Now that school is in session for all our homemaker’s kid’s, I must ask, “How is the homework routine coming along?” I’m hoping for your family there aren’t many tears. Developing a routine that works will be essential for a smooth, laid back night for everyone. Some homemaker’s are well aware with the different ways some kids may attempt to throw off the entire evening by creating drama during homework time. For some homemakers, their kids are just now entering the primary grades and homework is just now starting to come home. Be prepared for just about anything to keep in control of the homework routine.
Have you found the best time to do homework yet? Do you allow the children some relaxation time, then on to homework? Are you allowing a quick snack then on to homework? Or maybe there isn’t much time because you work until 6 pm and don’t pick up the kids until close to 7:30. It’s very difficult to decide a routine that will work with your child as all children are different. There are also many circumstances like dance class, Bible Study, you may work late… The key is to start early in the year to see what routine works best. The most important part is to make sure the kids are not up past 10pm doing homework. Homework should be done so that there is time to eat dinner, bathe, read, or whatever else your nightly routine consist of.
Now that you have found a routine that works, how do you deal when things get difficult? Are the tears so overwhelming they throw off the entire family? What do you do when your second grader decides they cannot add 2+1 and continues to get the answer wrong? “4, 6, 10?” You can feel yourself getting more upset by the moment. First ask yourself, “Could they be tired” “Do they need more time from the time they get home to relax before starting homework?” “Did they have too much relaxing time and now it is difficult for them to make the transition from play to study time?” When your kids have successfully answered simple questions in the past and today all a sudden cannot, chances are they are acting out. For the young ones, especially, try not to get too upset. Little ones are good at causing a disruption to get out of doing something that is less than favorable. Check the routine and make sure they are not overly stimulated. Keep your calm and maybe take a small break to do an easy chore or take a jog in a circle around the yard.
If after you have played around with different routines and no matter what you have done, they are still acting out during homework time, I say give more breaks. But at the same time, they do need to know that homework was assigned and it must be done. The sooner they learn this, good study habits will develop well into the high school years when the homework becomes a bit more of a challenge. The absolute worst thing you can do is to “go there” with your child. I know that you are the parent, but you do not have to exercise your parental rights to “lay down the law”. At times a little bit of grace will go a lot further. Did something happen at school? Are they feeling slighted by their teachers? There could be a lot of possibilities that is causing disruptive behavior. Let’s say there is an underlying issue such as bullying or something of the sort. Can you imagine you yelling at them for being cheeky during homework and what that can do to them already? Do yourselves both a favor, take a break and let it go. You may think, “It’s already late, this assignment is due tomorrow and they are nowhere near done!” Well, how much is getting done by going back and forth over something that you know your kid knows?
I still have time with Elijah before he starts receiving homework that requires lots of concentration and time. But I can remember all the things our oldest took us through when he displayed avoidance behavior when it was time for homework. Cooler heads usually calms the situation down. At times, worrying about deadlines and completing must be given up. The best case scenario is to bring peace to the situation.
I’m sure the kids will be home soon enough, so get that dinner on and prepare for homework!