Education · Family Life

A Guide to Happy Homework With 3!

K: “I really should do my homework now.”

Lou: “Yes, let’s sit down quietly at the table and get on with it by ourselves”

The Boy: “I’ll put away my noisy toys and stop running around screaming, so you can concentrate.”

Ha ha, in my dreams!! I shall just step back into the real world………

Even though I only have children in primary school, the homework begins in Reception! With three of the little darlings, all at different stages of learning, it’s a real juggling act to make sure everything gets done. I have however, been working at this for a while now and though it’s been a hard slog, we are getting there! The key is consistency and creating a calm, relaxed environment as well as remembering that they are children and if they are too tired, let it go!

My Top Tips for Stress Free Homework Time:

Allow some ‘down-time’ after school before attempting any form of homework (exercise and food should feature in this time!).

I’ve always been one to get things done straight away but this doesn’t work with children! They need some time-out after being cooped up in the school environment, no matter how much they love school or even if their last lesson was PE. The more they run around screaming, they more ready they will be to sit back down and concentrate.

Try to stick to the time you choose, every time you do homework.

For us, this has been essential. After trial, error and necessity, our homework time is 7pm, after the children have bathed and are ready for bed. It started this way because I needed to get the younger ones into bed before I could sit down with K and really give her my full attention. Now, it’s our routine and though this time might not suit all, I would really recommend having a regular ‘homework cue’ e.g. after dinner, it really saves the ‘but I’m just doing this’ or ‘I’ll do it later’. However………..

You have to take advantage of a captive audience, stuck in a car!!

If we are waiting around for one of them at a club, I always take homework with me. The best things for the car are spellings, times-tables and telling the time! I have a fab little clock that we take in the car to play with, we chant times-tables old-school style (the old ways are still the best!) and then the Boy will read to me while spellings are revised by the girls. It’s easy to kill 45 minutes and sometimes longer if I read to them too.

Limit the time on any particular activity and devise rotations.

I have found it best for them to do all of their homework together- otherwise the green-eyed-monster can’t stand the fact that another sibling might be having fun without them! However, having them all sat at the kitchen table together, doesn’t work either as one reading, distracts the concentration of another. So we have a rotation:

  1. Sitting on the sofa to read to me (and then me to them)
  2. Sitting at the kitchen table for any written work.
  3. Using the PC.

Buzymum - A Guide to Happy Homework with 3!       Buzymum - Practicing timetables and telling the time!

During this time, only educational things are allowed on the PC. The school have subscriptions to Mathletics and Reading Eggs which the children actually enjoy doing (there are loads of similar things on-line to try). I will also allow ‘Alphablocks’ and ‘Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures’ for the Boy as he is only little. He hates being left out of anything, so he’s been joining in ‘homework time’ since preschool!

  1. We limit each activity to maximum 15 minutes.

The Boy (5) always starts on the sofa and then goes to the PC (as he doesn’t yet have written homework) to then be in bed at 7.30pm. The girls continue for a while longer, depending on how much homework they have, with my help where needed.

Always incorporate reading.

If there is no specific homework, we read. The girls read independently, though Lou still reads to me regularly. K is currently reading the final Harry Potter novel, she was bought the set for Christmas and has her head in a book every spare second she’s got! (Therapy may be needed when she finishes the last one!) I’m so glad her dyslexia hasn’t hindered her love of reading! The younger two still really enjoy being read to and this is an important part of our homework time. The girls often read to the Boy (really cute to watch!) and K will even listen and help the Boy read, on occasion!

Buzymum - The Boy reading to K

Try to keep it fun with no pressure.

Remember how young they are! I don’t remember getting homework until I was into secondary school and even then it was often finishing something from the lesson, until I reached GCSE years. Little and often, has been the best formula for us, and trying to make it fun with computer-programs and books. Learning should be fun and not a chore (though I can’t guarantee it will never be a chore- for you or them!!), we are stuck with homework so have to make the best of it!!

Oh and I haven’t even gotten into the stress of helping with homework- cue the Tutor! Math methods, English grammar terminology, power point presentations, the list goes on……… and they’re still in primary school!

How does homework time work in your household? Do you have any tips to keep things stress free? If your little ones aren’t in school yet, did you realise what’s to come?

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29 thoughts on “A Guide to Happy Homework With 3!

