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Tips on how you get your junior school and younger age children to do homework willingly PLEASE

(40 Posts)
ruffletheanimal Mon 19-Sep-11 09:20:28

my boys are Y4, 3 and 1.
they have 'homework' to do each week.
its a bit like pulling my own toenails out every sodding day trying to get them to do it.
i must be pitching it wrong.
they spend all their energy fighting against doing it, and I'M the one who seems to care about it, not them.
I've recently tried to introduce performance related pay pocket money, but they're too young to give a monkeys about that and usually get most material things they want anyway (i do NOT want to digress onto that topic PLEASE)

trouble is, i was exactly the same about my homework (when i was at secondary, mind, i didn't get any at their age)

so HOW do people get their kids to happily trot it all off on the first night and get it out the way?? i know it happens... but HOW???

thangyew in advance

IndigoBell Mon 19-Sep-11 09:35:37

You stop asking them to do it. Ask them once, and that's it.

You let the teacher tell them off if they don't do it.

If the teacher doesn't tell them off, then homework was obviously optional.

They can only choose to do it themselves when you stop asking them to do it.

Bonsoir Mon 19-Sep-11 09:36:18

Do you sit down with them at homework time?

ruffletheanimal Mon 19-Sep-11 09:40:17

indigo bell... that seems a risky approach... maybe if i get the teachers onside with that it might work... hmmmm.
i do rather like the sound of it. IF it works.

Bonsoir - I've tried everything. sitting with them in a group, taking them each one on one (nightmare trying to fit cooking, feeding, bath time, story, and three sets of homework plus reading into an after school evening before an early bedtime so that actually get up in the morning)

ireallyagreewithyou Mon 19-Sep-11 09:43:00

iu never do
i just sya " do your homework" and they do it at some point
i HAVE NO IDEA how this works.
one week why not jsut not say anything and see hwta happens

ireallyagreewithyou Mon 19-Sep-11 09:43:16

i never sit down with them
its THEIR work not mine

Bonsoir Mon 19-Sep-11 09:43:17

The way I have done it is that I did homework with DD systematically from the beginning (one year ago) and I am very gradually weaning her off being with me for everything.

A lot (the majority) of her homework requires my presence - she needs to read texts aloud and answer comprehension questions aloud - but I now insist she learns spellings, sums and poems by heart on her own and then I test her.

Bonsoir Mon 19-Sep-11 09:44:06

Whether or not you sit down with them rather depends on the tasks they are set and whether an adult's presence is required - you cannot judge whether or not it should be the case unless you know what the homework is.

pinkyp Mon 19-Sep-11 09:45:05

How about having a routine? I.e come in from school, sit down do homework whilst you get them a drink etc. Then the evening is theres

redskyatnight Mon 19-Sep-11 09:50:20

I adopted IndigoBell's approach. Which meant that in Y2 DS did spellings and reading (as doing these was monitored by the school). Other homework was optional so he did the bits that interested him, and we avoided shouting matches.

In Y3 homework is compulsory and there are "dire" consequences if it is not completed. I have told him that I will help him if he asks but other than gently reminding him to do it I will not push. Granted we are only 1 piece of homework in, but so far this approach is working.

ireallyagreewithyou Mon 19-Sep-11 09:51:00

but homework should NOT be for the parents, it should be for reinforcing learning or study skills

MmeLindor. Mon 19-Sep-11 09:54:33

We are trying to get into a habit of doing homework at regular times.

Sunday morning after breakfast (if we have something planned that day then Saturday morning)

They have to do 30 minutes - I set the clock. Do as much as possible in these 30 minutes.

Then every day when they come home from school - 30 mins until the homework is finished.

If they have not finished their homework, then no playdates.

This seems to work for us. They have their set 30 minutes, and can generally do most of the work in one or 1 1/2 homework periods. The sooner they have finished, the quicker they get a playdate.

Bonsoir Mon 19-Sep-11 09:55:42

The homework my DD has reinforces the lessons she has learned in school that day and requires me to (a) listen to her read a text (b) listen to her read questions (c) ascertain whether or not her answers to the questions are correct, and, critically, to help her correct them and to formulate grammatically correct sentences.

It is very valuable one-to-one work that a teacher cannot do in a class of 29 children, hence asking parents/nannies to help out.

notyummy Mon 19-Sep-11 09:56:46

No homework = no television time after dinner and no chance to select a treat from the treat jar (both important to DD - your DS may have diferent 'triggers'.) Some leeway around when it is done (i.e you can play for 30 mins and then do it, or do it now.)

