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Homework when?

(14 Posts)
rockybalboa Mon 03-Feb-14 20:58:01

When do your kids do their homework please? DS1 is only in Reception so doesn't really have homework other than his reading (which we do try to do with him every night) but we're struggling to find the 'right' time to do it with him. 2 days a week he's in after school club and has tea there and is home about 5.15, 2 days he's home straight from school and has tea at 5 and the remaining day he has a class that he loves which he gets home from at 5.45 and tea at 6. Bedtime is 7.40. He's not a morning person so no chance of doing it then but he tends to just want to play or veg out in front of Netflix for a bit as soon as he gets in. Reading had got pushed back right before bedtime which wasn't working as he was too tired and therefore resistant. Now trying to get him to do it straight after tea but this doesn't fit well with getting his two younger siblings to bed when DH isn't around. Is straight after school best? I just can't see him taking to that and I'm keen to get a loose routine in place (he likes routine) before homework ramps up! Any advice please? Sorry this is so long...

ilovepowerhoop Mon 03-Feb-14 21:09:18

ours is done straight after school and then they can veg out

simpson Mon 03-Feb-14 21:47:08

How about a snack when first in from school and then crack on?!

DD is now in yr1 and she can cope with reading just before bed but last year when in reception it was done earlier as she was so tired.

How about a reward chart? X amount of stars (reading done) gets a little treat?

JustBreath Mon 03-Feb-14 21:55:25

Could he do some reading with his key worker at his after school club or does it not work that way? The other option would be to only do a couple of pages at bedtime (with the other siblings), or perhaps you both read alternate pages to keep him engaged? Don't worry about it too much though because when they get to yr 1 they're older, able to manage their tiredness better and (hopefully) will enjoy reading whatever the time. My DS1 is in yr 1 and he always reads his phonics book before bed, while my DD2 (2yrs old) happily sits and listens. They both go to bed at 7.30 so it works out quite well.

Minime85 Mon 03-Feb-14 22:06:25

Saturday is our homework day then reading at least every other day with youngest dd to fit around activities.

Tailtwister Tue 04-Feb-14 08:40:38

DS1 gets homework mon-thurs and is in ASC those days until 4. We tend to get home around 4.45 and he sits down to do his homework straight away. Usually there's a written piece of work (handwriting practice, maths) which he can get on with himself whilst I get dinner started. Then he has 2 reading books which I obviously have to do with him. After that he just plays/watches some TV whilst I finish cooking.

Once he's older he will have supervised prep and can do some of his homework then. It is a struggle to get everything done some days though, especially if there's a lot of it.

Adikia Tue 04-Feb-14 09:08:21

my 2 get home and relax then its reading/homework time for reception DD while dinners cooking, DS will start his homework then and if he can't get it done before dinner he'll work on it while I'm putting DD to bed, DS is year 5 so does most of it by himself now. On days they have clubs they just get less relaxing time before homework.

JustBreath Tue 04-Feb-14 10:23:24

Adikia, your timetable sounds good how long do your DC relax for before homework starts? I tried 1 hour relaxation time for my 5yr DS1 straight after school before homework starts but then i found he was too tired to then get up and start his homework, so now we're trying out new routine - home, get changed out of uniform, snack, homework 30-45mins, relax for an hour, dinner then bedtime (during which time he's quite happy to read his phonics book every night). Let's see....

PastSellByDate Tue 04-Feb-14 10:29:28


Several things.

Do you bath your DC nightly? If so, would reading school book/ books from library or home be a nice thing to do just before bedtime - say for 15 minutes or so?

I note that you say: he tends to just want to play or veg out in front of Netflix for a bit as soon as he gets in

I get that kids like to watch cartoons and relax - what kid doesn't - but perhaps the solution is to offer this as a reward. Read with me for 10 minutes while I wait for the pan to boil, DH to get home, etc... and then you can watch tv/ play video game/ etc....

I get that your DC is tired at the end of the day - my DDs were as well in Y4 - but gradually - especially as evenings grow longer this Spring - you'll probably find your DC has more energy.

With reading at night - are you having him do all the reading?

Have you considered sharing the reading. To encourage DD1 (who really struggled to pick up reading skills) - I started with her picking out 'key words' - The, and, but, this, that, or, may, saw, said, etc.... So I would point to a particular word we were working on - say 'The' - and have her say it each time I saw it. She felt she was reading - and we just kept adding more words until gradually we worked up to her reading a whole sentence. Once she could read sentences, I'd agree that I would do the rest of the paragraph if she read a whole sentence correctly.