  1. Homework is one big stress so these tips are great. We try sticking to a time too but swimming, football etc often gets in the way and before you know it it’s Sunday. I’m a teachers (primary) & I totally disagree with homework at this age but it seems that’s the world we are in now so we need to find ways to make it is stress free for all as possible. TY for linking up to #FamilyFun 🎉

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  2. oh this is lovely! It sounds so sophisticated and cute.. I wonder if I can get the teen and preteen to be as wonderful with homework as yours are?! lol – it is so good to have routine when they are little.. great job! #puddinglove

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  3. Your attitude to homework is great! Such a good idea to have a cue, and love the idea of snatching wasted moments in the car etc. I’m a teacher and don’t really agree with homework for primary aged children – I think reading, with some regular spellings and times tables is more than enough! But sounds like you manage it really well. #puddinglove #fortheloveofBLOG

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  4. This is such lovely advice – I have three also and supporting all of them with homework sometimes feels like a full-time job! I think you’re right though about setting a time – mine are older now but I still need to support my 12 year old heaps and have to set a time otherwise it doesn’t get done. I love your opening dream – really made me giggle! #fortheloveofBLOG

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  5. Ugh I can’t wait until this is me. I am hoping I have one of those rare ‘Mummy can I do my homework now??’ children – you never know… I think a routine is probably key but then again what do I know?? #bigpinklink

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  6. Thankfully my little babog enjoys doing homework. We get it all on a Tuesday and it goes back in on a Friday so she has loads of time to do it. I dread to think what it will be like when they are all in school, all four of them, yikes! Great tips!!

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  7. Neither of my children are at school yet, but I’m aware that homework is no longer something started at secondary school, and now starts the minute they start school…!! I’m actually crazily disorganised, so I admire your attitude, positivity, and organisational skills when it comes to supporting all 3 of your children! I will have to save this for when the time comes! I particularly liked the routine you have in the car while waiting for an activity to finish, and that you’ve realised you have to let the children let off steam first, and have a set time and cue for starting homework. A lot of really great tips, I’m sure there will be many who will find this useful!!
    #bigpinklink

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    1. Thank you! Believe me when I say, it’s been a long struggle to get to this stage! I’m no Mary Poppins! Hope this can get you there quicker, when the time comes xx

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    1. My older daughter is dyslexic and also struggles to focus. Though dyslexia and autism are conditions with huge spectrums, I’m finding routine really helps, as does short bursts of different activities rather than a long time spent on one. Hope it helps xx

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  8. I haven’t had to deal with this yet as my daughter starts school this September. I can imagine it’s stressful. Great tips x

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  9. These look like some great tips – I have been wondering how we will cope when Pie starts school come September – he isn’t one for sitting still at the best of times! I think these tips will give me a good starting point! Thanks for sharing with #PuddingLove

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  10. Great tips, my son started secondary school last September and thats when the homework ramped up. My son has got into a nice routine of coming home, having a chat, piece of fruit and then start his homework. He tries to get a bit of done each day so that he doesn’t get swamped.

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  11. This is fab, we are just getting to the end of reception with my LO, one day they sent home make a pirate related object with things you find round the house…my partner and I just stared and then went and got the tin foil and PVA, I like the idea of having set time and definitely agree with keeping reading run and in cooperating it..#bigpinklink

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  12. I must admit, I don’t love the fact that Primary school aged children get so much homework. I would cap it at spellings, reading and times tables to be honest. These are sensible tips for getting it done and out of the way in a calm manner. I like the idea of routine and knowing that they do their homework at the same time each week. Thanks for sharing with us on #fortheloveofBLOG X

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  13. I think reception class is far too young for homework – at that age it’s homework for parents rather than children! However, I think your tips are brilliant, especially the one about having a set time so the kids know it’s going to happen
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

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  14. These are great tips. My little girl doesn’t have homework yet she is in reception, all she really has to do is practice her reading and that can be difficult to get her focused sometimes too. So thank you for such great advice. x

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  15. I will be completely honest…I hate homework. And right now it’s only K and 1st grade homework. I am not looking forward to when the spelling and projects start and by then I will have 3 to help. Juggling our schedule during the week gets crazy with 4 kids in sports, there’s practices at all different times and days, and I have to figure out how to incorporate dinner and homework in there. By the time “getting ready for bed” rolls around we are all crabby and burnt out. And then we get up the next day and do it all over again. The only day we have nothing is Sunday. By Sunday I just want to sleep all day. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink.

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