What us your homework/study routine with your kids?

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Posted 10/3/2012 by catholicone in NSBR Board
 

catholicone
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:43:28 PM
I've got one son in 1st grade and one daughter in 3rd grade and a 4 month old. Our little family is overwhelmed with homework and tests since school started.

I'm trying to figure out if I'm doing too much with my kids as far as homework/studying goes or if I'm establishing good study habits.

I'll start by saying that they go to private school, have 30-60 mins of homework Monday through Thursday nights. They've got at least 2 tests each week, usually 3.

We get home from school between 3:30 and 4:00 pm and they start homework and have a snack while I feed the baby and start dinner.

Once they finish homework, baths and dinner then I check their homework and fill out whatever school paperwork I need to do.

Problem is that I'm tired by the time I check their homework, baby is fussy, the big kids are ready for some downtime and I still have to have them correct their homework...which involves a lot if whining and feet dragging.

DH gets home around 7:30 so he helps when he can. It I'm usually done with it all by the time he gets home.

Should I just stop checking their homework? Is that too much?

I don't know why this year feels so much more intense homework wise than other years, but I am literally spending most of my working hours helping them with homework, quizzing them in preparation for tests, shopping for project supplies or making sure they are reading their required AR books.

On top of it my DD has just been diagnosed with ADHD so we're going through referrals and treatment options right now and my health is suffering because of stress.

If I could just streamline things a bit I think I'd feel some relief. I check gradespeed on Sundays, print out their weekly assignments on Mondays and DH spends an hour on Sundays going over the next week's math lessons so she'll have a frame of reference for the next week (she was almost failing and has brought her grade up to a B because of this help).

I feel like we're doing an awful lot of work at home..but maybe this is normal?

Abby-n-Matts_mommy
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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:48:59 PM
DD has Aspergers, OCD, Anxiety, Dysgraphia, and Impulse Controll. She is in 4th grade gate.

Anyways school lets out at 2:05. We are home by 2:20 and she gets until 3 to relax. She has a snack, plays, paints, jumps on the trampoline, etc

At 3 she sits down and completes her spelling packet. We go over science together and with her Excell math she completes what she knows and then we go over new concepts together.

She gets a break and then she reads the assigned chapter from Little House on the Prairie and if assigned the page in their study guide.

Its about 4:30 by this time so I start dinner while she plays.

After dinner she practices her violin.

At bedtime she reads her AR book and then dh reads her some too.

We've done.it like this since 1st grade.



peapermint
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Posted: 10/4/2012 12:14:48 AM
At 6pm DS (grade 3) does homework. I take this time to relax and read in his room and answer any questions he may have. If he's not done by 7, we stop, because I think that's enough and it's not due till Friday.


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sunny 5
PeaFixture

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Posted: 10/4/2012 12:43:05 AM
I would not correct homework at home...tell the teacher that you will see that the kids complete it..but the teacher can then see where the kids have gaps in knowledge or application of knowledge.

read the required books on weekends --or a short time in the evening..everyone can sit down and read for 15 minutes (the kids and dh)..you put the baby to bed or whatever.

AthenainCA
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Posted: 10/4/2012 1:27:44 AM
I don't check homework other than making sure it's done.

My 5th grader gets his work done when we can. He's got a busy afternoon schedule, so he often does it in the car on our way to or home.






catholicone
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/4/2012 7:13:14 AM
Great suggestions! I do need to make sure they utilize the weekends and our school commute (30 minutes each way) more efficiently. Thank you for helping this exhausted mom think!

scissorbill
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Posted: 10/4/2012 7:39:07 AM
I have a first and sixth grader. My older son needs a half an hour to unwind after school but my younger son wants to get his homework done right away.

I'm not involved other than telling them to do it and reminding them to check it and put it in their backpacks.

peano
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Posted: 10/4/2012 7:51:06 AM
DS gets off the bus at 2:40. He has a snack, plays with the dogs and by 3 he's doing homework while I futz around in the kitchen, available for questions.

DS is in 7th grade and has ADHD and prior to this year, I've looked over his homework, as he tends to make many careless errors. I always checked them off and told him to take another look at them.

This year, I am really just checking that he's done but I do say something if I see a pretty egregious error. I was finding that I was more invested in his work than he was, so I've made a conscious decision to back off and let him take more responsibility.