ForYourDreamsAreChina Mon 19-Sep-11 09:59:08

I'm not in the UK, and dd who is 8 gets about 2 hrs minimum every day. Here, they just know from the go-get that they have no choice. The school makes it perfectly clear that it is done. All children know that come late afternoon it's homeowrk time.

ruffletheanimal Mon 19-Sep-11 10:07:48

2 hours minimum??? at 8? how long are they in school? is it like italy where they go home at lunchtime maybe?

mine are catching the bus to school at 8am and get home at about 5:30. thats a pretty long day already i think.

yy to routine playing a big part i think.

i think i'll put a stopwatch or something on the homework table, set it for 30 minutes, and then leave them to do as much or little as they choose.
and talk to all the teachers, tell them my approach, and get them to help impress upon them the importance of getting it done.

right now, its ME who wants it done, not them. and i need to switch that around. otherwise how the hell are we going to manager when they're bigger and have tons of the stuff to do??

ruffletheanimal Mon 19-Sep-11 10:11:47

so school nights are thus:
home 5:30 (sometimes later depends)
hopefully in the bath at 7:00 for wind down to bed.

so best case scenario is 1:30 to do:
they want to play or watch telly or something (not unreasonable i think!)

its a tight schedule.

MmeLindor. Mon 19-Sep-11 10:12:21

Yes to the stopwatch, but make it clear that they have the stopwatch on 30 minutes every day until the homework is done.

And I often make cookies - when they are finished homework, they get a cookie.


bigTillyMint Mon 19-Sep-11 10:12:25

Get them into a routine now, otherwise it will be a complete mare when they go to secondary school.

Little and often is often better than a long session once a week. They do have a long day to cope with, so you need to find a time when they are not too tired!

bigTillyMint Mon 19-Sep-11 10:13:09

MmeLindor, am loving the blackmail cookiesgrin

MmeLindor. Mon 19-Sep-11 10:14:30

Can you try and do meals that you can prepare earlier so that you are not trying to supervise homework and cook at the same time?

Once they are in a routine, it will get easier.

Stews, or lasagne, stuff you can put in the oven and heat slowly while they eat.

And we don't do bathtime every evening. Twice or three times a week.

KittyWalker Mon 19-Sep-11 10:18:12

MmeLindor - I am also a big fan of the cookie bribe idea!

I whole heartedly agree with getting them into the habit/routine of sitting down and doing their homework so it comes as second nature once they get to secondary school. I was terrible for leaving my homework to the last minute and don't want them to develop this habit.

MmeLindor. Mon 19-Sep-11 10:28:12

Not that it always works - DD's teacher this year changed homework day from Friday to Monday. DD was away in the mountains with friends for the weekend, so finished homework this morning before school. She gets up at 6.30am so she had time, but I don't like her doing this.

moosemama Mon 19-Sep-11 10:46:42

Mine have an after school routine that includes homework and they don't get any 'free time' until their homework has been done. I type up a quick homework timetable and stick it on the back of the kitchen door and in their school diaries, so they know in advance what homework they need to do each evening.

They come home, get changed out of their uniforms and come downstairs and for a quick drink and snack. Then its straight into homework and when its done they have the rest of the evening free to do as they please.

Ds1 (9, year 5) has ASD and needs me to sit with him through all his homework, ds2 (7, year 3) just goes to fetch his on his own, gets started and asks me if he needs my help. I also test him on spellings, time tables and number bonds the evening before his school test. If either of them has a strop and refuses to do their homework, they know that they won't be allowed on their nintendo Dsi's until its been completed.

I intermittently reward them with half an hour playing their favourite game on my laptop, for being particularly good or working extra hard and I actually find this is far more motivating than a regular reward, although last year I bought a job lot of Pokemon stickers off ebay. They got to choose one sticker for each piece of homework they completed and stuck them into a little notebook, so they built up a little pokemon character collection as the year went on - they both loved that.

We have a rule that homework is done the day its brought home, unless they are at a club or after school activity, then it gets done the next day. We don't do homework at weekends, partly because I feel they need a complete break from school over the weekend and partly because I know I'm likely to meet more resistance if I schedule it for then.

We have been through periods in the past where we have had lots of arguments and refusals, but I made sure that I was consistent and stuck with the rules. I threatened to write to their teachers a couple of times, telling them that they have refused to do the work - and that's usually a remarkably effective motivator.

The start of a new school year is always a little bit bumpy while they get used to the new homework timetable etc, but we are into the swing of it already this year and so far they've been really good.

ruffletheanimal Mon 19-Sep-11 10:49:02

Mme, yy to getting food ready earlier - i just this minute went to look in the fridge to see what to make them for tonight smile

and cookies a great idea. will make a batch of mix for the freezer.

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