This one is a tough one! With the amount of and time needed to spend on homework varying quite a bit, it is hard to gage where to start, how to start, and what to start on!
During the school year, evenings are so limited. Shorter days in winter seasons, extra curricular activities…just a struggle to juggle! (LOL corny mom-joke.) However, all priorities and responsibilities on our to-do list MUST be taken care of, homework being on of them.
Setting up a homework routine can be confusing for both parent and child, but allow me to share a few things, I found to make this easier. Here is…
Set a Start Time
Working full time, my evenings at home did not start as soon as school let out. My little and I would not reach home until about 2 ½ after school had been dismissed. This means we had limited time before bed to finish assignment, eat a meal AND prep for bed. To make sure we stay on track, each major task has its own time slot. As a quick example, my little one knows 6:15 pm is homework time everyday. This is routine, and this is a plan discussed and understood thoroughly.
Of course, there are days when out of the ordinary circumstances occur but consistency is really what I find helps. If a set time is planned, the child knows what to expect and what is expected of them, making it much easier on mom.
*If your little can not yet tell time, a cute chime or song indicating it is time for homework activities is as great way to get them excited to start!
Set a Functional Work Area
Creating a work area is important for your child, just as it would be for an adult in an office. Now, I am not going to say, we have never done a homework assignment in the car, because sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, but this is not our norm.
Creating a homework space, that is clear allowing thoughts to flow and free of distractions (i.e. tv/radio), is a great way to encourage homework completion. If my desk at work is cluttered, I am not sure I am working at my full potential as I feel closed in and thoughts cluttered.
Easily Accessible Supplies
Nothing is worse on a time crunch than not being prepared. Okay wait…there is worse, but it is really inconvenient delaying great homework productivity. Stopping to grab a glue stick from another room or search for a sharpener to fix the broken pencil, can put a damper on progress, especially when time is limited. Having all supplies ready and accessible in your homework area, can make homework time a smooth process.
Break Down Your Homework Time
What I mean by breaking down homework time, is compartmentalizing assignments and/or subjects. Schedule them. Once the school year progressed, I began to gage which type of assignments or which subjects took the most/least time to complete. Writing assignments were usually the most time consuming, therefore I allowed my child to start with math, which we usually breezed through rather quickly, getting it out of the way, working on the least challenging, or least volume first. The rest of the subjects followed, as per our created “schedule.” Example:
Math – 10 minutes
Social Studies – 15 minutes
Reading -20 minutes
Writing – 25 minutes
Of course, depending on assignment requirements or how challenging the particular assignments are, times may vary. It is okay to be flexible. Even giving more time than you think may be needed for each subject won’t hurt!
Allow for Breaks
Homework can be frustrating for everyone! For both parent and child. If you or your child are frustrated, overwhelmed, emotionally drained or just plain exhausted, allow time in between to take a breather. Take a moment to stretch, walk around, grab some juice, hug your siblings. Mental resets greatly assist in getting the job done and preventing meltdowns.
Share your homework routines, stories and tips with us in the comment section below! We’d love to hear from you. Share your #MomStory.
Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list for updates on new posts and any exciting news we may have for you lovely mommies!