With our busy and demanding schedules we don't always have the time we should to devote to homework. If you are like me you say a little prayer on busy days that your child will have little to no homework when they get out of school. Luckily, my son is just in first grade and we only have a little amount of homework. Even that little amount can be burdensome when trying to deal with dinner, extra curriculars such as sports or dance, house up keep and family time. For those of you out there like me and are a little late on getting your college degree we have our own homework to throw in the mix. With all that said doing little things to maximize our homework time can really help. Kid Source and several other parenting sites recommend 10 ways to do so.
- Keep in touch with your child's teacher so that you know ahead of time the amount of homework to be completed. This way you can rearrange things if needed or get the supplies needed to complete assignments ahead of time.
- Set a homework schedule. We all use planners, our outlook calendars and such to schedule our days, this also needs to include homework time. A beginning and end should be set that way the child doesn't feel like they will be doing their homework all night. Also give children time to unwind from their day at school and unwind before going to bed. Remember to schedule weekend homework for Fridays when the subjects are fresh in their minds and nothing is forgotten.
- This one is the biggest one in my mind! Have your children look over their assignments and divide them into two categories: 1. what they can do themselves and 2. what they need your help with. You should only help them with the parts of their homework they cannot do alone, such as practicing spelling words or doing flash cards. Not only does this teach them responsibility but also doesn't waste your valuable time.
- Try to have your children hold off on watching tv or playing on the computer until after their homework is completed. They truly need to unwind their brain after a long day at school.
- Pick a desk or table or quiet place and designate this as the "homework" spot! This area should be quiet and well lit with supplies needed to complete assignments. This area should be used every time for homework so that feel comfortable working.
- Remember to use direct and positive praise when checking over homework not only for getting it correct but for completing it. ex. You've correctly answered 15 out 18 Math problems, that is the best you have done this week! Great Job.
- Be available to your child when they are doing their homework for any questions or help they might need. Stay somewhere close by, maybe not in the same room so as not to be a distraction.
- Look over your child's homework but do not correct it unless you have spoken with the teacher and they say it is ok. Errors help the teacher see where their weaknesses are.
- Allow a break during homework time if it exceeds an hour so that they can get something to drink or eat or a change of scenery. They can't sit for very long periods of time after they have been sitting all day at school. Insist on them only taking 5-10 minutes so they can get back to it and finish their assignments.
- Let your child know homework is important and valuable. Be positive when reinforcing homework times and don't just tell them to do it because they have to, explain to them why we do homework.
Elizabeth is a native Birminghamian and a single Mom to 2 boys and has a blog all about them, http://luvingmy2munchkinz.blogspot.com. She is also pursuing her degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education with a Minor in Health Education. Elizabeth teaches Keyboarding and is a Technology Team Leader for the Trussville City School System.