Welcome to another entry in The Great Homeschool Public School Experiment series! Today, we’re all about the word school-aged kids dread: HOMEWORK.
The very concept of homework was somewhat alien to our kids. They knew kids who had homework, but the experience of doing it was a novel one. I mean, when you’re homeschooling, all of your work is homework by default, right? And, even when I did assign independent work, it was still done during school hours. So – the notion of coming home from a full day of school and still having work to do was something new for them.
I think we got to day 3 or 4 of public school before someone said the sentence “I hate homework!” Day 3 or 4. So it was clear we’d have to make a few changes to help them adjust. Here’s a bit about how we helped our kids to start dealing with homework.
Image: fcscafeine / Dollar Photo Club
The Amount of Homework Kids Have
I honestly had no idea how much homework kids in public school were doing on a weekly basis. As homeschoolers, we were blissfully ignorant of the trend toward lengthier assignments. Roo, who’s in kindergarten, has math and reading homework four days a week. This wasn’t a shock to me, because I’d heard of kindergarten homework from other parents, but it was still a difficult transition, especially at first.
Pooh has homework in two to three subjects each day. But he has been extremely diligent about completing it each afternoon. He forgot his homework assignment sheet at school one day last week and I thought he was about to hyperventilate. His teacher emailed it to us (another new thing that didn’t happen when I was in school) and he was fine. 🙂
Tigger, though, has been a different story. She has quite a bit of homework to complete everyday. She’s in fourth grade, which means that she has higher standards to meet (naturally) but she is also required to complete a certain amount of reading each afternoon. Generally, she finishes her homework just in time to help with dinner. Since she has ADHD, it’s a little harder for her to maintain the focus needed to complete everything in a timely manner.
How We Cope with Homework
The biggest thing that’s helped our kids cope with homework is having them get started on it as soon as humanly possible. Since they’re usually hungry, they have a quick snack when they come in the door so they can recharge and talk about their days. Then it’s homework time.
Roo and Pooh have the luxury of receiving the entire week’s worth of homework at a time, so we encourage them to do more than one day’s assignment. That way, they have very little to do on Thursday, which is a meeting night for us.
Tigger only receives one day’s worth of homework at a time, so she can’t really plan ahead like that. However, the school issues agendas for the kids, in which they’re supposed to write down their assignments each day and check them off as they complete them. I LOVE THAT. It’s great practice for high school and college work, and it teaches them to keep track of their own assignments. That will definitely come in handy once we resume homeschooling, right? 🙂
If you have kids in public school, how do you help them deal with homework? Share any tips or suggestions you have in the comments!
This post is part of the series “The Great Homeschool Public School Experiment“! Read about our other adventures in trying public school for the first time!