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Working parents - how do you organise/supervise homework?

(18 Posts)
stirlingstar Sun 11-Sep-11 20:52:12

Looking for some advice about how to organise ourselves with homework - DS1 just started primary 1 (Scotland - so think this will be week 4).

DS1 gets homework each week - given out on Monday/Tuesday and due back on Friday.

DH works full time. I work PT, and have a Monday and Wed after school with DS1 (also have 2yo DS2 in tow then). Other days he has an after school club or CM pick-up, I get him knackered at 6pm and have to get both boys fed, bathed, in to bed by 7:30. DH is sometimes home before bedtime. It's a struggle to cover the homework - especially if it comes out Tues and we've only got Wednesday 'free'.

How do other working parents organise getting the homework done?

FYI - he has each week
- 2 phonics sounds - has to discuss the sound, colour a picture, practise writing the letter
- 5/6 words to do as 'look & say'
- also meant to have a maths worksheet, but not seen one yet

It's more than I expected him to get, but I don't think it's unreasonable. He enjoys it, but needs help/supervision.

DownbytheRiverside Sun 11-Sep-11 20:54:41

I used to do the 15 minutes reading with mine in the morning, and as I left for work at 7.30am it was very early in the morning. smile
Look and say should only be taking you 5 mins at a time.

ninah Sun 11-Sep-11 20:57:36

I have asked after school club if there is a quiet area where ds can go some days, I pick them up at 6 also and like yours they are tired. I'm hoping the tiredness will get less as they get used to the routine though. I spend some time with them reading and a bit of maths at weekends, nothing too formal.

chillikate Sun 11-Sep-11 20:58:37

I'm interested in following this thread.

DS starts reception on Tuesday (yikes) and I've been thinking about this.

DH & I both work full time and he is already too tired after nursery to do anything, let alone school.

But both DS and I are morning people and hes up 2 hours before school so I'm thinking that mornings might be our best time - but he is my only child so my only focus in the morning is getting him & I ready.

2gorgeousboys Sun 11-Sep-11 21:00:31

When DS2 was in reception/year 1 homework was given out and we had weekends to complete it. This meant that Sunday afternoons one of us would supervise both boys doing homework and one would organise tea.

Reading was either done at bedtime or in a morning and spellings and times tables in the car on the way to school.

Clary Sun 11-Sep-11 21:00:40

Yes agree, do it in the am.

We always used to read before school. I know it sounds nutty but it only takes a child (some children!) about 20 mins to eat some cornflakes and get dressed; if they get up at 7am then there's half an hour before you leave at 8am (maybe?).

stirlingstar Sun 11-Sep-11 21:06:32

Yes - mornings... I think we'll try that this week - but tbh the stress of getting them both ready for school & nursery on working days makes this a generally bad time of day - despite feeling that we are quite organised with clothes ready night before etc etc

DS1 also still needs nearly 12 hrs sleep - so we've got max 90 mins between waking up and leaving for school. Written down that sounds quite a lot - but often pretty manic.

stirlingstar Sun 11-Sep-11 21:09:23

x-posts Clary. 20 minutes!! Crikey. I have a fair way to go...

Lizcat Sun 11-Sep-11 21:13:36

If you are having difficulty go and talk to the school. Both DH and I work full time and I also work some nights and weekends. We went in and talked to the school, firstly they assured us the homework was not complusary. Secondly once we explained our difficulties they agreed that one Monday to hand the next was fine.
The mornings are just too much for us as we need for DH to leave at 7.30 am and me at 7.45am.

sleepwouldbenice Sun 11-Sep-11 21:35:25


I think you are saying that all of the above is issued on a monday and due back Friday? in which case I would definately echo the idea of mentioning it to the school to change and allow you the freedom to do some at the weekend. My DD1 is in year 4 so the tiredness issue has passed but you still want to spread it out and, importantly for us, the first couple of times tackling issues such as spellings can be traumatic so to do it at the weekend gives a more relaxed approach

Can the after school club / CM help at all - even once each a week on the look and say letters would help as thats all about repeitition

Got DD2 starting school tomorrow so will have to up my game!

Clary Sun 11-Sep-11 21:43:51

Sorry! should say it takes DS2 a lot longer than 20 mins (he's 8) but then he dawdles.

DS1 just stays in bed till 7.45 then is ready in 10 mins. We need to put him and 7am get-upper DS2 together and get the perfect child really grin

But really, it's only 10 mins you need to find. What time do you have to go in the am?

LindyHemming Sun 11-Sep-11 21:43:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elphabadefiesgravity Sun 11-Sep-11 21:44:49

I had the opposite problem in that my dc had homework given on a Friday to be handed in on a MOnday. I work Friday nights and Saturdays and they stay with my parents on a Friday night. Sundays was our only day free and by the time we had done the chores it left only a few hours to spend as a family (dh works away in the week so if we wanted to go out somewhere as a family it left no time for homework.

I informed the school that we were unable to do homework at weekends and that we needed a full week for it.

I strongly beleive that apart from reaing/spelling children don't need homework anyway but if it is given it should be something they are capable of doing without parentla involvment other than encouragement and a place to work.

stirlingstar Sun 11-Sep-11 22:07:16

Thanks all.

I agree that some stuff, eg the look say words, we can fit in to small spaces - like mornings. Also we've been doing 'verbal numeracy' like that (I made up that name... mean that we talk about what would happen if you had 2 add on 1...). The writing takes longer and needs more of a dedicated space - will see if he can do some with CM and/or talk to school about allowing the weekend if needed.

Also realised I have been using spare time in mornings to clear up kitchen, get washing on etc. Will try prioritising some writing time in to this - am currently wary of him doing this without my attention being fully focussed because of needing to get the letter formation & pencil grip right (currently quite challenging for him) - but also I guess he'll get more independent as the year progresses.

Teachermumof3 Sun 11-Sep-11 22:25:25

I wouldn't set homework to primary aged children without including a weekend in the time allowed; there would be too many clubs/working parents/reasons why doing it with a parent (which is usually what happens) could be a logistical nightmare. When they are older and get homework each night when they are easily able to complete it alone, that is very different.

Could you suggest to the school that a full week is allowed?

blackeyedsusan Sun 11-Sep-11 22:53:25

write to the teacher, point out that it is not possible to get it done in the week and please could you do the homework at the weekend instead. some teachers do not realise the dynamics of family life.. until they have been there... <whistles innocently> there seems to be masses of time between 4 and 7.... from the other side, it is only now that I am wading through the treacle of trying to get 2 children bathed, fed and to bed that I realise how long the whole thing takes.... and I am a sahm, would not get a thing done if had to collect children at 6... eek.

cat64 Sun 11-Sep-11 23:51:10

Message withdrawn

firstgreatholswiththree Mon 12-Sep-11 00:10:27

Speak to the teacher and ask to do it over the weekend. Reception teachers should be understanding. I chatted with the teacher and explained that as it wasn't compulsory I would do as much as possible with DS but I knew that there would be times that he wouldn't get it in on time. I understand the benefit of not putting time aside but I have to say in our house if we didn't plan when things were done we wouldn't remember to do half of it. We try to do the reading most nights when toddler is asleep (this depends on tiredness to), look cover say/spell is done first time and independently after breakfast, Eng/Math or Science is done during toddlers nap at weekend. It would be impossible for me to be able to do homework during the week (homework seemed to require lots of parental assistance!)

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