Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Organizing a good Homework routine with your kids

Organizing a good homework routine with your kids

With the two kids and the usual afterschool sports and recreation (my 10 yo had surfing lessons at the local beach for a term recently–how lucky is that!), sometimes homework gets pushed to the side.

If you’ve got a daughter anything like mine - who is very good as distracting/changing the subject and finding excuses to do anything but homework, this can lead to leaving homework till too late and feeling very stressed out trying to get the homework done in time. Emma has partly developed these strategies of avoiding homework due to a reading problem she has –(similar to dyslexia) which, over the years, has led to a dislike of normal learning methods in general. You have to come round the ‘back door’ with Emma to get her to have a go – something apparently my parents tell me they had to do with me in many ways (doh!).

With my husband having been working 12/13 hour days building our house, this has meant more household jobs have fallen to me that we would normally share, so fitting in adequate time to do homework together is more challenging. I have to be strict (ie; organized!) about doing it at certain times and not letting Emma get out of it, but not be too strict or risk a toxic learning environment. It hasn’t been easy I can tell you.

I don’t know about you – if you have a child/ren who avoid homework like the plague too) but there’s quite an art to finding the right balance between being a fun to be around mum and being a nagging, not so nice to be around mum when it comes to homework routines and expectations. Emma has had a lot of extra ‘homework’ with programs she has done to help her get ahead so by the time school homework comes around she’s really over it. Trying to ‘teach’ your own child can be challenging to say the least. I have to pick my times and be very careful not to correct everything she does incorrectly or this can be taken as criticism to a child who is sensitive about ALWAYS being wrong. What I have found that works quite well on those days when the standard homework is just not going to get done, is playing a game such as hangman or monopoly. This give Emma an opportunity to practice her reading and spelling in a more indirect way.

Have you experienced this issue? If so what strategies have you used to work around your children’s homework issues? What organizing tips do you have to share?

Claire McFee Author
Organize Your Life Organizers

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