Homework routine and the challenge for school kids and parents
One thing that most parents and children have in common – they all hate homework.
Now the thing is many mums and dads are not around until early evening due to their work or the children’s commitments. Evenings are busy and often stressful at the best of times. Everyone is hungry and tired, so coaxing kids into homework routines that adhere to the guidelines that are are meant to be adopted is not necessarily very easy to implement.
Getting the kids to complete, or even to settle down to do their homework is yet another thing to slap on the ever increasing evening to do list.
Establish a homework routine that works for your family
Work out when in theory would be the best time for homework to be done in your home – given your family’s routine and personal circumstances. Now this maybe when your kids get in from school, after tea, before bedtime or even possibly first thing in the morning.
Also think about where you would like your kids to do their homework. Also even more importantly ask your children where and when they would like to do their homework too. Actually this is often not in the same place or at the same time as you would like, which is why homework can turn into a battle of wills.
The ideal setting and the non ideal setting
In an ideal world children are meant to do their homework in a quiet room with a table or desk and to complete it as soon as they get in for school. If that works for your family and your kids great. Stick with it.
It never did for mine. Once home from school my kids would always insist on chill out time. To encourage them to do their homework in a quiet place where they could concentrate, desks were provided in their bedrooms, but the kitchen table was always the favoured option. Not mine as often I would have to make them clear away their homework to set the table for dinner.
Sometimes even the lounge carpet was littered with kids and homework, and dare I say with the telly on. I know, absolutely far from ideal I must admit. But they did their homework and it was in on time.
The bottom line was that my kids did not want to be separated from the activity of the house just to do their homework. If that is the case with your kids – then personally I would not worry too much. After all they could be up in their bedrooms whiling the way the hours on social media.
Avoiding conflict around homework
The other aspect to consider is all the angst surrounding where and when the homework is done may result in everyone using valuable brain power and energy, which would be better directed at the homework.
This brings me on to the next problem with homework. If you have more than one child they may all need support with their homework. Each may have different projects, challenges and reading books they have to master before tomorrow morning. So it is important to have some sort of homework system.
Creating quiet time for every family member
One thing which can work very well is to try and create “quiet time” for all the family members including parents.
The rule can be no telly, not to answer or make any phone calls, check email or log into your social media accounts. In fact to avoid all interruptions – just for one hour. This will help to create “Quiet Time” for parents and children. By setting a good example you will be available to lend some support with homework and may even find you have a few quiet minutes to yourself.
By making homework a fun family time, I believe homework becomes less of a chore for everyone. And a routine is established.
Don’t fret too much
And if “quiet time” has passed and your teens are still hard at their homework, sitting in the lounge with you and the telly is on. Yes they may be breaking all the homework rules. but don’t fret too much. You could say you are on hand, if they have a problem or need some help. And of course being in a busy interactive environment can only help improve your child’s ability to multi-function. And in this day and age I think that is probably quite a good skill to develop.