Now that my child is old enough to get homework, it is becoming a bit of a struggle to get her to sit down and actually focus on the task at hand. Understandably so! She just spent 5 hours at school being a student and the last thing she wants to do is be a student at home too.
There is some debate as to whether kids should have homework. I think there can certainly be some benefits along with some non-benefits to having homework, but while there is still homework being assigned, I want to preserve the sanity of the household by creating a Less-Stress Homework Routine.
The first thing I identified as being a "stresser" while getting my child to do her homework was the constant search for supplies. "I can't find a pencil." "I don't have an eraser." "Where are my crayons?" "I don't have paper." These were all efforts to stall or to not do homework at all. Here are two simple things I do to make homework time less stressful for me and my child:
1. CREATE AN AFTER SCHOOL ROUTINE
My child thrives when there is a routine and by creating a simple and easy to follow routine, she isn't met with surprise or the unexpected. Here is an example of our after school routine:
a. Hang coat and put shoes away.
b. Empty lunch bag.
c. Wash hands and get a snack.
d. Spend an hour relaxing and unwinding.
e. Do homework.
2. A REGULAR SPACE
Have a space for your child to do their homework whether it be at the kitchen table or at a desk and be sure to be available to help out if they have questions and to monitor their progress.
3. CREATE A HOMEWORK STATION
A homework station can be easily and affordably made with items from around the home and the dollar store. It can be as simple as a pencil case containing all the tools needed or it can be a tray. Whatever works for you and your child. Include the items that your child uses most. ie pencils, erasers, pencil sharpener, crayons, markers, pencil crayons, paper, ruler, calculator...
4. CHECK THEIR WORK
I like to check my daughter's work. I don't grade it! I ask questions and suggest edits. I don't edit her work for her but by suggesting edits, it teachers her to further review her work. I feel by checking her work, it also helps me keep in touch with what she is learning and at what level.
Setting your kids up with a good routine will help them when they have to tackle homework in high school and college.