A good homework routine – Stage 3: implement without exception

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Habit and persistency will create independent learners
Consistency and focus is key in establishing a great homework routine

Ok, so you had the talk. They made a fuzz about it and you carried it on. The first few days were a bit difficult, they didn’t finish. You might be even thinking they’ll never do it. You start giving them more time, sitting down with them, answering questions as and when they want…. you see where I am getting to.

Here is what you will face and some suggested replies or considerations:

– It’s not enough time. Well, it is if they focus on the work and their teacher will know that it is. They’d do a lot more work in school on that same time
– We haven’t learnt this. Really? I doubt it but in any case, leave it blank and tell the teacher tomorrow.
– It’s too difficult. Sure, maybe it is. think if this is one of the questions you want to ask me at the end. Also, talk to the teacher tomorrow and ask her/him to explain it to you again
– Can I ask you a question?. This will happen every minute in the first few days. The answer is always the same: yes, you have a few minutes at the end to ask me.
– I need your help on this one. Apart form spelling it is rare that they’ll really need your help
– Can you write a note to miss? Avoid this like the plague. It is the oldest trick in the book to pass on the responsibility to you. If you have any concern, talk to their teacher behind your children’s back, but ensure they feel responsible for their acts at all time.
– I left my diary/homework in the school. They will have to tell their teacher tomorrow. Do not argue or get upset. It is their responsibility to bring their books back.
– Why do you just tell me which answer is wrong. This is part of taking ownership and pride on their work. It is also fundamental for them to learn to review their own work.

I know it sounds strict, but it is very important to ensure the first few weeks are carried out fully. Once the routine is established you’ll be able to flex it and improve it without breaking it.

It is also very important that you communicate with the teacher. Let them know what you are doing, ask for their help in checking their homework, giving the stickers or asking them to work a bit harder. It is important the children don’t feel afraid of their work the next day and they are recognised for their work, even if not completed or perfect.

If they have a play day at home, ensure their friend also does the homework with them. If they’ve been away, make sure next day you go back to the routine.

Part of the routine is to ensure they see the pay back and this is play time. When they finish the homework, ensure they chose what to do and enjoy their time.