How to tackle homework with tears (gorgeous stationery like this from kikki k may help!)

How to tackle homework without tears (gorgeous stationery like this from kikki k may help!)

Growing up, I don’t remember homework being a big deal.

It was more a case of racing through it as quickly as possible so I still had time to get outside and ride my bike or play Monkey Magic (sorry to anyone born after the 80’s – you may not get that one – I was always Sandy by the way, and we made my little sister play the part of Pigsy, yep she still hasn’t forgiven us!).

Oh how times have changed!  With four kids, we run the full gambit of approaches to homework: from ‘no homework policy’ through to rote learning of spelling, violin practice, occupational therapy, and school readiness (am not sure that even existed when I was a kid!).

It’s a bit tricky though to know when you are about to cross the line between helpful parent and hovering stress machine…

So today I thought I’d share a couple of tips/ tricks I’ve learnt along the way:

  • A small amount of time each night beats a BIG night on Thursday.  Captain Jack (Year 2) gets homework each week which is due on a Friday.  So two choices, do a little each night, or have a LONG session Thursday night.We trialled letting him decide the first week of term and the long night at the end of the week was an abysmal failure. He was exhausted, I was exhausted, we were both grumpy and it was like pulling teeth, slowly, with kitchen tongs. Painful.  So, now we do 15-20 minutes every night, and bingo, he’s normally finished by Thursday.
  • Get the whole crew involved. My four kids sit down at the same time each night either at our ‘homework table’ or with the iPad, and all do their ‘homework’. Nobody is missing out, and nobody feels hard done by.
  • No TV until the homework session is done. Some nights, this means no TV for the kids.  Sounds harsh, but it’s been worth it! Fewer distractions, and calmer kids for homework, dinner and then bath and bedtime.
  • Mix it up. We have the homework/ craft table, stocked with pencils, textas, rubbers, sharpeners, paper, scissors, all ready to go.  Here is a fab website if you really want to go to town on your own  table or get some ideas on how to spruce up your study area. Plus we have an iPad with educational apps to keep the kids interested.
  • Make friends with technology!  Use your iPad, PC or iPod to keep the kids interested and learning.  Here are some great apps to try to we also love Mathletics, reading eggs, literacy planet.
  • Keep it all firm but positive!  Sounds tough, but you have to persevere. Kids like adults get a huge kick of satisfaction and personal pride when they finish a project or do well after practising.  It is worth the effort.  Praise the effort taken and don’t be afraid to point out how they could improve.

Have you got any good tips for making homework a little less stressful?

Enjoy xx

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