Garanimals Blog

September 12th, 2011 at 5:00 am

The Dreaded Homework

Well, its happened…..

My oldest son, Ian, started first grade this year and the homework has begun. Last year for Kindergarten Ian got  homework, but it was usually just a little worksheet. It maybe took 5 minutes on a bad day. First grade is a whole different story.

Last week one of the double sided worksheets we got took a WHOLE hour. I guess when I mentally got myself ready for this year I didn’t anticipate that kind of homework and it has really thrown me for a loop. I don’t want to spend my afternoon nagging and fighting about homework so I decided I needed a plan.

I learned last year that Ian comes home from school tired and hungry. So, every afternoon once we get home he gets to have a snack and some tv time to rewind. During this time I look over his folder with homework and completed papers. Once he recharges, his attitude changes and life is easier, plus now I can help him better.

We also have a special spot for homework. We use the kitchen counter since I need to help him with a lot of it but I also need to work on getting supper made. I made a special pencil box that keeps all the tools he needs: pencils, crayons, and a big eraser. This way we have everything that is needed without having to leave our homework area. I also have a small lined dry erase board and marker that I use to help show him how to write words and letters with.

Don’t think that this works perfectly. One day Ian insisted he knew the worksheet directions better than I did. He insisted the right color was red, not green. So, I let him do it. He colored one red and then I corrected him and he insisted he could erase crayon. He found out you can’t. I decided that this fight was not worth it, so I let him mess up a couple of the problems.

I struggle with that. 

I don’t want him to get things wrong. But I once read that when it comes to proofing a homework assignment, less is definitely better. So, I only check a few answers so I know that he knows what he is doing, but I don’t go over the entire page. The point of homework is for Ian’s teacher to see if he knows what he is doing, and if I correct everything she won’t adequately see that. So, we sometimes get papers sent home with red marks.

This is the key part though. I don’t just throw those papers aside. We spend a little bit of our homework time looking at the last night’s homework and talking about what he may have done wrong. This is how he learns from his mistakes. We all make mistakes, right? I try to think this is a small lesson in correcting mistakes.

Overall, I think that routine is the key. So, find what works for your family and you may have to tweak things for each child. Do you have any homework tips?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.


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