Once she was good with sentences - I had her read a paragraph and I read the rest of the page, if she had read it well (maybe 5% or less words slightly wrong or skipped - she has a real thing about skipping words).

On nights she was just plain worn out - I did the reading. Listening to the spoken word is also important. If you're reading try and use your finger on the page so they can follow the words you are saying.

Eventually, to encourage DD1 (who often got things wrong) I played a game where I'd say the wrong word and she could correct me. She really enjoyed that. So instead of 'said' - I might say 'stated' or 'announced' - and she'd get all excited and explain what the word actually was.

As your children get older and start reading themselves - you may find that reading to one whilst the other is having their bath is a nice way of dividing and conquering.


PastSellByDate Tue 04-Feb-14 10:30:08

sorry that should have been tired as well at age 4 - not Y4.

rockybalboa Tue 04-Feb-14 10:47:49

Thanks all. In answer to Past:

No, we don't bath them every night. He's not actually that tired until gone 7ish but the baby goes to bed around 6.30 and DS2 around 7 so both of those things get in the way of doing stuff with DS1 other than letting him veg out for a bit. By reading I mean specifically reading his school phonics book with him. We read stories together in the 15 min or so window between baby DS3 going to bed and DS2 going to bed and that's very much me reading to both DS1 and DS2 together which is a favourite part of their day. They pick one book each and they tend to be Julia Donaldson/Mick Inkpen type books which are a bit too challenging for DS1's stage of reading plus if I did get him to read bits we would still have to do his school reading book anyway. DS1 then plays Lego or whatever for a bit between DS2's bedtime and his own bedtime and this is the slot we are also currently using for his school reading book but he's just so resistant because he's ready for bed. He reads well and happily once he starts but it's just the battle to get him to start it.

I think the problem is me trying to spread myself too thin. I'm not even at work at the moment as I'm still on maternity leave but even on a day when I am picking them up from school and we are home by 4pm once I've fed the baby, changed his nappy, sorted DS1 and DS2's tea, shovelled food into the baby, stuck them all in the bath every couple of days when they start to look dirty time just vanishes.

There are just not enough hours in the day full stop! I think I'm going to try and keep him to reading his school book as soon as he's finished tea as that provides a fixed point of reference for him (which being 5 he likes to have) and see how that goes. I quite like the idea of doing it as soon as he gets home from school/ASC but I just can't see him being happy with that or it fitting in with the demands of the rest of the family. I think I'll just have to play it by ear and modify things as and when the homework loads starts to increase.

PastSellByDate Tue 04-Feb-14 11:03:43

Hi rockybalboa

Absolutely get that you're stretched then and fitting it all in is a struggle.

It sounds to me like you're more worried about phonics work than guided reading. In which case perhaps the solution is to find child friendly workbooks your DS1 can work on whilst your busy getting other siblings to bed?

Our school used Jolly Phonics and it had a set of 7 colouring book/ workbooks which worked through the various sounds. We were late to pick up on this with DD1 (phonics was just being rolled out and school were slow to explain much to parents). But DD2 started with these books in late YR and into Y1 - and really enjoyed practicing her writing and colouring in the pages. It really was a lot like a colouring book - but with focus on phonic sounds. I could drift by now and then and check she was ' getting it' - but she pretty much worked her way through on her own and the benefits in her reading ability were obvious.

Perhaps you can find out what your school is using for their Phonics and do something similar in the week (as it sounds like one of the problems in that your DH is back from work after the kids are to bed). And then at the weekend, try and fit in some sessions on the phonics book - to keep that going - when you have more help to hand.

Finally - the good news is it will get easier. Right now with a young baby as well as an infant to deal with, you're rather outnumbered. But eventually you will find a routine (especially as DS1 gets a bit older and can stay up later) that accommodates daily reading from school.

Finally - don't be too hard on yourself. He will get there in the end - it isn't a sprint - but a marathon. Keep plugging away at it as and when you can.


Adikia Tue 04-Feb-14 11:13:37

JustBreathe, it's usually about 1 1/2-2 hours relaxing if we've come straight home from school.

noramum Tue 04-Feb-14 11:27:22

DD is in Year 2 and we get:

3 books per week, she reads these before dinner time

1x maths homework, she is in the top group and gets one extra lesson per week, this is done as soon as she comes home on Monday

1x class homework on Thursday to be handed in on Monday. This is done either Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning depending on our weekend schedule. But we normally review the task and if it is a research/writing one she has to gather information or take notes before.

DD gets to a childminder 4x a week and has gymnastics on one of these days. On my day off she has singing/drama after school so we squeeze it in between when DH picks her up at 4.45pm and I come home at 6pm.

TV/ipad is for the time I come home and start dinner.

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