Improving the Probability of less whining to do Homework
I didn’t realize I had routines until after they had been set. Surprisingly, I thrive on routines with my children. Morning wake up, breakfast time, school time, after school activity, dinner, shower bed. I like the schedule and although the times are set for each activity, there is flexibility which I find is key with my kids.
This year, however, a wrench has been thrown into the schedule.
Yes, homework has thrown me off my game this year, mainly because I didn’t really expect it in Kindergarten. Also, Kindergarten homework isn’t like the homework I remember, where I sat down for an hour while my mom prepared dinner. Nope. Kindergarten homework requires parent participation. It also requires listening to your 5-year-old complain he never gets any free time. Seven hours of school and another thirty minutes to an hour of after school work seems a little much, but alas, unless I want my kid to fall behind, we have to do it. This is where the conscious implementation of a homework routine has come into play.
There is never going to be a perfect "homework time" in our house, so we had to figure out the "least" worst time. Homework time options for our family were, right after school, right before dinner or immediately after dinner. None of these were ideal. We have also tried the breakfast time option, but this was not intentional and has made my son a little late for class on the odd occasion.
We have chosen the after dinner homework session and it seems to be working for us, as long as dinner does not start too late, we can finish eating, clear the table and do the required homework before showers and still have time for books in bed. Downfalls, the little guy is getting tired and has no desire to sound out words or do math problems, so it takes longer than it should. Mom or dad are tired from their day too, therefore, short on patience. Actually, the only one that is up for homework is our 3-year-old and that’s because he has been playing all day.
Even when no homework has been assigned, we try to stick to having the homework scheduled into our evening. We do RAZ Reader or get him to do some printing. Just to keep the routine established. So far, it’s working. We are all adjusting.
As with any routine, we will all become accustomed to it. The beginning is always challenging. Similar to sIeeping, healthy eating, weekly chores and daily family dinners, everything takes more effort in the beginning, until our bodies and minds have succumbed to the new habit.
Establishing any routine takes time. There is an ongoing process of setting routines up with work at Loco Bebe. The amount of time it takes to establish a routine can vary. I use the guidelines from Baby Wise the book; 3 days to establish a pattern and consistency is key. I allow some flexibility, but not before the routine is set and realize that once the routine is set, you have to maintain it. It is not just a 3-day process and then the work is done. Like homework, it’s a constant effort to maintain a routine, but hopefully making it a habit helps ease the fight to get it done.