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Working Mum and Struggling with helping Child with homework

(24 Posts)
dGorgeous Tue 18-Sep-12 12:48:56

I work fulltime and do not get home till 6.30pm. My son is in Year 2 and I am struggling with establishing a routine to assist him with his homework. By the time I get home, I am trying to settle in and get them to eat dinner, by then its already close to bedtime and my son is too tired to start his homework. I will appeciate tips from mums in similar situation.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 18-Sep-12 12:53:32

Can he do his homework in the kitchen, so you can cook supper and supervise the homework at the same time?

ATailOfTwoKitties Tue 18-Sep-12 12:55:00

Would morning instead of evening work?

dreckly Tue 18-Sep-12 12:55:11

Good luck with this one, my DS is year 1 and i work till 7pm three days a week.
on those days, he is too tired to do anything once i get home.

not sure if it would work for you, but i have started to set aside some time in the mornings to do reading books, it does seem to work as DS is a morning person and is not tired then. It means we have to get up a little earlier but it works for us.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Tue 18-Sep-12 12:55:15

How much is he getting?

dixiechick1975 Tue 18-Sep-12 12:56:41

Could he do it at afterschool club or with his cm after school?

DD yr 2 is expected to do the homework independently as far as possible. Is it work he can do without you?

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 18-Sep-12 12:56:50

You could also put things into a slow cooker before you go to work, so it's ready for when you get home?? The trick is to have good time management (which is hard when you've been at work all day and you're knackered).

limetimemummy Tue 18-Sep-12 13:00:29

hi there, I'm in a similar situation not getting home till about 6.30pm and having a year 2 DD. (im a single mum) My dd attends an afterschool club until about 5.30pm where she has her tea/dinner, her grandparent then collects her and waits at my house until I get home.

I have asked the afterschool club to try and do a bit of reading with her a few nights a week. Some mornings (better for her concentration) we have snuggle time in bed (6.30-7am ish) before getting up/ready and we will do some reading then before breakfast club drop-off. For all other homework, we have allocated time in the mornings on a weekend (usually from about 7.30ish onwards as she is an early riser and up anyway, no lie in for me) to get it done. We also used to use the car journey on the way to breakfast club during Yr1 to be doing spellings and timestables although the school dropped the weekly spelling tests part way through the year which was a big relief (moved to the read-write inc phonics system)

I suppose it all depends on the type of homework and the frequency that your son is given homework though. Does he get much given? I'm lucky in that dd enjoys her reading and it's never a struggle to get her to do it as long as she isn't too tired.

confusedperson Tue 18-Sep-12 13:36:46

Sorry no help but I will be in the same boat (DS1 in Reception + DS2 in nursery, both get collected 5:30pm every weekday.

noramum Tue 18-Sep-12 14:24:49

DD is only in Y1 but we still do her daily reading when we are home at 6pm. DH or I do it, the other cooks.

We found that it speeds things up when we just have a pasta dish or sandwiches for dinner instead of anything fancy.

Normal homework comes home on Fridays and we have the weekend to do it.

PastSellByDate Tue 18-Sep-12 14:31:48

My only suggestion is if your DC is at an after school club, try to encourage them to at least make a start on any worksheets there, so that you can just check through their work with them at home, maybe over dinner.

We also really made a point of at least 10 minutes reading between bath time and bed time. As they get older and can read for themselves, you can let them read for 15 minutes and then come up and turn out the light.


dGorgeous Tue 18-Sep-12 15:05:33

Thanks everyone for your tips. My DS brings in homework Mondays to Wednesdays. I will try the early morning routine, doing something a few minutes before school. Will update if it works. wink

dikkertjedap Tue 18-Sep-12 15:50:37

If you have a good relationship with the teacher, she may be able to give the homework on Friday so you can at least do part during the weekend.

Alternatively, either have him do the homework in the kitchen while you are cooking or prepare lots of food for Mon/Tue/Wed during the weekend so you only have to reheat/defrost on those days and can concentrate on helping with the homework.

