We are welcoming in 2016, we’re more than half way through the 2015/16 school year, and we all need to get back on track with our routines. Remember that strong morning, evening, and homework routines make home life a breeze instead of a nightmare! We’ve already looked at our morning and evening routines. If your family has a routine that needs some freshening up, it’s probably the homework routine! Let’s check out where we are and where we want to be as we cruise towards Spring:
1. Do you have a time and place for homework and a basket of homework supplies at the ready? Make sure that your school calendar is up-to-date with project due dates and exam schedules.
2. Is homework being completed on time, without tears and tantrums? If the answer is no, it’s time to check with the teacher, tighten up the routine, and review the motivators and consequences. All of us get forgetful and inconsistent with our homework expectations and rewards – so it’s time to hitch up our pants and get going again. Write a homework contract if everyone needs to have their responsibilities clearly defined.
3. Does your child come home with homework assignments written down and all the necessary books and materials? If not, how can you make that happen? What are the natural consequences?
4. If you come to the conclusion that your child’s homework is academically inappropriate – too easy or too hard or too much – make an appointment for a parent/teacher conference to discuss it. Don’t try to protect your child from work and challenge – just make sure that the homework is appropriate.
5. If your child has special needs, you know that homework can be an incredible challenge and a daily nightmare. Remember that 504 plans and IEP’s can include homework accommodations and modifications.
6. Rule of thumb: 10 minutes of homework per grade. So 10 minutes in first grade, 20 minutes in second grade – and so on. Provide the structure and materials your child needs to be successful, but let your child be responsible for their homework.
Let’s all head into 2016 with strong routines in place so we can enjoy our family time!