8 Tips for Homework Time

September 3, 2013


As a former teacher…my favorite time of the year is here! jajaja! Number one reason I became a teacher? I love school. Diego has already experienced the positives and the “negatives” (according to him) of me as an educator. Some days, after learning something really interesting or having done a cool project, he’s happy with this fact. Other times, like when it is time to sit and do some writing (not his favorite thing to do) he’ll practically growl at me and say, “Do I have to??” Um, yes.

We all have to be ready for the whining and complaining of homework time. It’s tough. I get it. Kids are super active in school all day but this is where I stay positive…there are six hours of free time after school. Sure, we can fill it up with sports, playtime and even downtime. The reality is: there is work to be done. An hour (sometimes more!) is needed to reinforce what kids learned at school. Hopefully, these tips will help your family have a smooth homework session.

1) Decide on the time: I like giving Diego choices. I hear that right after school is not the best time to do homework (most kids need about a 30 minute break to wind down after a long day) but I ask him anyway, “Would you like to do homework now?” If he says no I then offer him 30 minutes of screen time. If he complains after 30 minutes of screen time, no TV choice tomorrow. Sorry buddy! Waiting after dinner is also a choice but only after I have checked how much homework is assigned. I will not offer this choice if he has to write because I know writing is not his favorite. It would lead us past bedtime and sleep is just as important as homework.

2) Establish a work space: Have all your supplies ready, a neat tabletop and away from distractions. We are lucky to have space and we use our sun room as a study/homework/quiet space. They love it. Believe it or not, the little guys in our house know the homework routine and ask for paper and crayons so they can do their “work” too. On a side note, allow little ones to become part of the homework time because it establishes a great sense of routine for them.

3) Help (just a little): Be there to guide your children’s homework time. It is a great time for you learn what is going on at school. Conversations about friends will occur too! Creating special bonding time with your child after school is important. Be there to support, not to do the homework yourself.

4) No homework? Incorporate others: Instruments, your family’s other language, reading time, spelling…all takes practice. If there is no homework on a certain night, these specific subject areas can be done without the rush.

5) Stay in touch with teachers: You might not know the answer to everything and that is okay! Don’t forget that you can always talk to your teacher about something you can’t help or do with your child. They will offer additional resources for your family if homework becomes too difficult.

6) Pack everything up at night: Establish a routine for putting all homework away, signed field trip forms, show and tell… Backpacks should be right by the door with shoes and jackets in our home. No one wants to rush the next day morning. Mornings are hectic as it is!

7) Model: If you are able to sit during homework time with your child take a little time to read (anything!), write or color with a younger child…please do! Children know that if it is important to you, it is simply important.

8) Communicate with care takers: Print this up for your sitters! Just like baby’s feeding time, potty training and other milestones-communication is key! I am aware that some parents are still at work when children arrive from school. Discussing the importance of sticking to a schedule with your sitter will help your child’s overall academic success! Hopefully, all you will have to do is review with your child when you are all home together.

Did I miss anything? What homework tip would you like to share? Have a fantastic school year and good luck!

P.s. Back-to-School tips for you and if I had a classroom

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  • Reply Jen September 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Another great one Betty! love these tips. printing them out and hanging them up. wish I had them last year. 🙂 Thank you so much.

  • Reply Laila September 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    These homework tips are great! I have Joey doing “homework” now…though its only for a few minutes a night. But, it’s a start!!
    Laila recently posted..Michael’s–Kids ClubMy Profile

  • Reply Bertha September 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    YES! I’m doing all of them! Minus #1. That works a bit different in my house. We’re already two weeks into school. We don’t pick up Daniela until 4:30, school ends at 3:00. She’s already had 1.5hr of downtime The minute we get home, we start on homework, she gets a snack, becuase I know it’s been a couple of hours since her last meal. We’re done with homework by 5:30 she eats dinner, and takes a shower. By that time it’s 6:30. She’s allowed 30 minutes of t.v. or an episode of whatever she’s into and then it’s time for bed. She has to be sleeping by 8:00 otherwise she’s a hot mess in the morning. We wake up at 6:00 a.m to do it all over again!!! Keep up the great parenting tips!!!

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      I love it! Although you have sitters, you don’t have to print this!! Bertha, you have it down! AND it is what works for YOUR family! Fantastic! Stay involved and promise me never to curse out the teacher when Daniela has TOO much homework!!! LOL xoxo TQM
      Betty recently posted..While at the Bookstore…My Profile

  • Reply Carla September 6, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Hey Betty, Great post!

    I agree with your advice of setting time aside everyday for homework, but sometimes it just doesn’t work when for example you have that swim lesson on a Wed, or the weather is gorgeous outside.. so what I do is incorporate oral spelling practice or mental maths with outdoor or pool games. As an example: “Swim Spelling” – Enzo loves doing crazy jumps into the pool so I give him a word to spell and if he gets it correct, I let him do his jump 🙂

    There is also “Soccer Math”… as for the writing… well…still working on that one!

    Hugs, Carla x

  • Reply Maria September 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I need some ideas. Daniella is out of school at 3:20. She asked to take the bus home so by the time she gets home she’s had about 15-20 min of downtime. She gets a snack, once home, and then it’s HW time. I’m fortunate to be in the IT field and therefore work from home every day. I have MY dedicated work area, but I don’t have a designated HW area for her. We have a huge kitchen with a large kitchen table. Any ideas on how to quickly set up a little work station for her? Should I get a seperate desk? Her room is not an option at this age bc with all of the toys she would get distracted immediately. Thanks!! Chau.

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 9, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      Maria, you are doing all the right things! Kitchen tables work well! If she is not distracted by anything thee, why not? Is it close to yours? If you have the room to put a desk somewhere where you can keep an eye from your desk, awesome! But if not, I wouldn’t worry. Keep supplies handy and have consistency in the routine. Hope this helps!
      Betty recently posted..An Exhausting WeekendMy Profile

  • Reply Yvette S September 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Great ideas and tips! Luckily for me right now Eric brings homework on Fridays. Gives me the opportunity to not feel rushed with Aleiyah’s homework. I can take my time and go over things with her at a good pace. I do like 15 min of an overview with Eric afterwards of what he’s learning or did the week before.

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      HI! Hopefully, by the time Eric has homework everyday, Aleiyah will be independent with you just guiding and being supportive. Don’t forget the reading time! 😉 xoxo

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