My eldest is in Year 2 and has had homework since Year 1. I found in reception when she only had reading to do and her school days were full of play, she was so keen to work at home. Most evenings we would read, write stories or she would practice her phonics. She loved it and it was nice to have that time with her.
Then she started Year 1 and things changed. They started working more during the school day. Reading vamped up, as did comprehension work, maths and less play time.I found it increasingly hard to get my eldest to want to do her reading and homework in the evenings. It started to become a chore, stressful and there was a lot more shouting at her to get it done. Punishments, television bans and just pressure. It didn’t help that I was pregnant with her little brother and half way through the year, he appeared! We were tired, slacked off a little, got what was needed done. But only just.
But it was overwhelming sometimes; reading, spellings, homework, library books, online maths…a huge list for a 5 year old. A huge list for a pregnant Mama and then a new baby!
I decided that this year things are going to be DIFFERENT! I went to school last week to find out more about Year 2 and what she would be doing. It was going to be very similar to Year 1. Lots to remember and I could feel the overwhelm creeping in. I didn’t want it to be like last year. I didn’t want stress and shouting, even tears. I wanted homework and reading to fit in with normal life and not feel like such a chore. It was getting to the point last year, I was feeling like an awful Mum. Failing with time and my patience and I knew I wanted to stop that feeling and not let homework rule our house!
Getting Your Child to Do Their Homework
So this year I have a plan and so far it seems to be working. My eldest has been doing her homework and reading and we haven’t had too many issues with willingness. I have to say I am on maternity leave, so am picking her up straight from school and coming home with her. We don’t have the work issue yet. This will crop up later in the year, as I know many parents work and time is such a factor.
This is what I have been doing:
– Discussed reading and homework with my eldest. We talked to her about simply how it wasn’t going away and that homework and reading were part of her school life. There would be more work as she got older and we wanted her to get into a routine with it and avoid the arguments.
– Made it very clear that for privileges like television and screen time, she has to have done some of her reading. I know this is difficult for parents coming home later and its straight to bath and bedtime but possibly take this attitude for the weekend. The gremlin likes to have her tea and watch a bit of television when she comes home, so for her doing her reading or homework first, means she enjoys this even more.
– If you can get your child to do their homework before bedtime (aware if working this cannot always happen) then try to do it. With three kids I find it really hard to give my eldest the one on one time to do it quietly (she always wants to read with me!) and that becomes stressful. We get a lot of interruptions and she is often tired too. Not a good recipe for success!
– Homework either has to be done Friday night or first thing Saturday morning. Adopt the “when it’s done, it’s done attitude”. This seems to be working for us.
– Keep a visual reminder of homework and reading for yourself, so you can plan ahead. If I know a library book is coming home or homework, I can discuss with my eldest that we will be doing that first that evening and she is prepared. So far, no strops.
– Try not to get too naggy. I have said to my daughter a few times, this is plan for the night. You’re not having the television until homework/reading is done and left it. She may have messed around and played for a while upstairs but eventually has come down under her own steam and done it. This can be a good thing too as she may chill in her room for a bit and unwind.
– Use mornings. My girls are such early risers and I don’t want them sitting in front of the television all morning. My hubby has started doing the online maths with the grem little when they have time. This is great as we did NONE last year!! The grem is fresh and ready, so a little easier to convince her.
I’m not sure if these strategies will work for the long-term! We are only in week 2 but I will keep at it. It’s one of those things that will benefit her and us all as a family! Less stress and less arguments.
I’ll keep you posted and if you have any tips to get your child to do their homework, please let me know in the comments.