I'll just be too busy with school work to socialize and save myself the effort. Not good, either.

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    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    I wonder if the teachers could give an amount of time things should take. DS1 has all timed assignments and this works very well for him. He is done when the timer goes off.
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

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    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillview View Post
    I wonder if the teachers could give an amount of time things should take. DS1 has all timed assignments and this works very well for him. He is done when the timer goes off.

    Several of ds1's high school teachers have said that after x amount of time (varies by class) that if they aren't done, to just draw a line on the assignment and say "X minutes". The teachers don't want them working longer.

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    robinsmommy is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    Several of ds1's high school teachers have said that after x amount of time (varies by class) that if they aren't done, to just draw a line on the assignment and say "X minutes". The teachers don't want them working longer.
    I understand this on some levels, but it seems to me this is a method better suited to use in elementary or maybe middle school. Is this something they use freshman year to help kids adapt, or is it all grades?

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    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinsmommy View Post
    I understand this on some levels, but it seems to me this is a method better suited to use in elementary or maybe middle school. Is this something they use freshman year to help kids adapt, or is it all grades?
    The teachers all said if they were struggling to understand hence taking a long time, the teacher wanted to know. They didn't want the kids to plow on if they didn't understand the material. It's a way to mis-learn material or bad habits.


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    California is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    The teachers all said if they were struggling to understand hence taking a long time, the teacher wanted to know. They didn't want the kids to plow on if they didn't understand the material. It's a way to mis-learn material or bad habits.


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    I do the same thing with my kids if they are struggling with a concept- but that's different from the PP's issue of having a DS who spends a great deal of time on homework he understands how to do.

    Globetrotter, does he tend to get stressed out and frustrated while he's doing his homework? Or is he more likely to be happy while working on his homework, and then get upset when he has to stop and switch to a different activity?

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    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    I do the same thing with my kids if they are struggling with a concept- but that's different from the PP's issue of having a DS who spends a great deal of time on homework he understands how to do.
    True but there is precedent for setting an end time.


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    baymom is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    My DD is much younger, but sounds a lot like your DS. It drives me BATTY. In early elementary school school, when she had math worksheets, not only would she do the math problems, but also COLOR the pictures on the worksheet. Now, as a fifth grader, if she's supposed to write 3 pages on something, she'll TYPE four. There are so many examples every day, I can't even tell you. It makes me crazy because it takes up time from doing other things that she enjoys. When I try to talk to her about it, she's usually surprised because she says "but, I love doing my BEST for everything." Urgh!!! In her case, she honestly does not mind, she actually takes pride in it. Of course I'm happy that she really gives everything her best effort, but I'd like her to understand that not EVERYTHING deserves that much effort. Like your DC, it's not that she's taking time to do assignments that she's having trouble with, it's that she chooses to go (unnecessarily) above and beyond on everything--things her teacher will likely not even notice.

    So, I have no suggestions for you, but just commiseration. 6th grade here is way harder than 5th, so I hope that next year in middle school, she'll no longer have the time to do this. And, she is a busy kid outside of school, so I'm really hoping she'll outgrow this. But, she's been like this since kindergarten and I think it's just the fiber of who she is.
    Last edited by baymom; 11-29-2016 at 05:28 PM.

  10. #10
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    TBH, he needs a challenge and enjoys learning. His teacher says he'll always be like that so I think this is his way of challenging himself and he takes pride in his work. He does other academic activities, so you'd think that would be enough.
    He enjoys writing and creative homework,
    and math comes easily (he's self studying high school math this year), but he hates worksheets.
    They get quite a bit of hw already, but hs is brutal and the teachers are very strict, so he has to learn how to prioritize where to put effort. Sleep is important!
    He is social but none of his friends live nearby.
    The teachers told the class parents they don't want them spending more than X time on homework, but ds will never just stop. He gets anxious that he has so much (partly his doing) but often it won't take as long as he anticipates. I think he is anxious until it's done, so it must be anxiety related.

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