Thursday, April 30, 2009


I'm going to hit a topic that is our families biggest challenge at the time.  Maybe this way I can think this through and maybe you all will have some great insight for me.
I really don't remember having homework in grade school until about 3rd or 4th grade.  It seems like the first homework I remember doing is studying for spelling tests.  I was not a great speller and as often as I read and practiced it didn't seem to help me.  Now I have a Kindergartener and a 2nd grader who has homework everyday.  A couple months ago there was an article in the Parenting magazine about how kids are getting too much homework.  I'm not saying they do or don't but yes kids are getting homework and as parents how can we help not make this such a labor for them?  Here are somethings I have tried that seem to help and work with my kids.  I don't do all of these everyday.  I pick and choose according to what my kids need that day.
-After school snacks are given after they change into play clothes and they have done half of their homework.
-They get one M&M after a complete assignment
-Give them a little down time, (lately we have ran to the park and shot a few soccer goals) then get started into homework
-After school privledges like TV, computer games, and playing with friends are after homework is complete (this includes soccer games, practices, and scouts if possible)
-Emphasis how important homework is
-Have Dad correct some of the homework so he gets involved
-Do a verbal shout out after they get done with their homework (I do a dance and sing for them-they think it's pretty funny)
Honestly getting homework done at our house can be a big pain.  My son's friends b-day party was just last week and we prepped him that whole morning by telling him he needed to get done with homework before the party so he could play with his friends.  We even suggested he bring a pencil in his backpack so he could start it on the way home.  Well he really wanted to test us and he didn't do it for the full hour he had before the party started.  So we said he could do his homework in the car on the way to the party, he still didn't get it done.  His friends from school all got their homework done before the party and so we knew he could get it done.  Well he sat at the table of Chuckie Cheeze for a full hour doing his homework while his friends played.  He got his homework done and still got to play for the last 1/2 hour with his 25 tokens.  I really feel like when you tell your kids something, you really need to stand by it.  These do need to be expectations that can be upheld of course.  
Any other homework helps or advise would be grately appreciated!


  1. I'm so glad you stuck by your word and made him do it before he played. It seems like at the beginning of the school year it was tougher than it is now. I think it's because (atleast Danika) doesn't have as much homework. She used to come home with three pages and now she only has one. I used to set the timer on the microwave for 15 minutes. They had that time after school to play and when the timer went off it was homework time. I've been laxed about it lately. One night Danika took two hours to finish because she was so distracted (the other kids were watching a show) So I have to have the TV off. Kevin and I have talked about making a homework area free of distractions. Danika will often say, "I don't want to do my homework!" So I'll tell her "okay I'll let your teacher know that" and then she freaks out "no no no, I'll do it"
    I don't know why that works, I guess she doesn't want her teacher to know I guess. It's different with Andrew. If I mention he can't play at all until his homework is done he does it in a flash, I love it. I agree homework is a struggle and I can only forsee it getting worse as tehy grow up. If you find a good strategy, I'd love to hear it too. Good luck.

  2. Sandra, I really appreciate your ideas
    Timer of free time before homework starts
    Homework zone free from distractions
    You hit a key point that it really depends on your child. One idea will work wonders with one of your students but it might not work for the others.
    I do think it's hard to stay committed when the end of school draws closer. We are all getting burned out a bit (kids and parents).

  3. Clarissa starts Kindergarten this year. I know she'll be wiped out after school, so I think I will have to play it by ear as we start this new adventure.

  4. Crystal-how fun, Kindergarten is so fun! Don't stress about homework yet, --Luckily in Kindergarten they don't give very much, but it is a good idea to get some good habits started. My favorite thing to do with my kids is chat about their day. As we have snack time this is a great time to connect when they want to.

  5. Sorry to post this here...I can't find your family blog. Just wanted to let you know...the egg carton idea FAILED MISERABLY! Only like 8 of the sections germinated at all and they are not growing 1/2 as fast or as strong as the ones grown in the plastic containers. So, DON'T follow my bad idea!
    What a small world... I am super good friends with Crystal's sister Rachelle.
    My oldest is starting K in a few months. She is so excited. I am pretending to be super excited, but really it kills me to turn her loose to the world. Thankfully, I have spent the last 5 years CRAMMING her brain with the gospel. Hopefully, she will learn to be bold and stand up for what is right despite what every one else is doing. ARGH!


I appreciate your comments!