When I was a young girl, we’d go to school, learn, do the work assigned and maybe have homework. What was on the homework was what we were taught in school so we rarely needed help from a parent. Nowadays, we parents have to be as adept at teaching reading, writing and arithmetic as we are at teaching manners, hygiene and healthy eating.
One way to get a handle on our relatively new educational roles is to get a handle on the homework. This is especially important for moms like me who have multiple children in different grades. Try these five tips for keeping up with homework and ending this school year with in organized bliss.
1. Set up an after-school routine. Our routine is come in, wash hands, change clothes, get snack, then do homework. Afterward reading time and chores. Keeping up with the same routine sets a pattern and a habit your children will (and should!) eventually follow without even thinking about it.
2. Enlist older children to help the younger ones. My three younger children are close in age so when my son, now 10, started reading relatively fluidly, I had him read to his younger sisters. That simple task freed up time for me (my youngest, now 6, would have “read to me” assignments) and it vastly helped with his reading progression.
3. Check homework. Each of my children has to have a daily report signed, which I normally do after they finish the homework so I can check it. You can check before to see what homework they’re supposed to be doing and/or afterward to verify the homework was completed correctly.
4. Use an “in” box. If you aren’t available when your children complete their homework, have a designated flat box or tray, preferably near the door, where they put their assignments for you. Having the items near the door will make that “Oh crap, I forgot” moment just a little less hectic.
5. Give your child their job description. Ever since I became a parent 22 years ago, I’ve stuck with the same roles for my children: “Your job is to get an education and put your best effort into that.” I explain to them that nothing else is as important as that and it’s their responsibility to keep up with it, doing their best while trying to achieve excellence and to take it seriously. I remind them they do not go to school to socialize, play or hangout.
No plan is foolproof, but with a plan in place, it should make life a bit easier. Try one or all five of these tips, then come back and let me know how they worked out for you. Have you used other methods to keep up with homework? Please share in the comments — we’d love to hear about it.
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