From my Mailbox: A Single Father Speaks Out

I recently received a letter from a single dad in Montana who would like to meet other parents nearby who are also fed up with homework. So if you live in Montana, drop me a line, and I’ll try to put you in touch with each other.

Dear Sara,

I’m a single father of a 5th grade boy and boy o boy are we ever overloaded. It’s insane and I thought I was the only one who thought it was insane. Plus my son has ADHD and by the end of the day his concentration level is shot… homework is a nightmare and ruins everything.

I wish your website had a community forum where people could get together from the same state or city. He’s soon to be out of elementary school and off to middle school where there will be a whole new set of standards to deal with. I could fight my current school, but it won’t do my son much good (or us) by next year. Having a resource of a community forum that parents could find each other and team up to approach the school system would be great. I feel like I’m on an island. I don’t know anybody at my sons school. I work all day and hardly get the chance to interact with any other parents.

2 thoughts on “From my Mailbox: A Single Father Speaks Out

  1. I feel your pain. Thoroughly. BTDT. Homework is a nightmare for ADD/ADHD kids. They are already exhausted from trying so hard to pay attention and keep it together all day long. Plus, teachers are often mean to them and these kids can be socially awkward. They come home and need to run around and blow off steam. They need to read. They need to cry on mom’s shoulder. Instead we become The Enforcer.

    We are forced to force them to sit still for many more hours. Remember, teachers, that it takes an ADD-er three times longer to get the homework done. If you assign one hour, after three hours of blood, sweat and tears, it gets done. You assign five and the ADD child doesn’t stand a chance Then they are up late trying to finish which only makes focusing the next day twice as hard.

    What do you want her to do, spend eighteen hours on homework every night? Do the math! Even if she gives up every single after school activity, never sleeps, eats or bathes, there still aren’t eighteen hours left before she has to show up at school again! You must know that ADD medication has a sleeplessness effect. If you assign too much, the meds have worn off and you can’t give more, she won’t sleep. Oh, but you didn’t want her doing that anyway…

    You are probably thinking, get a 504, piece of cake. Not. Not if your kid is gifted and several grades above grade level. Your child could be producing masterpieces but if they come in late, she is docked a whole grade. At an accommodations meeting in which we were denied, the school psychologist looked me in the eye and chastised me for being there, “mom, you need to get used to getting B’s.”

    It’s not the B’s, stupid. It’s the toll it all takes.


  2. It is time to remind everyone that Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, two of our greatest geniuses, we now believe, had ADHD. An ode to all those brilliant distractible ADD-ers. Don’t ever let any teacher ever tell you won’t amount to a single thing. Just listen to Dav Pilkey, creator, among others, of Captain Underpants.

    Dav Pilkey gives a short speech at the 2006
    International Reading Association convention in
    Chicago. He was asked to speak for a few minutes
    about his favorite teacher.

    This video includes an introduction by
    Scholastic’s own super hero, John Mason.



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