Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Troubleshooting-Homework


First of all, THANKS so much for your help with this post.  Many of you took time out of your day to vote in the polls and I really appreciate it.

This is a new series I hope to bring you periodically when I'm chatting about ways I handle things.  And more importantly some things that aren't all that glamorous.  ;)

Today, we're troubleshooting HOMEWORK.

*I must give you a disclaimer....my intention with the polls yesterday was never to have this big bash homework party or start a petition to get more homework for every child in school.  I really was just hoping to get others' feedback.*

This series is about how I handle things...not necessarily my deep, dark thoughts about all the things.  :)  So I really don't want to get into a passionate debate about how much or how little homework is the perfect amount.  My hope is simply that hearing how we do this task in our house might help you OR maybe you'll share something that will help us as well.

At our school, my kiddos usually get a packet on Monday that's due Friday.  They can do it however they'd like as long as it's finished and turned in on Friday.   In the fall, {when our school "A" game is still going strong} we try to do as much as we can early on in the week.  This is usually dependent on practices and games but we set aside time when we can to complete the homework packet.  

It works THE best for us if the second we come in from school, they sit down at the kitchen table to do their homework.  They typically grab a snack while they're working and we knock it out as quickly as possible before they're off to play.  I don't want you to think it's nice and quiet, at this moment.  No, everyone's trying to tell me about school at the exact same moment.  I'm helping with homework and it's loud!  {Just want your mental image to be on point.}

I will tell you Nixon's class has offered rewards like "buying a no homework pass" with points they've earned for good choices/behavior.  He LOVES using his points for no homework.  Also in his class {due to lots of new teachers/expectations}, the teachers have been super laid back when it comes to homework. 

Now that it's May, I'd be lying if I said that the packets are all finished by Wednesday.  NOT true!  My kiddos are typically finishing right before bedtime on Thursday night.  We can smell summer around here.  haha!  #reallife  

There's really no big secret or special way we do it, but IF you're reading and you have a special way to do homework that you'd love to share with us...please do!

When I ordered my groceries this week at my grocery store the "Most Popular Items" were ALL the big bags of individual chips.  I laughed out loud because apparently all of us moms have hit our wall and we just want to throw some chip bags in the lunch boxes and call it a day.  :)  No one's on their "A" game like we all are in the fall.

According to those of you who took the poll yesterday, you guys are almost evenly split on being fans of homework or preferring your kiddos didn't have any.  And almost 70% of your kiddos do receive homework, while the rest do not.  Thought that was all interesting!  I did get lots of messages about how it was hard to answer the question because the grade your kiddo is in can really affect how much homework they should have and I couldn't agree more.  I was just trying to get a couple quick answers to some homework questions.

Those of you who messaged me had some AMAZING points...how homework is graded, time management in class, responsibility being taught, and family time as a homework replacement were just to name a few.  Again, thank you for answering the poll!

And remember if you have ANY tips or tricks when it comes to homework, please share!  My thoughts are kind of like the Nike slogan and my take on laundry...just do it.  :)

XO

17 comments:

Mix and Match Mama said...

I'm going to have to come back and read all of the tips and tricks!! We could always use some more!!

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

I think homework is super important, but I do agree that it needs to be easily manageable based on the grade level. Carter also gets a packet (very manageable) that he has to turn in at the end of every week. I like seeing what he's working on (and what he's struggling with). I do hear horror stories of young kids having wayyyyyy too much homework, but we've been super lucky with that!

Amy Heinl said...

I always made my son do his hiomeworm after school...but I was really ad that the school district we were attending required teachers to save the last 10 min of every class so the teachers could HP the students ts right then and there if there were questions. Most teachers were really good so that the homework could be fine I she'd in that 10 to 15 min period so what be actuly had to BRI g home was.minimal. I was so glad he was t stuck with hours of ho.ework to do once he got home. He really needed that time to decompress. Great topic

Eileen said...

I agree - we do HW as soon as the kids get home and just get it done. There are always exceptions for practices, etc. I'm super lucky that my kids don't require much help with HW, nor do they fight it. I'm pretty relaxed about their reading logs. I don't care when they read, as long as they read. On a really busy week, we'll write down what they plan to read and then I have them make it up on the weekend. Or, on Thursday night, my first grader would rather sit and read 8 picture books rather than 2 each night. They're reading, which makes me happy, so I don't get crazy about it. If my 4th grader would rather read for 2 hours on a Sunday, I'm happy to split that up into half hour increments for her reading log for the week. I try not to get stressed or make a big deal over HW, which I think has carried over to the kids. They just kind of do it and move on. The schools by me have implemented "Family Connect Night" once a month where no HW is given so families can spend time together. It's fantastic! We try to be intentional on those nights - go to the park, watch a movie together, have a family game night, etc.

Tish Ferry said...

Just do it! I like it!! :) This is our motto too! We eat a snack and get er done so we can play and do all the fun things! Simply Tish

Elaine Welte said...

Our girls school is limited to no more than 20 minutes a night. In kindergarten it was sight word practice. I’m 1st grade, it’s spelling and reading. My 4th graded only has spelling and vocabulary review. Since I work where my kids go to school, they come to my room at the end of the day. The first thing they do is homework. We practice spelling together and if they have anything else (which they usually don’t) it gets done right then and there. That way, it’s one less thing to worry about when we do get home and little sister isn’t distracting them. There are so many studies that show homework isn’t necessarily a “good” thing. But reading each night is SO important!!

