Homework: The Struggle is Real

It’s October, kids are finally settled into school… and now the ‘H’ word is introduced. Homework!
Typically we get home from school and activities at 5 pm. Understandably, the kids are hungry — it’s time to get dinner ready AND get started on homework. Luckily, out of three kids, only my second grader has homework. I feel like this shouldn’t be so bad, right? But it is always a gamble.

Homework Plan & Distractions

First, I try to set the tone for homework time by getting my oldest in a quiet place.  The start of homework is smooth, but then she needs help with a math worksheet. We start to work on it together but I don’t always understand it either!  (Wine comes in handy for me about now!)
At this point, I pause homework and dinner to find a solution to the math problem online. My daughter begins to stall too –bathroom breaks, pencil sharpening, eating dinner, playing with toys, more bathroom breaks, bothering her sisters, refilling her drink, you name it. The only reassuring thing in all of this is it will be done soon. I feel comforted when a text comes in from another Mom is the class. She clearly is feeling the same way as me!
We make it through the math homework in one piece. Now on to spelling. Fingers crossed this goes smoothly.
At this point, the two younger kids are clamoring for attention and the oldest is starting to get frustrated with the additional work. It is hard to keep everyone entertained, cook dinner, and make homework enjoyable.  I will do better tomorrow…

Hope for Homework Tomorrow

The next evening I know we can do better!  So, I put the little ones in one room with dinner and their ‘homework’ aka ‘coloring and letters’ and get my older daughter settled. I pour my wine early, knowing it will come in handy for me.  I encourage my daughter to take breaks from her homework, do a little dance here and there, and enjoy her dinner. This was such a better outcome than the night before. We got the homework finished with so much less stress and frustration.  No, not all nights will be like that one, but it was a small victory of finishing homework and keeping everyone happy!
Parents, you may have thought homework was something in your past, but now it will be a nightly routine again. It makes sense to think about how to turn this homework routine into something rewarding and even fun for the little ones. It really is our job to encourage them to engage in their schoolwork positively. 

Advice to Help with Homework:

  • Try to make homework fun!
  • Have dinner or snacks on hand
  • Play good music if that helps them focus
  • Be sure to take a break if needed
  • (Have a good beverage handy for you!)

Please comment below with how you make homework more enjoyable, manageable, and fun!