Ever since I can remember I have LOVED homework. I was that kid who looked forward to it and I got it done as soon as I could. It wasn’t that I wanted to get it over with, but I liked the reinforcement of the day’s work, especially if it was challenging me to learn something new or grasp a higher concept.
I recall my sister not liking it so much so my parents gave us a routine pretty early on. The same routine, I now apply with my own kids. Here are three homework tips that work well for me which I hope to be of use to you and your family.
Have the children get some downtime when they get home.
Of course the duration will depend on the child so ask them how long they need. It may be as short as 5 minutes or it might be upwards of 20 minutes or more. Either way is okay. During this after school downtime, let them get comfy and grab a small snack before they transition into their allotted homework time.
I know for my boys, my oldest is strictly routinized so he likes jumping right into homework after a small snack. My youngest needs that time to get comfy and come down a notch. I may let him play with his toys for a while before it’s time to start homework.
As parents, we have to take into account that they have probably been sitting at a desk all day and could use a little respite before diving back into work. After all, so could we.
Allow them to figure their homework out on their own.
There’s a difference between giving children independence with their work and not looking at it at all. I allow my boys to open their books and take responsibility and accountability for what is asked of them.
The homework should be a review of the day’s work so they should be able to complete these tasks independently. If they run into problems, remind them never to hesitate to ask you a question.
Here’s the kicker for me, though. If they don’t understand it, place a question mark (?) next to the problem they are having difficulty with so that the teacher is aware. Of course you can also review it with them, but let the teacher know your child struggled. You want the teacher to know that your child is having difficulties with a particular problem. A seasoned teacher will re-teach that problem within a small group setting or address the concept again with the class if he or she feels it is necessary to review. If your kid struggled with it, you can bet others did too!
Homework should always be a review of the day’s work, NOT busy work.
If you find that your child is not able to handle the homework load, schedule a conference with the teacher. It shouldn’t take all night and also shouldn’t be busy work. As parents, we need to be open with the teacher and share our “at home observations” when possible. It not only makes the teacher a better teacher, but it allows you to work as a team to meet the needs of your particular child. Teaching is a team effort, really.
We should work collaboratively to ensure the best education for our children. As parents, we never want to see our children struggle through their work or be up all night nonsensically. Therefore, we advocate for our children. We want our children to be confident learners and what better way than to use our observations to guide their learning? If you feel like something is just off about how much homework or what type of homework is being assigned, say something!
Let’s share: What homework tips do you have that can help other moms? Is your child having homework problems? Share with us below.