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Homework...

A month has passed since school began and that means our children are bringing home homework and project assignments. For some lucky parents, their children are naturally organized and seem to be able to, from grade one, manage their own deadlines and pace their work so that those parents very rarely ever need to get involved in the daily homework routine. But for other parents, our children need a little extra help staying organized and on top of assignment deadlines.

There are the usual tips - making sure your child has a quiet place to do homework and having a supplies they will need readily on hand. We do have a rectangular lidded basket homework box and I highly recommend having this in your home too. It can save much time "looking for an eraser or a protractor". Over the last few years, we even discovered a few timesavers not listed in the usual lists I've seen elsewhere for a homework box. Our homework box has (in smaller separate containers);

  • red and blue pens, whiteout
  • pencil crayons and markers
  • rulers, protractors and a geometry set
  • pencils, erasers and an electric pencil sharpener (this was a GOOD DECISION - no more spending 20 minutes each night sharpening pencils by hand)
  • an english dictionary, a french-english dictionary, a student atlas
  • extra lined paper, graph paper and blank paper
  • scissors, tape, glue sticks and white glue
  • a single-hole punch AND a 3-hole punch (for worksheets that need to go into duotangs but don't have the holes punched in)
  • stapler and paper clips

For helping the children stay organized, in addition to their school planners they each have a bulletin board at home with their own calendar on it. Because the school planners only show one week at a time, we discovered fairly quickly that they would forget something that was due in a few weeks because it wasn't showing on the current week in their planner. They have learned to come home and write all projects on that calendar as well as other commitments (such as basketball and choir practices). Then they can visually see how much time they have to work on something and plan their work to avoid the last minute scramble.

For the child that had the desk filled with loose papers of partially completed work that never came home, we bought a plastic folder (like those large manila envelopes) at an office supply store for $2. Now the envelope stays in her knapsack and every day she puts all those loose papers and handouts into it and then organizes them at home. No more incomplete work or school newsletters 3 months late!

I discovered many of these ideas from books at the library.

Some of them are;

Seven Steps to Homework Success: a family guide for solving common homework problems
Sidney Zentall

 

The Homework Handbook: practical advice you can use tonight to help your child succeed tomorrow
Harriet Cholden

 

Here's a list of more books for helping your children manage their homework and develop study skills. There's even a book that's geared for children about staying organized.

Annie's Plan
Jeanne Kraus

Beacock Branch Library is currently hosting a series of programs administered by LUSO called Parents as Partners in Education. The entire series of topics are here. One of the topics is on homework. The full description is below.

Parents as Partners in Education - Helping with Homework

6:30 pm - 8 pm, Tuesday November 6
Join parents just like you who want to help their elementary school aged children with their schooling. These workshops will give you the chance to learn more about the school system share your own experiences and chat with other caring parents/guardians. Childminding is provided.Examine the role parents play in setting the stage for children to successfully complete their homework. Learn about being an effective homework coach and how to help children with problem solving and planning.
To register, contact LUSO Community Services at 519-452-1466 or literacy@lusocentre.org. Cost: Free.

We do, of course have many books to help your children with their projects and our fabulous children's homework help section has websites chosen to align with the school curriculum.

The good news is that, with the right guidance, children who struggle with organization can be taught techniques that they will benefit from during their school and adult lives. It can be tough going but it's worth it because the day will come when they adopt these strategies and take full responsibility for them. That's a GREAT day!

If you have any ideas for helping kids manage homework or websites or books you would recommend, please post your comments here.