The start of the school year also means the start of homework once again. My kids do their homework at the dining room table so in a corner of my dining room I keep a basket full of school supplies which they will need in order to complete their homework. There’s a plastic in-basket sitting on my kitchen counter near the back door so the kids can bring in any papers from school and put them in this basket. When the kids sit down to do their homework I sit down at the table with them to make sure they’re doing it, help them if they need it, and to go through the in-basket and sign the papers as well as to discuss any assignments or tests with the kids.
Some of the items that I put into their homework basket include loose leaf paper, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, rulers, crayons, colored pencils, glue, scissors, dictionary, calculator, red pens/pencils, highlighters, bookmarks, and a special treat they can eat after they finish their homework.
I have found that by having the supplies together in one place, having a place for them to deposit their papers, and by sitting down at the table with them when they do their homework they are more likely to actually complete the work that is sent home with them. When I don’t take the time to sit down with them they usually don’t do all their homework then I hear about it from their teachers!
I also make sure that I have a handy, nutritious snack prepared for them to eat before they start doing their homework. The kids know that as soon as they get in the door they are to drop off their papers into the in-box, take their backpacks to the dining room, change their clothes, pick up their snack, and then they have some time to chill out with me in the living room to talk about their day. After we’ve had some cool down time we get right into our homework routine.
I learned the hard way that it’s a good idea to start considering the inevitable start of homework.