I would be reluctant to ask the afterschool club for the following reasons:
(1) they have quite large groups of kids so they cannot help much;
(2) general environment too noisy;
(3) you want to make sure he gets the right type of help.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Wed 19-Sep-12 09:50:43

I second what dikker says...speak to his teacher for sure...she'd rather have your son have the time to do it properly than have it rushed.

TroublesomeEx Wed 19-Sep-12 12:00:10

When I worked f/t we fit reading in in the mornings too. It was nice to get 5/10 minutes together to do it but we were usually both too tired in the evenings to be bothered/able.

ImaginateMum Wed 19-Sep-12 16:40:11

Could you always cook the meal a day ahead, when he is in bed, and heat it up the next day? Then you have the cooking time to work with him.

wearymum200 Wed 19-Sep-12 20:38:04

Another vote for mornings here. Ds1 is much happier settling down with a task immediately after breakfast (not before ,he is grumpy until calories consumed!) And I'm less tired, which helps!

aloted Tue 25-Sep-12 10:05:59

seems you are both already tired in the evening, so early in the morning may seem like a better time for both of you. you are probably both alert and fresh after a good night sleep.

all the best!

sanam2010 Tue 25-Sep-12 13:13:03

Can't he do his homework alone (or afterschool club or at friend's house) and you only check it briefly? It can't be that hard in Y2, nothing he isn't learning in school. Just check it after he's finished it himself or with friends.

Also, where does DH come in? How about DH prepares dinner while you sit with yor son or vice versa or you take turns? You talk as if it was 100% your responsibility which it shouldn't be if you work full-time.

BarbarianMum Tue 25-Sep-12 13:36:10

We do it in the mornings. Not due to work pressure but just cause he's too tired after school.

Ds1 is in Y2 and no way would he be able to just do it independently (he could read to himself but a bit pointless as he wouldn't know when he'd made a mistake). As for doing it round a friends house, you must be kidding!

TantrumsAndGoldAndOrange Tue 25-Sep-12 13:39:44

Yep, another morning reader here too.
Ds2 does his actual written homework at the dining table whilst I am getting dinner ready etc but I'm quite lucky as I have 2 teens also doing homework at that time so they can help him if he gets stuck on a question.

orangefan Tue 25-Sep-12 13:44:18

I'd have a word with the teacher. I work full time and have managed to get all dd's homework for the weekend this year. Works a treat. Have breakfast Sat and Sun, then sit down and do homework. Spellings I do every morning as I prepare breakfast. Times tables I do in the car. It's a struggle, but does work.

sanam2010 Tue 25-Sep-12 16:03:17

Barbarianmum, why is it so weird to do homework at a friend's house? If you pick someone who likes school and who has a parent at home doing homework with him after school, why not talk to their parents and see if DS can join in once a week. My mum used to do lots of these arrangements with other mums in the neighbourhood and from school - she always worked full-time, other mums part-time and they took turns.

Reading is a different matter - but i don't see why a 6 year old can't do a few simple maths exercises at home, they usually cover the same that has been done in school already. I know plenty of people who always did their homework alone, even when they were 6 years old, and actually in the long run it benefits the child, they will become independent and take responsibility. Homework is for the child, not the mum!!!

BarbarianMum Tue 25-Sep-12 16:47:08

sanam - just going by my own son. He and his friends like school but when they are at each others houses they are far too busy running around playing and getting wildly over-excited. Honestly, I can't think of an environment less conducive to working.

I do take your point that the homework is for the child, but I think it is asking a lot of a 6 year old to independently find a space and get down to it. So I create the time and space, then he does the work. As he gets older and gets more defined tasks eg a worksheet or list of sums then yes, I expect him to take responsibility for getting it done and in. But with more open ended things like improving reading he doesn't have the maturity/foresight to work out what he needs to do next, or how often, or for how long.

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