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hmblthrp
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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:11:45 AM
Mine are 3rd and 6th grade, at a pretty rigorous college-prep school.

When we first get home, they have roughly 15-20 minutes to have snack, change out of uniform, watch TV, etc. I use that time to check for paperwork I might need to fill out and to double-check the website for their assignments.

Then we sit together to start HW. 6th grader usually needs some help, but 3rd grader is more self-sufficient. Sometimes I can get some prep done for dinner or start a load of laundry while answering questions.

No more TV, video games, playing with neighbors, etc. until HW is pretty much done. If they need to be quizzed on spelling words or something like that, I usually let them put it off till dinner time when either DH can help or sometimes they can quiz each other--- LOVE that!

If you think of HW as practice and reinforcement for what they learned in class, then yes, I would say maybe you're doing too much. Correcting or pointing out their mistakes doesn't help show the teacher what they have learned. If they are totally "stuck", then of course jump in to help, but other than that, maybe just check to see if they've completed it.

Good luck! Sounds like you have your hands full but are trying to be such a good Mom!

pretzels
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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:40:42 AM
I have two -- one is in the 8th grade, taking all honors and pre-AP courses, and the other is in the 5th grade.

My sainted MIL picks them up most days from school (8th-grader has band practice at least three days a week). She allows them some downtime (30-45 minutes) and then they need to get to work.

We really don't have a problem this year with them doing their homework. Not that this always works with my two, but I sat them down and we had a serious talk before school started that with all the activities they have, getting homework done as soon as possible had to be a priority. DD takes dance three nights a week in a different city, so besides the time for the class, we have to factor in driving time.

DD gets her spelling homework on a Monday and it's due the next week. There are a variety of things listed, with different points values. She has to do a total of 55 points in order to get a 100 on the assignment. Last night, I went to check on her in her room, and she was doing her homework, without any reminding or supervision. That is big for her because she's my most reluctant with homework.

catholicone
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:41:27 AM
Thanks again! If I really dig deep, I can see where I'm more invested in their homework than they are and I need to reign that in.

So I'm going to try to only check their homework for completion rather than accuracy next week and see what happens. I'm guessing the earth won't stop spinning?

squillen
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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:45:41 AM
catholicone -- I think, by not correcting their homework at home, that their teachers will be able to see where your kids might be struggling. I don't think it's a bad thing to not correct their work for them before sending it off to school.

You've gotten a lot of great advice. I have a 5th grader and Kindergartener. The Kindergartner doesn't get a lot of homework - just little things she has to do every day. My 5th grader is very diligent at working on her homework right after she has her snack. I never check her work other than making sure it's done.




giatocj
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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:56:48 AM
I'm another one who doesn't correct homework. I make sure he's done with what he has in all subjects and is ready for his 1/2 hour of reading, but other than that, he's on his own. I'm there if he has any questions or needs help, of course, but he does fine on his own for the most part.

fredfreddy
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Posted: 10/4/2012 9:04:25 AM
I have a 7th and 4th grader. I tell them and make sure they get their homework done but I don't check the quality. If they ask me for help, I will give it. They don't have to do it right after school but I push if there are other things going on. They mayn't use their hour of daily computer time until it is all complete.


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Posted: 10/4/2012 10:00:16 AM
We have to have routine in terms of homework. I work from home and 3x a week I am working until 7:30pm. My boys are in 2nd and 4th grade and we get home from school around 2:45. They have a small snack and get their things out to start their homework. They usually start around 3:30pm.

I help both as needed and I check for completion of the homework but not checking to see if each thing is right. They both have to read daily and they do this around my work schedule when I'm not on a call. 15-20 of reading is easily doable.

They are usually done with homework within an hour. My 2nd grader has daily homework. My 4th grader has a packet due every Monday, but we try to have it done by Friday.


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Posted: 10/4/2012 10:14:28 AM
Maybe adjust things a bit -

We do snack/homework after school while I do dinner just as you do - we have dinner, but then right after dinner I check homework and they do baths - then they have downtime before bed - sometimes if dinner is still cooking I am able to check homework and all that then. If they are sitting there having a snack it's not as if they are going to starve if we wait an extra 20 minutes for that.

