I have to report that this week ended way better -- and I mean WAY better -- than it started.
First and foremost, it looks as if a happy resolution has been found for the homework wars. On day three of the battle, I decided I needed to call in reinforcements. It was a long shot, but I emailed Bear's teacher and resource teacher to explain the situation. I was pretty frank and told them I was emailing them to beg for their help. For whatever reason, it was taking 3+ hours to get Bear to do 10 minutes of homework, and he wasn't learning anything. All it was doing was pitting us against each other, and TheODDDad and I have always felt that home needs to be Bear's safe place. Some battles obviously have to be fought, but those that aren't mission critical are dropped. Homework is a no-brainer -- it needs to be done -- but when and where are variables that can be negotiated.
After explaining everything, including the fact that homework was causing Bear to become physically aggressive and even turn on his baby brother, I asked if it might be possible for him to complete his work at school. I figured they weren't having the same problems with him at school that I was having at home, or I would have heard about it by now. Sure enough, I was right. The work that he's been fighting me on like a caged animal is the same work he's sailing through at school. The teacher explained that she has an Educational Assistant in the classroom to help in the afternoon, which means that one of them can help him complete his homework.
I confess that I cried from relief.
We are so lucky to be a part of this wonderful school that is so ready to work with us and to accommodate Bear's needs. I know many schools aren't as understanding and that many parents are left to struggle on their own, and it breaks my heart. However, I also know that the school wouldn't have known how much we were struggling at home if I hadn't told them. It's just another example of how important it is to work closely with your child's school and teachers and to be an advocate for your child's needs (and your own).
Is this a long-term solution? No, it isn't, but that's OK. It gives us some breathing room to work with Bear and to get him more comfortable with doing homework at home. As he grows and matures, this is hopefully one more problem that will resolve itself. But in the meantime, after-school is once more a time of snuggles and giggles with my Bear.