Expectations at school and homework

Expectations at school and homework

This is basically the face I have when it is time for homework. It’s either that one kid has assured me they have “no homework” (and I hesitantly believe them)… or… this is the 5th grade math figuring-it-out-face.  Don’t judge. I was awesome at math. 25 years ago!

Homework is a necessary part of the home-school connection. Yes. I realize there are many different opinions about homework. Some believe it is unnecessary. That kids should learn what they need to learn at school. I get that. 

But y’all, can I tell you about the list of things teachers have to do to get our kids to be well-meaning grownups that have nothing to do with academics?? All of the teaching required that has nothing to do with reading or math. It’s a lot. Like A.LOT. I’ve been in classrooms – from preschool to high school. And no matter the age – your kid’s teachers are working hard on getting them to be kind. To follow instructions. To interact socially. To wait. And the list goes on…

So I actually appreciate homework. It helps me stay connected to what the kids are doing. It gives me some time to work closely with them on something. It allows me to be helpful to them in ways other than cooking and driving them around. (Note: my kids do not have hours of homework each night. Maybe 30 minutes or so…). The other thing it allows me to do is to share with them my value of education and working hard to be better. 

Tips to remember

If you are struggling to get into the swing of homework, here are a few tips. 

  1.  I would encourage you to set a visual schedule of your child’s homework tasks. Have him/her help you create the order in which homework gets completed. Write them on a dry erase board or piece of paper to check off once it is completed.
  2. ALWAYS include a snack during homework time. Especially if it is right after school. Remember, most of our kids each lunch really early in the day. And nobody does homework well when they are hangry. 
  3. You could also include things like a brain break activity like charades, or I-Spy for a few minutes to increase the fun and decrease the stress. 

One final note: projects 

Keep in mind that projects can be really hard for our kids. Even quite mature kids can struggle to keep themselves organized during a multi-week-long project. I encourage parents to frequently ask about any projects that kids have going on. Often, kids think they are doing okay and then don’t tell parents about a project until the very last minute. (You can imagine how that goes!). 

So if you know ahead of time to ask about projects, it will probably save a lot of headaches in the end. If your child has difficulty with this, talk to his/her teacher about projects at the outset of the quarter. See if the teacher will give you a list of projects that you can prepare for in advance. Although your child may say he/she doesn’t need help, they almost never turn it down when they are up against a deadline. Don’t do it for them…but be there to support them and encourage them.