Wednesday, May 16, 2012

{How We} Organising Homework Time

Like most mums, I dread homework time.  At least one of ours consistently protests and tears are a frequent visitor.

I try to make homework time as peaceful as I can.  Have activities for the little ones and other FUN educational activities for the big ones when they are just being stubborn.

I don't fight it.

Most of the time.

This is the kids computer.  In the kitchen area.  In full view.  You can see our green homework caddy on the top.  The grey box on the side is where the homework folders live.  The routine is that the kids hang up their bags {see our School Launch Pad}, take off their shoes, put their lunch boxes in the kitchen and their homework folders in this box.  Our school finishes at 2.30pm and we usually do homework between 3.30-4.30pm.  This gives the Five Little Reasons time to have some afternoon tea and chat to me about their day.

We all sit together to do homework.  We have a big box of "homework" activities.  These are generally for the little ones, however if a child gets stuck or upset about a homework task, they are permitted to spend 5 minutes on a "homework box" activity.  They also have the option of doing some of their online homework before coming back to have another go and their homework task.

This is our homework caddy.  Everything they need is in here.  Sissors, glue, pencils, crayons, coloured pencils, sharpeners.  Gone are the days of them using "But I can't find..." as a stalling tactic.

This set was about $15 from Ikea, and is actually made for pot plants.

Some of our favourite "homework" activities include:

Balancing Game, Number Blocks and Link-its

Threading & Fishing Game

Peg boards are a wonderful way to encourage fine motor skills, 
along with counting and colour recognition.

Hammer Boards

I think that Homework is important, however if it turns into a fighting, horrible experience, then it just isn't worth it.  Find a fun way to do homework.  Make it a game.  Sometimes I tell Hayden that he is an agent from the HTA (Homework Terrorist Association) and that there is a threat to our national security.  They are going to set a weapon of mass distraction and he must stop them by solving the problem.  I break each task down and each task is a mission.

His reward at the end is to tell the story back to me  - reading the tasks he had to complete to disable the bombs!

Sometimes this works... sometimes it doesn't.

The key is to pick your battles.

Is homework a chore in your house?  How do you "do" homework?

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  1. I just found you today and already I love you. I'm bookmarking this post, pinning the amazing caddy pictures (It will link back to you of course!) and sharing this with all my fellow mummy's whose little cherub's DO get homework and the obligatory tears and tantrums that come with it. Thank you!

  2. such fabulous and fantastic ideas here I hope I remember them when we are at the homework stage. Thanks for sharing.
    Everyday Happenings x

  3. Gosh you are a good mum Dan. I wish I was as organised and thoughtful as you are. This is wonderful.

  4. As the Harvey Circus is new to the Homework Hour (as i have decided to call it - it replaced the Witching Hour!!) we need some tactics... I think we can use some of your ideas to combat the fighting and annoying and general dislike for more work when school has already taken up valuable play time, apparently...!! ;-)

  5. I love this. At the moment we only have one doing homework so it's not too bad. Next year will be a different story.
    I love processes, I love your processes. lol.

  6. Dan, I christen you the Homework Whisperer. Your homework routine is awesome! I love how everyone sits and does something, even if they are not at school yet - it is certainly setting up great habits for later years. I also LOVE the activities in the middle of the table. Not everyone is a traditional learner, some people are kinesthetic so they need to have their hands busy so their heads can work.

  7. I love this! I just wrote about our routine this morning, before seeing yours! We also have everyone doing homework at the same time (otherwise our big person will just be distracted) but I think I might borrow your idea of the homework caddy. We also need to move our computer to a more centralised place, as that is where the majority our 12 yr old's homework is completed.


I am a Mama of Five. A wife to one. I believe in documenting life using stories. I love telling you mine and would love to hear yours.

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