My kids started school a week ago and by Friday they both my boys (7 and 10) came home with packets of homework due the next Friday. The first few weeks of school are always tough, but then you add homework to it and you have some crazy kids (and moms)!
Both my boys are involved in a lot of activities. Luckily, we do get the packet on a Friday so we can get some things done over the weekend. Here are some things I learned about getting them off on the right foot for the school year and homework.
1. Teach them about prioritization. Many times my son, who was 9, would do worksheets that were due in a week instead of the assignment due the next day. He just did what he liked best first and not what was due first. After a few late nights, he learned this quick!
2. Teach them to be responsible. I do go over the folders and see what they have. A lot of times I don’t tell them to do the math worksheet. I ask them what part of their homework they are going to work on first or what they feel they need to do. I let them tell me, if I feel it’s not right then I guide them in the correct direction. My son gets a school issued computer the bring home fro the year and one of the rules is that the kids have to come to school with it fully charged every day. Well, he already forgot this week. When I saw it just sitting there, I could have easily plugged it in or called him back downstairs, but I didn’t. I left it there. I hope making the mistake early in the year will help him remember now.
3. Help them get organized. Teach them to keep their folder a certain way or pencils in a certain area of their backpack. You may have to remind them a few times, but they will see it’s better and it really is nice when they can find what they are looking for.
4. Help them learn when the best time to complete homework is for them. All kids are different and some like to do work as soon as they get off the bus, while others need a break and time to relax and after dinner is the best time. My kids would rather wait to do homework, but we’ve tested out different times and right after school is the best. Whenever we wait to read at bedtime or finish something after dinner, we get side tracked and they are tired. The best time for us it right after snack. The good part is that my kids understand this. They don’t like getting up early to finish a reading assignment. My kids do a majority of theirs on the weekend so they can play and go to their practices during the week.
Our first week went as well as can be expected, but now they are getting down to business. Hopefully working on these few steps and implementing what is expected of them early will make homework time easy and pain free.