One thing that comes along with our kiddos going back to school is homework. I thought I was done with homework when I graduated college, but girl was I wrong. Once my oldest started PreK, it felt like I was back in school myself. With younger kids there is very little they can do all by themselves. So their homework and projects become your homework and project as well. Sometimes the amount of homework can be overwhelming and stressful not just for our kids, but for us as well. So in order for us all to the start this school year on the right foot, there are two things that I have found that have helped to make homework time less stressful for everyone.
Make Homework Time A Part of Your Routine
For our kids to successfully complete their homework, they need time, space, and necessary supplies. Since we all have probably been working on our routines and schedules since the summer is finally over, adding homework time to your routine is an important first step. Between our own busy schedules and all of our kids’ activities, it’s easy for us to forget things and for things not to get done. So that is why it is important to set aside time in our schedules to make sure our kids are getting the time they need to get their homework done. Along with adding homework time to our schedules, we have to also be realistic about our schedules.
We have to accept that there is only so much time in the day and that everyday everything may not get done. For example, on Mondays all of my girls have swimming lessons after school. So by the time they get home, we go to swimming, and then get back home, it’s time for dinner. So we started having a no homework day during the week. Having a designated ‘No Homework‘ day during the week may help take some of the pressure off of our already overloaded schedules. It allows us to see what other days we may need to spend a little more time on homework to make sure they get it all done. As far as supplies are concerned, this is where a homework basket comes in.
Creating the homework basket was a total game changer for my girls. I started to notice that we were spending half of our homework time looking for supplies. Whether it was a pencil, scissors, markers or the homework itself, they never seemed to have or could find all the supplies they needed. After a while, I knew I needed to create something that could contain all the homework supplies they regularly used. It also needed to be portable and easy to carry. So the next day while my girls were at school, I went to one of my favorite stores, Dollar Tree. I wanted to see if they had anything that would fit my needs and they did.
Creating your own homework basket is easy and fun. All you need is basket or caddy and a set of supplies that is for homework use only. For example, since my girls are so young their supplies are pretty simple. In our homework basket we have: pencils, large erasers, crayons, colored pencils, markers, scissors, and glue sticks. I also have a folder for each child that contains their homework until it’s completed. That way it does not get lost or messed up.
I know that as my girls grow and their homework becomes more complicated, the supplies they need will also change. However, even with the changes that I know are ahead of me or the ones that you are now facing, we can all face them in a more strategic and less stressful way. We can do this by setting up a routine for our kids that helps them to successfully complete their homework, with the time, space, and supplies they need. We create an environment that will make homework time less stressful and a routine that benefits the entire family.
I’d love to hear about how you make homework time less stressful
and all about what you plan to put in your homework basket in the comments!