Maybe adjusting same? Finish that homework before dinner or right after dinner and they go off to do baths - it will be a mental as well as physical relaxation to be "done" with that and then they can unwind after their bath and have their downtime. I really like the idea of finishing one thing before starting another.

My DD is also ADHD so I totally understand. Routine is important as well as downtime. But focusing is also totally important for her, and starting something that we don't come around to finishing until later is very counterproductive for her. We typically start and then have to focus on finishing that task before we move on to another, it helps her as well as us in trying to ingrain that into her thought process.





Darcy_Collins
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Posted: 10/4/2012 10:53:22 AM
All my kids' teachers have been adament about NOT correcting homework. I also find that my son in particular really needs some active time before jumping into homework.

hmblthrp
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Posted: 10/4/2012 11:06:24 AM
How did I miss the part about ADHD? (Guess I was too tired while reading!)

One item that has helped me enormously in the past is a plain old kitchen timer. It kind of puts the "blame" on the timer rather than Mom... "OK, the timer rang, so it's time to turn off the TV and start HW."

With your kids still being so young, and some attention issues thrown in there, you might adjust their work time. 15-20 minutes is really a pretty decent amount of time for a young kid to sit and work... So you could use the timer to schedule small breaks (to stretch, grab a drink of water, etc.). Then they're not looking at a longggg amount of work or time that might seem overwhelming. I even used to add in silly things like, "Work on that math sheet until the timer goes off, and then we'll all pet the dog for 5 minutes." (or try to make the baby laugh, or do 5 jumping jacks, or see who can make the funniest face, or whatever.)

hmblthrp
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Posted: 10/4/2012 11:08:20 AM
Do you drive them to and from school?

We use our car time to do a bit more AR reading, or quiz each other on spelling or vocab.

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Posted: 10/4/2012 1:37:01 PM
I let my 14 year old watch "The Walking Dead" while she did her French and Math last night. I'm probably a bad mother.



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hmblthrp
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Posted: 10/5/2012 8:09:13 AM
Ooooooh, can't believe I made it onto the smack blog by saying my kids go to a college-prep school!

Make fun of me if you want to... but I want them to have every opportunity I can afford! No, we're not rich. I got some money when my parents died, and I think they would have liked me to use it for education instead of fancy cars or designer purses.

OP, hope you're getting a good handle on the HW situation. Hang in there! It will get easier with time.

Keely~B
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Posted: 10/5/2012 9:57:33 AM

Ooooooh, can't believe I made it onto the smack blog by saying my kids go to a college-prep school!

Make fun of me if you want to... but I want them to have every opportunity I can afford! No, we're not rich. I got some money when my parents died, and I think they would have liked me to use it for education instead of fancy cars or designer purses.


Why the need to assume that if you don't send your kids to such schools it's about a preference for purses and fancy cars. That's pretty crappy of you. There are a lot of well educated people that weren't prepped for college in elementary school, it doesn't mean their parents didn't care.

hmblthrp
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Posted: 10/5/2012 1:12:50 PM
Well gosh thanks, "Keely-B", for brightening up my day! Do you feel better now that you called me "pretty crappy"?

Not sure what your beef is, but I didn't say that "their parents didn't care". and as far as fancy cars and purses, I just meant that they're not what *I* choose to spend my money on. sheesh!

guzismom
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Posted: 10/5/2012 1:46:49 PM
The only involvement I've ever had in my children's school work is to make sure they had adequate time to complete it. My oldest DD's first grade teacher actually warned us AGAINST reviewing/correcting homework. She said knowing where the kids were "getting it" and where they weren't was an important part of the learning process. Bring perfect work to school sends the teacher the message that the kids "got" it, when in fact they may not have.



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Keely~B
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Posted: 10/5/2012 1:57:37 PM

Well gosh thanks, "Keely-B", for brightening up my day! Do you feel better now that you called me "pretty crappy"?

Not sure what your beef is, but I didn't say that "their parents didn't care". and as far as fancy cars and purses, I just meant that they're not what *I* choose to spend my money on. sheesh!


I shouldn't have called you crappy, I do apologize for that. Your response with the fancy cars and purses rubbed me the wrong way, I mean there are other reasons for not choosing that route for your kids that have nothing to do with spending money. I thought it was snarky but I shouldn't have replied in kind.
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