I survived the first week of school. I got my kindergartner on the bus while holding my emotions together (until the bus pulled away of course) and anxiously awaited his safe return each day.
My son had a fantastic introduction to school—from the bus, to the lunchroom, meeting his classmates and teacher, to recess—he loved it all. But it was a big adjustment after our relatively laid-back summer schedule. In fact, he cracked me up when he got off of the school bus Friday, by stating, “I’m glad it’s Labor Day weekend, I really need a holiday.”
But now that big, unofficial end of summer, holiday weekend has passed. It’s time to get into routines. Homework, projects, sports and other activities need to be juggled. And believe it or not, your kids like patterns. They like schedules, and actually thrive when their days are predictable.
For my son, I know after returning from a long day in the classroom, he needs some time to unwind and relax before he can jump into homework. So after he gets off the bus, he has a snack, rests or plays for a bit. Only then could he have success with homework. Then he eats dinner, has some time to play, finally showers and goes to bed.
Fortunately at his age, his soccer and extracurricular activities are confined to the weekends. And given how exhausted he was after a full week at school, I’m glad I haven’t overbooked his social calendar just yet.
When your child does settle in to do his homework, it’s important to create a proper environment. They should do homework in a similar way they do classroom work, in a quiet, well-lit room, and at a desk or table. It’s also important that the child isn’t too hungry or tired because that causes the child to be frustrated more easily. The surroundings are critical to homework without tears.
There are also plenty of resources available to assist you and your child with homework. Between the library and the online resources mentioned in my article last year, it’s important to know what services are readily available to your child to make sure projects and homework are stress free.
It’s important to get the school year off to a good start. Establishing patterns and expectations now, will keep you kids on track for the whole school year.
Tell us what your child's daily routine is like. Do your kids jump right into homework when they get home or do they need some time to relax?