Homework Routines



It seems strange to be talking about school in the middle of August but here we are. Luke just started first grade which means homework will now be part of our routine.  And that's just the problem. We don't even have a homework routine. We've always made reading a part of bedtime but our afternoons are usually spent playing Star Wars outside or building pretty rad Lego creations.

When the teacher asked us to describe Luke's homework routine, I knew I really needed to think about how we were going fit it into our schedule. Obviously, being a first grader, his homework is minimal but I agree that this is the time to start building good study habits. Last spring, we bought this Ikea desk and chair for Luke's room and so far, he seems to enjoy working at a desk with a quiet background and minimal distractions. For the most part I've been allowing him some time to decompress for an hour after school and then suggest we tackle the homework. It seems to working so far.

What is your homework routine? I'd love to know when and how you fit it in while also allowing them freedom to just play or even participate in sports and such. Advice welcomed and appreciated!

*image via Milk Magazine

5 comments:

  1. I have a rising third grader and a first grader - both boys. So, homework has been part of the routine for the last couple yeas. However, at those grades it typically is not too too time consuming. But it eats into playtime and beibg a kid nonetheless. I give my kids some downtime/decompression time rihht after school of about 20-30 minutes. Then homework, then play, sports, whatever. Reading is still after dinner and before bed. Our rule is homework comes first. But, i also recognize some days I have to blow the routine just to give my kids a break. School days are long enough and boys/kids need to break free and release their pent up energy, etc. I am probably fairly middle of the road in structure and free form because it is what works for us. I also know i have to be willing to adapt and change if somthing isnt working or someone isnt learning. So, this years routine may be slightly different - we still have a couple more weeks before we start.. Hope this little bit of info helps. Go

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    1. Yes, it's actually very helpful. I really like your flexibility and think I tend to lean that way too. Some days the boys just need to run, play and release their energy! Thanks Melissa and hope y'all have a great school year.

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  2. Amy, I think your homework routine sounds great!! I know some families like to go ahead and get homework done so it's not hanging over them, but in our experience, kids of all ages (but especially elementary kids) need a break after sitting in desks and being on best behavior all day. An hour or so to have some physical activity and/or creative pursuits, plus a healthy snack, go a long way to being able to focus on school work later.

    The desk sounds like a neat idea, too. But don't be surprised if this changes and evolves over the years. My kids have had varied homework "spots" from desks in their room, sitting on the floor at the top of the stairs(!), on a bed with a lap desk, on the living room sofa, in the basement, outside on the lawn, and one of their faves - the kitchen table. Wherever they are comfortable and are able to focus will work.

    Good luck with the first grade year and have fun! It'll be his senior year before you know it :)

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    1. Good advice Meg! I was reading a book about "boys" and it did mention that their ideal work space may be different than what we as parents envision for them. For example some may like to work with soft music in the background while others prefer quiet. Some may like a desk and others prefer laying on the floor spread out. I'm trying to let Luke tell me where he's most comfortable and so far he likes his desk! (Which, of course, is just like Daniel!) Can't even imagine how quickly time is gonna fly.

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  3. Yes! Same here! We are in week two and still working out the kinks of a new afternoon/after school for "routine" for my new kindergartner. which includes how to entertain her little brother while we work on school projects. i think routines have worked well for the kiddos feeling confident and knowing what to expect, and keeping me sane:-) keep up the good work mommy!

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