This is Immy’s first year of primary (elementary) school and therefore her first year of regular homework, and I must admit it has taken us a few weeks to find our stride when it comes to getting organised and getting it done each weeknight.
We first had to find the best time of day for Immy to settle to homework. In my thinking, we would just dive right in straight after school and get it out of the way but I found trying to get Immy to do more thinking and learning when she was first home was like bashing my head against a wall! I have now changed out our routine a few times and we have settled on her having time to re-fuel with an afternoon tea snack, and refocus with some free play before she completes her homework.
I think that it is important that Immy is near me while completing her homework – I aim to be available to provide guidance but really want her to be taking ownership for what needs to be completed – so she will sit at the breakfast bar while I complete dinner preparations, or we will sit at the dining table together, me working on a task of my own alongside where she is working. Because the weather has been so gorgeous here, we even sometimes take homework outdoors, sitting at our outside table in the fresh air. As for AJ, she is often eager to do some ‘homework’ of her own – usually ‘drawing’ or ‘writing’ at the table with us too.
Immy’s homework is set each Monday and goes back to school on Friday. It currently includes reading (books are exchanged each day) and spelling each night, and one handwriting and one math worksheet to be completed during the week. With the range of tasks and our flexible approach to a daily work location I decided a handy homework caddy containing everything she might need would be a useful tool so I have gathered together a small collection of stationery items and organised them into a plastic, multipurpose storage tray (with a handle), recycling some plastic cups to hold pencils, crayons and felt tipped pens. I love that the tray also fits her workbooks so that everything can be packed away each day and kept together until it is returned to school on Fridays.
How do you help your child/ren get organised for homework? What time of the day works best for them? Do they have a dedicated workspace stocked with what they will need?
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Christie Burnett says