Laura Fuller said...

HATE all the homework! Our school gives way too much. I have many times written a note that we worked on it xx minutes and are still not done and sign my name! Or, my child didn't understand in class and I do not either and sign my name... At this point, I give zero cares about it. My children are straight A students and struggle with the amount of homework our school allows.

Perfectly Port said...

All good points from the comments on Instagram. Thanks for sharing. It' inciteful to know how others feel and how they do things like homework and I am buying Lunchables at this point ;)! Bring on summer! xoxo Erin www.simplepurposefulliving.com

Elizabeth said...

As a former elementary teacher I feel very strongly for the need for homework. I also, COMPLETELY agree with everyone’s statement/comment that the amount of homework should depend on the grade level. I always have about 30 minutes of homework (1st grade) about halfway through the year I had a mom come to me so angry because of the amount of work I was sending home saying her son was spending THREE hours a night sling it’s. Turns out he wasn’t given the best working conditions for it or the best time for him to complete it. My advice is figure out when your kids will be most productive- what I gathered while teaching was it was right after school after a snack and a few (10) minutes to unwind. Have a consistent/quiet place to complete it (it was always the kitchen table at our house). As a teacher I don’t think it is realistic to say kids shouldn’t have homework. The younger grade teachers use to instill an after school work ethic for years to come and to re-enforce what was taught that day. I will say I never graded homework for accuracy only completion. If the teacher isn’t there (especially for the little ones) to answer questions or explain something it’s not fair to hold that against them.

Narci said...

What a great topic!! We also do our homework right when we get home!! Can't wait to read more tips and tricks in the comments!

Katie S said...

Our school decided on the "no homework policy" this year and I honestly think it has backfired. As a parent I feel clueless to what my child is learning each week. When we did have homework, we tried to get it done in either after-care at school or in the car before we pick up sister from daycare. I feel like my son is most focused if we finish that stuff before we walk in the door at night!

Laci Murray said...

I firmly agree that it was hard for me to answer the poll 100% correctly because of my children's ages. I have a 7th grader who is very responsible and I normally only know about his homework if it's a large project due. He is very good about getting it done with extra class time because once he gets home it's play time or games. On the other hand...I have a 4th grader who would rather eat nails than do her homework. Once she checks out of school she checks OUT. Thankfully her teachers do not assign much homework but occasionally we get some. Most of her homework is simply study guides for test and reading. I personally hate when my kids have a ton of homework because we also play sports and enjoy family time-BUT I completely support teachers and what they ask we will do. Study guides are not homework-that is very important and we treat those things like a newborn baby!

Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said...

Mason's homework is pretty laid back too. They earn tickets that they can use to buy rewards and Mason will typically do anything to earn a reward. But lately, homework has been getting overlooked and Mason has said hardly anyone is doing it anymore because they all have "enough tickets". haha Matthew's homework is a little more mandatory but is only once a week so it's not so bad. I'm just starting not to understand it. ;)
That Inspired Chick

Kimberly said...

My oldest is just in Prek4, so I definitely haven't hit the lots of homework stage yet. But, this year, at the beginning of the month we get a calendar with a suggested homework each day. Every week she is supposed to do 3 of the 5 homeworks (they are typically something like find things that are purple in your house, what did you find; how many words can you think of the rhyme with hat; draw your favorite animal; walk backwards, how far did you go; read a book, who were the main characters....). If she does at least 3 every week then at the end of the month, she gets a free dress day. I told my husband that the point of this homework was 50% getting the child ready for homework and 50% getting the parents ready for homework. Sometimes we're definitely knocking three things out on Thursday night!

Robin said...

I am a retired elementary teacher. I actually wrote my masters degree paper ( first 3 chapters of a thesis) on homework. Just as the comments have shown there are as many arguments for as against. While I was researching my paper, I discovered some guidelines that I tried to adhere to as a teacher. Each grade level should have approximately 10 minutes of homework, I.e. Kindergarten- 1st grade 10-15 minutes, 2nd gr-20 min, etc. I encouraged parents to talk to me if homework was taking longer than that. Often the problem wasn't the work, but having a routine about completing it. While I was teaching, assigned homework was usually something to do with math facts. It is my feeling also that even if no other homework is assigned that kiddos should read or be read to each evening.

Amy Blosser said...

My kids are now in middle and high school but our elementary school administration was not in favor of homework due to research and studies that showed it wasn't beneficial. So mine rarely had any and if so it was limited to taking no more than 10 min. Reading with your kids, sitting down to dinner, playing outside, having your kids help you cook (read the recipe, measure, etc), play a game together seem to add value in connecting and interacting. I love the conversations those activities lead to and sometimes it brings up a question or curiosity I don't know the answer to so my child and I get online together to do our own research together.
You can't really battle the school too much unless you want to provide them with data. Lol. But I promise the pain will someday be a distant memory.

Yley Allen said...

We struggle with homework sometimes and my son is only in kindergarten! We get a packet every week- our problem is finding time to do it. Baseball practice and weekday games take up so many after school hours, and then errands, making dinner, eating,cleaning, bathtime, getting ready for bed, and doing his daily reading takes up a ton of time too. So I struggle between making him buckle down and do it, or letting him have some downtime to just play and be a kid. I think when he's older and doesn't need my help with homework so much it will be easier I hope. But for now it's hard to find the time. 3 weeks until summer break- wooohooo!
www.caligirlonthemove.com