It is generally agreed that the younger the child, the less time the child should be expected to devote to homework. A general rule of thumb is that preschool children should be expected to do no more than 10-12 minutes of homework. If your child is spending more than the recommended times during homework nights, then you may want to talk with your child’s teacher about adjusting the workload. Homework packets will be sent home once a week. A packet will be sent home with your child on Monday of each week and should be returned on Thursdays with your signature. The packet will have four assignment one for each day.
Homework assignments are based on your child’s needs for additional adult support and/or practice in a particular area. So, not every child will have the same assignment. Areas of improvement have been determined through classroom observations, small group and ongoing assessments. If your child is on target, practice work may not be sent home.
Strategies to Do Homework Go More Smoothly
There are two key strategies parents can draw on to reduce homework hassles. The first is to establish clear routines around homework, including when and where homework gets done and setting up schedules for homework. The second is to build in rewards or incentives to use with children for when effort, cooperation and accuracy” is sufficient.
Tasks are easiest to accomplish when tied to specific routines. By establishing daily routines for homework completion, you will not only make homework go more smoothly, but you will also be fostering a sense of order your child can apply later in life.
Step 1. Find a location in the house where homework will be done. The right location will depend on your child and the culture of your family. Some children do best at a desk in their bedroom, at a kitchen table, etc. Whenever possible the location should be a quiet one away from the hubbub of family noise. Other children become too distracted by the things they keep in their bedroom and do better at a place removed from those distractions, like the dining room table. Some children need to work by older siblings. Others need to have parents nearby to help keep them on task and to answer questions when problems arise.
Step 2. Set up a homework center. Once you and your child have identified a location, fix it up as a home office/homework center. Make sure there is a clear workspace large enough to set out all the materials necessary for completing assignments. Outfit the homework center with the kinds of supplies your child is most likely to need, such as pencils, colored markers, scissors, construction paper and glue. If the homework center is a place that will be used for other things (such as the dining room table); then your child can keep the supplies in a portable crate or bin. Allowing children some leeway in decorating the homework center can help them feel at home there, but you should be careful that it does not become too cluttered with distracting materials.
Step 3. Establish a homework time. Your child should get in the habit of doing homework at the same time every day. The time may vary depending on the individual child. Some children need a break right after school to get some exercise and have a snack. Others need to start homework while they are still in a school mode (i.e., right after school when there is still some momentum left from getting through the day). In general, it may be best to get homework done either before dinner or as early in the evening as the child can tolerate. The later it gets, the more tired the child becomes and the more slowly the homework gets done.
You should review all the assignments and make sure your child understands them and has all the necessary materials. If your child needs help with any assignment, then this should be determined at the beginning so that the start times can take into account parent availability.