Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tips & Ideas for Peaceful Homework Time

So often it seems that homework is a struggle in our house.  Sometimes it's a child who would rather be doing anything other than the assignment, or sometimes it's simply a matter of a concept not clicking in their little heads yet.  And I get it, I never cared for homework either....just ask my mom.  So we've worked hard to make homework time a peaceful time, and even though we still have our moments (Mama + Math = Misery), for the most part homework time looks like this at our house....




Here are some ways we've made homework time more peaceful in our house:
** Find everyone their own space.  I've found that my boys cannot be around each other while working, and so we separate them, usually into two different rooms.  And often-times I just have to let them work where they are comfortable.  One night I found Sam doing his work while lying on the kitchen floor...whatever works!  And Max likes to use a clipboard and sit on the floor instead of at the table. 
** Find quiet work for EVERYONE to do during homework time (even Henry!).  Often times I will sit and pay bills while the kids work, so they see that everyone has important things that have to be done.  And if one of the kids does not have homework they have to find something else quiet to do like reading a book.  Even Henry will get out a notebook and paper and "work" during homework time.
**  Turn everything OFF.  Phones, Music, TV, Computer...No distractions!
** Try to stick to the same time every night for homework.  This can be a tough one to do, but can help because children need schedules, routines and predictability.  I find that my kids need a break when they come home from school just to veg or play, so we do homework after dinner. 
** Fit homework in your schedule if possible.  My kids get homework packets each week, so if I know we are going to have a busy week I try to finish up alot of their packet over the weekend. 
** Don't wait until the last minute.  Need I say more?  This is a recipe for disaster.
** Keep all the tools they need for homework handy.  We have an "art cabinet" in the dining room, and it has crayons, pencils, scissors, paper, etc, everything they need to do their homework.  I also keep all of their homework (except Ella who does hers in her room) in the same place in the dining room, so they know where to find it. 
**Take a TIME OUT if you need to.  Sometimes homework becomes an emotional battle.  When tears are shed I call a time out.  Last night I sent one child to their room to chill, and I went to my room for a breather.  We came back five minutes later and all of a sudden the homework made sense to the child, the tears were gone, and the homework was finished in less than ten minutes.  Sometimes you just need to take a break and then have a fresh look at things.

I hope these homework time tips help you!  I have found that doing these things I listed has helped to make homework time in our house a little less stressful.  I notice when I don't do these things that homework time is more of a chore and tends to get chaotic and crazy. 

Here's another great resource, a blog post from the Kenton County Library about how to balance school work.  They have some great ideas for using the library as a tool when working on homework!

Do you have any homework tips to share?




Thirty Handmade Days

3 comments:

cheech said...

Those tips are spot-on. in addition to these, I found that being available for, but not on top of, the kids made things go more smoothly. While the house was quiet and they were working I 'worked' on something close by...nothing that required my full attention: cooking, sewing, reading the paper, etc.

Anonymous said...

I have found that I have to remove EVERYTHING from the table to begin homework time.. not a paper clip, or extra piece of paper, or a crumb, lol. I wipe down the kitchen island and start clean, with sharp pencils, erasers, clean paper. We have always played classical music (at a very low volume) which helps calm our boys. We have them do their homework in the kitchen, while we prepare dinner. Having the same time each day is essential, we do it after they have an after-school snack and a few minutes of 'jabber time' to talk about... whatever. Great tips!

katie and the little things said...

I LOVE the idea of playing classical music! It always calms me...I'll have to try it at homework time!