Monday, September 19, 2016

10 Homework Tips for Parents of Multiple Children

In my classroom, students work on math problems, reading, spelling, and memory each night. Students learn to accomplish goals, to meet deadlines, and to develop a work ethic. These skills are a valuable asset as they head off to college and into the workforce. My students follow a ten-minute per grade level guideline for homework. For parents of multiples, this can be a challenging task to complete with soccer games, music lessons, dinner, and bedtimes.
I put together this list to help some of my families with multiple children make the homework routine a little easier.
  1. Prepare snacks before homework time. You'll save on minutes spent cutting fruit or serving crackers if it is ready to go.
  2. Create activities for younger children. Busy boxes, coloring sheets, or even a little TV time can help make it through the 10 minutes you need to spend going over problems.
  3.  Minimize distractions with classical music playing in headphones and a separate area for each child.
  4. Create a schedule. Find 4-6 activities for toddlers and preschoolers to play with or work on during study time. Work with older children first and allow them to work independently when the attention span of younger children gets short. Finish up when younger children are in bed.
  5. Help students develop a pace for homework. Projects should be completed with great attention to detail. Math sheets are simply practice. It is a skill to complete greater quantities of work within a short time frame.
  6. Take breaks. Forty minutes of homework for a nine-year-old develops good study habits, but it is a long time to sit. Graduate students learn to work with five-minute breaks ever hour. Give your child a five-minute break in between each subject to help them focus better.
  7. Talk to your child's teacher. I am flexible about how and when study skills are developed. Families have busy schedules and a need for time together outside of work and school.
  8. Scaffold their work. Provide outlines for writing assignments, guide their math work by asking questions they know to learn new ones. Stuck on division? Run through the multiplication facts. Having trouble remembering steps? Write a sample of each step as a guide to help them as they work through problems.
  9. Use technology. YouTube, the Khan Academy, Spelling City, and books on tape can be helpful tools for you and your child.
  10.  Study on the go. Practice facts while cooking dinner. Work on memory in the car. Review spelling words over breakfast.
I hope these tips benefit your child's valuable time practicing skills at home!