Homework – one thing that most parents and children have in common – they all hate homework.
Sadly though even many small children are often set small homework tasks to complete in the evening alongside practising their reading.
Now the thing is that many mums are not around until early evening due to their work or the children’s commitments – so this is yet another thing to slap on the To Do List
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 all the rules they are meant to follow is not necessarily very easy to implement.
And if you are anything like I was with parenting homework, everything nearly always seemed to be completed in a bit of a rush.
Of course I would have avoided sharing that with my children’s teachers.
Here are some tips to help you and the kids to establish a homework routine that fits around your own family commitments.
Work out when in theory would be the best time for homework to be done in your home – given your routine and your 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 – and ask them where and when they would like to do their homework too. Often this is not in the same place or at the same time, which is why home work can turn into such a battle of wills.
In an ideal world children are meant to do their homework in a quiet room with a table or desk of some description and probably sit down to complete it as soon as they get in for school. If that works for your family and your kids, great stick with it.
I am embarrassed to say it never did for mine. Once home from school my kids would always insist on chill out time – even if there was nothing in the diary. 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 Facebook or other social media. Doing homework in a less than ideal environment (by our or their teachers standards), is better than not doing it at all, or hating doing it so much not enough time is spent on it.
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 on arguments and confrontation which would be better directed at the homework.
This brings me on to the next problem with homework . You have more than one child and they all need support with their homework. On top that they also all have different projects, challenges and reading books they have to master before tomorrow morning.
One action you can take which will help is these circumstances is to create “quiet time” for all family members, including Mums and Dads. It does not matter when this is. It even maybe that for your family circumstances homework is best done once the kids are ready for bed, as part of the slowing things down before bedtime, when you have time to give them one to one support.
During designated homework time turn the telly off for an hour, don’t answer any phone calls and avoid outside interruptions. This will help to create “Quiet time” for all the family and sets an important example to your children. You may also find that you are able to have a few quiet minutes to yourself that will help you to re-charge your own batteries.
The thing you really need to aim at is to making homework a fun family time, which will then make homework less of a chore for everyone. A routine is established. Even if you are breaking all the rules because the children are downstairs with you and the telly is on. You could argue, you are on hand if they have a problem and of course it is great for learning multi functioning skills. And in this day and age I think that is probably quite a good skill to develop.