Thursday, August 26, 2010

What's Your Homework Policy?

My boys start back to school this week! Our district has a policy of a "staggered start" which means each of the boys will only go to school one day this week, but next week we'll be back in the full swing of things. And that means homework.

My boys are so different when it comes to academics and their learning styles. Riley usually catches on pretty quickly when it comes to math, but Khegan takes a little longer. Khegan is very good at writing creative stories. Riley struggles a little bit with keeping his handwriting neat. Khegan is patient and will listen when you are trying to help him. Riley (not unlike his mother) gets frustrated very easily when he doesn't pick stuff up right away.

All of these differences play out at homework time. Khegan is very slow in completing his homework, while Riley tends to zip right through it. Last year it was quite challenging to be done with homework before 9 o'clock. By the time I get off work, fought down town traffic and picked up the kids from the sitter, we don't get home until almost 6 o'clock. John gets home later than that. Once home, I have to get myself organized and then start dinner.

This is how our routine would go. Riley would zip through his math worksheet and go off to play. I would continue to work with Khegan on his math and spelling while also cooking dinner. Then we would break from homework to eat. Then John would take over finishing up the math and spelling with Khegan while I'd clean up dinner. Then we would each grab a kid and sit down to listen to them read for 20 minutes. Somewhere in there we managed to squeeze in a nightly shower for each kiddo.

It was tough - especially on nights when they had ball practice.

This year the routine is going to have to be different. It's too exhausting (for the boys & for us) to be doing homework for so long and until so late. The plan is to have them do all there homework, except for reading, at the babysitters house. School gets out at 2:30 so they have a good three hours before I get there to pick them up. Then when we get home, I will review the home work with them and redo the problems they missed. Then all that is left is their reading. Instead of having them read to me for 20 minutes, I will have them read to me for 10 and then read to themselves for the other 10 and give me a short oral "book report".

Hopefully this new homework routine will give us a little more free time in the evenings!

What's your homework policy? Do you have your children do their homework as soon as they get home? Or, do you let them play a little bit first? Are they pretty independent in completing it? Or, do you have to help every step of the way? 


~*Jess*~ said...

We're not there yet. But when she starts getting homework, I think they start working on it during the after school care and of course we'd make her work on it as soon as she got home. She doesn't have any sports/dance after school so it shouldn't be too bad. Then again, she's just in Prek!

Elle The Heiress said...

When I was growing up I didn't have homework (or really any kind of) rules. My mom worked long hours at an on-call job and wasn't there to supervise anyway. If I ever actually did my homework, it was at school.

As for Sebastian, well, we still have a few more years to figure things out. My husband had very strict rules, so hopefully we can find a good balance.

Busy Working Mama said...

I dread the homework fiascos but I am going to let me daughter handle it on her own. My parents never assisted me, but they set homework time daily and it was RIGHT after school. After that came dinner and them play time/reading/whatever. Actually, they GAVE me more homework to do - math sheets and such. I also had to maintain my Polish language skills and copy passages from books. Boy am I glad they made me do all that. It paid off.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 daughters of homework age 6th and 7th grade. One of them is an easy A student, the other is a solid B student. The B student struggles mightily with Math, Dates, Time but it extremely creative. The A student loves math and reading but her reading comprehension is not the best.

My policy is that it's YOUR homework, not mine. You do it, get it done on time and hand it in. Homework hours are anytime after school until 9pm. Homework is NOT done at midnight or 7am before school. I will assist when necessary but I pretty much stay out of it at all costs. If they "forget" that's their problem and they have to deal with the consequences at school. Believe me.. that only happens once or twice until they figure it out. I do not ever give an answer, I merely discuss with them ideas on where to find the answer.

I also don't stress the importance of straight A's. Having 2 girls that are so opposite in academics is an eye opener in that everyone has their strengths. As long as they get the BEST GRADES they can possibly get, I'm happy.

A "C" on a paper every now and then isn't the end of the world. But mama doesn't like "C"s on report cards and they know it.

I'm probably way to lax for some parents, but you know, I've already been through school and no one is grading ME to see if I remember long division. I stress the importance of taking responsibility for your own work.

Jillian K Thomas

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