The best advice comes from someone who has walked in your shoes before. Even as a “veteran” mom, I love hearing how other parents do things and handle certain situations with their kids. Parent to Parent is where we ask other parents how they handle a situation and share the answers with you. It takes a village, so leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments. Today’s topic: Homework Tips
Parents Homework Tips
No TV on T-days, Tues./Thurs. – no TV, and if you finish your homework with tons of time to spare, we play board games, play outside, or something fun. ~Cheryl, 8th grader and 3rd grader
30 minutes downtime first! My kids always end up in tears if we go right from the car to homework, so they get 30 minutes to play. We also have designated spots. The third-grader works at the dining room table so we can easily help, and the 5th grader works at a desk upstairs away from all the little siblings and distractions. ~Melissa, 5th grader, 3rd grader, and pre-K
We don’t have a designated homework time, but I check the backpack out as soon as we walk in the door, so there are no surprises later in the evening. ~Holly, 1st grader and pre-K
When we are out and about at after-school activities, I keep a kit in the car for doing homework and spelling practicing. This year I plan to make it better with a portable desk from Staples that I saw in Chicago Parent; it looks like it will fit perfectly under their seat in the car. ~Melissa, 5th grader, 3rd grader, and pre-K
I grew up doing homework immediately upon arrival home from school- Mom told us we were already in school brain mode, so let’s just get work done and enjoy the rest of the night. We’re hoping to do the same this year and enjoy our evenings as fully as we can. ~Alli, kindergartener and pre-K
We set up a quiet space for each kid. My eldest has a desk in his room. It has a pencil box/drawer with all of the supplies he would need to do his homework, including mechanical pencils, calculators, erasers, post-it notes, glue sticks, and markers/crayons. As soon as they get home, we review what they have to do for the night during snack time. They determine the amount of time they think it will take. If it is less than an hour, they usually attack it right after snack. If it is more than that, we will work it for 45 minutes, take a break to do other activities, and come back to it after dinner. ~Cindi, 6th grader, 3rd grader, kindergartener
Power timers. A 15 min timer is set (more or less based on age), then a mandatory break. Even if it’s just to get up and stretch, it keeps kids from getting “brain fatigue” It worked wonders for me in high school and college! ~Krystal, pre-K
First 20mins at-home snack, free time. Everyone sits down and starts on homework. My kids do better if we are all in the same room. We divide the homework up into two groups. The first group (the stuff that needs help) gets done, and then a 15 min break. The second group (able to do it independently) gets done while I’m making dinner. Reading is set aside for the 30mins before bed! ~Parker, 8th grader and kindergartener
Our school sends most of its homework packets for the week home on Fridays. We have a designated time on Sunday to work on it and complete most, if not all. No screen time for the week unless we do the homework and our weekly chores. That way, after-school homework is usually just a worksheet or two plus studying for quizzes. After school, we make snacks and break, then straight to homework. No screen time until it’s done. ~Maureen, 5th grader, 3rd grader, and pre-K
We do homework at the kitchen table. On the wall behind are baskets hanging with pencils, rulers, and all the supplies they might need. Home from school, snack homework before activities (if at all possible). ~Eva, 5th grader and 2nd grader
First it’s snack time since it’s been a long day. We then have a little neighborhood homework club with the neighbors’ 3 kids and my 2, ranging from 1st to 5th. Everyone is at the kitchen table, and because I’m a former teacher, I like to monitor all the things they are doing. I offer help when needed through guidance and questioning instead of just answering. We often take out a small dry erase board and work through it together–which is usually when they find their mistakes.
I’ve set up a learning station with all the materials we need, much of it from when I was teaching and other items I’ve added to over the years. Everyone is responsible for checking their assignment notebook to see that they have everything done, and they need to put all of their items back into their backpacks. For the long-term assignments like a reading log, plus books at their level to read, I keep them in the book boxes on the top shelf for daily access, but they won’t get lost in the shuffle of other papers. ~Kim, 6th grader and 3rd grader
Kids have to try to work on a difficult assignment themselves before a parent intervenes. “I don’t get this” needs to be followed by explaining how they tried to solve the problem on their own first. ~Jennifer, 8th grader and 5th grader
For moms or kids? For Moms, I suggest that when homework becomes overwhelming…walk away, pour an adult beverage, take a breath and a big sip and return back to the homework table. It really helps! ~Kristi, 7th grader, 3rd grader, 1st grade, and pre-K.
What are your tips for tackling homework?
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