Create a Homework Box
One of my biggest homework pet peeves is finding a pencil. We spend 10 minutes looking for a pencil. When we find it, it’s usually broken and then we spend another 10 minutes looking for a sharpener. We have no sharpeners in my house, so then I try to sharpen the pencil with a knife – which I’m not good at. My daughter then does her homework with a stubby pencil and I feel like we just wasted the past 30 minutes.
Not only will this have every supply my daughter needs to complete her homework daily, but there is also a checklist attached to the box top with contact paper. Each night, after she finishes her homework she’ll use a dry erase marker to check off each supply in the box. That way, nothing gets lost.
Our homework box has:
- 1 pencil
- 1 pack of 24 colored pencil
- a pair of scissors (CVS exclusive Caliber Back to School Supplies brand)
- 1 glue stick
- 1 pencil sharpener/ eraser (CVS exclusive Caliber Back to School Supplies brand)
Notice that I only include 1 pencil. I have more pencils, but I found that as a teacher, when kids have more than one pencil, they don’t take responsibility for them. My daughter will count that one pencil every night and make sure it is in the box. When it becomes unusable, I can exchange it for another pencil.
Prepare for redos
Like me, my daughter is a perfectionist and doesn’t like to be told she is wrong. I get this. When I check her homework. I start with all the positives. For instance, “I am so proud that you finished your entire homework packet!” or “That question is really tricky, but I see you figured it out!.” When I find something that needs correcting, I ask her questions to help her find her own mistake. If I see one problem wrong in a row I might say, “Check this row. There is one problem that needs correcting. Can you find it?” When she finds it, the process of checking becomes a huge self esteem boost. I’m teaching her that people always make mistakes and the important thing is that you find those mistakes and correct them.
Create a Homework Routine & Post it
Nagging wears me out. It’s not fun for my daughter either. I don’t want to keep telling her to go do her homework or make sure she puts her homework folder away after using it. This year I sat down with her and we created a homework routine together. We’re posting this routine on the refrigerator so now she can reference it when she wonders what to do next.
I never have to nag. All I have to do is stare at her and then point to the routine on the fridge. No words needed and she knows exactly what I expect.
With these strategies, homework is no longer the hassle it once was in our house. My daughter comes home, grabs her snack and immediately starts on her homework. Her routine is so set that she gets mad at me if we have to run a quick errand after school. Although it took a few months, these strategies have saved me so much stress and made after school a much happier time.