Homework Strategies

Ah…now I remember what takes the shine right off of back to school – back to homework. The child brought home her first ever second grade homework packet yesterday. Yeah, it didn’t go so well. It didn’t help that the homework arrived on a Tuesday. We have gymnastics right after school on Tuesday and don’t get home until dinner time. She is done after a long day and sitting down to do a little school in the evening is not her idea of fun. Tuesday is also one of the days that my husband is gone all day (10a-12a) and that the twins don’t get a nap. I am done after a long day and sitting down to do a little school in the evening is not my idea of fun. Last night I resorted to a little “motivation” in the form of bribery. Knowing that the child has been wanting to polish her toenails I said we had to get homework done first. That got her going on it, but then we disagreed on the directions for one of the assignments. They are doing simple addition math drills – you remember, see how many math problems you can get done in one minute. They call it “hot pencils” math and she seems to like it. She said she was only supposed to get 1/2 a minute, but the written directions said 1 minute. I’m not sure which is correct, but decided to follow the written directions and met resistance again. She got angry enough to almost hit me. I promised to check with the teacher, and I will, but I’m also going to ask for clear written directions for me, because sometimes just looking at the worksheet I can’t quite tell what she’s supposed to do, and if she remembers she may not have the language to explain it to me, or if she does I may not quite believe what she says. Anyway, we survived our first homework night…and we get to do it all again tonight except it’s Daddy’s turn. I’ll be attending two different “back to school” events…

Time to remind myself of what I already know. I’ve already re-read this post from my personal blog last Spring. I really will follow up with the teacher if I don’t hear the information I need at back to school night this evening. In future weeks (when there isn’t a Monday holiday) I think I’ll try to get extra homework done on Monday and Wednesday so that Tuesday isn’t such an issue. Most of all, arguing over half a minute was not my best Mom move. Remember – breathe, stay calm, and don’t sweat the small stuff. I thought this might be a good topic for discussion here, too. Sometimes other parents have the best ideas:

  • ¬†What challenges do you have with homework?
  • How do you support your child through those challenges?
  • How much is too much, and how do you say “enough”?

Thanks for sharing!

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