Is homework time a struggle at your house? Do you even have a designated time in the afternoon to get school work done or is it a whenever/wherever approach as long as it gets done and turned in to the teacher?!?! Now is the time of year when a lot of families realize there is a struggle or problem with the current homework situation. As a former teacher and mom I have strategies that will help every family reduce homework time frustration whether you have a strict homework policy at home or haven’t really made a plan at all.
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Full Episode Transcription (not edited):
Is homework time, a struggle in your house. Do you even have a designated time in the afternoon to get schoolwork done or is it whatever, whatever approach, as long as it gets done and turned into the teacher, you’re good with whatever happens now is the time of year, because it’s the beginning of the school year. When a lot of families realize there is a struggle, something is off something isn’t working. You’ve realized there’s a problem with the current homework situation. And I can tell you as a former teacher and as a mom, I have strategies that will help every family reduce homework time like that homework time frustration, whether you have a strict homework policy at home, or you haven’t really made a plan at all. So let’s get into this episode and I can help you with some strategies to simplify the homework struggles.
Hey moms, welcome to the intentional edit podcast. Do you wanna stop feeling overwhelmed and finally get your home organized. Do you find yourself up late at night, worrying about how you are going to get everything done and not drop the ball? You are wondering where to start and what to do. There is never enough time in the day. The piles of laundry are building up and it’s already time for after school activities, homework, snacks, and carpool. Oh, again, I’m Lauren. I too want an organized, clean home where my family can make long lasting memories and be present in the moment feeling like there’s never enough time to complete all the daily tasks is exhausting simplicity all around a healthy meal on the table at dinnertime and a family that contributes to the chores really is attainable. Stop telling yourself that you have to do it all or it will never get done. Or that picky eaters will never allow for a complaint free dinner. In this podcast, you will learn exactly how to declutter implement systems and maximize routines that remove the overwhelming unorganized parts of life, bringing simplicity to your life and home. Come on. It’s time to create a life. You love
A new school year is really like new year’s day for moms or families. Think about what new year’s day signifies. And that’s the same thing that I’m talking about with the new school year. It’s a fresh start, a time to set up a new schedule, bring back what you value or add new values and priorities to your day to your life. Really the new school year is like a natural reset time to decide how you want to move forward. Assess what worked for you last year and think about what didn’t work for you last year, and then keep those things or get rid of them. That can mean in physical things or actually systems and routines and how you went about your day and your schedule. If it was working, keep it. If it wasn’t get rid of it, create something new that works and serves you.
You can enhance some of those things you were doing last year. If there were not any issues with it, keep it the way that it was. Make sure these things serve you. They serve your priorities and the life that you want to be living today. We are talking about all things, homework, and how to tackle some of those homework struggles. Okay. If you were here listening to this episode, something is not working with homework time. Maybe it’s you have a child that isn’t getting their homework done. Maybe it’s meltdowns at homework time, not wanting to get the homework done, not wanting to do nightly reading there’s problems with something around homework. And I have some ideas for you that will help you get this problem solved. We always wanna be solution based and identify what is this struggle? What is the problem? Where is that problem coming from?
And then come up with a solution for that. So there’s a couple things that can help you. Now. One thing that while there’s a lot of things that we talked about, if you have not listened to episode 78, go back and listen to episode 78, because I recorded a joint episode with Sarah from the peace and productivity podcast. And we talked so many things back to school, and sometimes the you’re seeing the problem happen with homework. But the problem is really in a lack of system or a frustration with a routine that’s not in place or something else. And that could be something school based or a learning struggle or something like that too. But go listen to episode 78 because we talk all things back to school and give you idea after idea after idea, and just keep giving you the information in there that can really help you have a successful school year.
If you have already zoned in, in schools in session, you’ve probably been in, in back to school mode for a couple weeks now getting into the groove of everything and how it’s working. And you have either noticed that there’s a struggle with homework time or maybe the teacher has brought it to your attention. So a couple things that you can do, one of them and every family should do. This is come up with some type of homework supply area. It does not matter if it is a drawer in your kitchen, a basket or small container, a little homework, caddy, a rolling cart with a ton of supplies on it. A CA a container in a cabinet that you just open the door, take the container out, put it on the table when the kids are doing homework, but come up with a way to contain homework supplies, common, homework, supplies, pencils, erasable, pens, erasers, a ruler things.
And of course this changes depending on the ages of your kids. But if you have a teacher that, you know, requires highlighters all the time, put a couple highlighters in that container. If note cards are a thing lined paper that they always have to use, put those things in this homework area so that your kids know where to go to get these supplies so that they are always readily available. When kids are at the time where they are doing homework, and this goes for all ages, they have already used their brains and been actively engaged for hours and hours and hours and hours of the day. So meltdowns might happen, but there are things you can do to prevent them. If they don’t have a pencil, if they don’t have the right supplies, that is something that can trigger frustration and a meltdown to eliminate the eliminate.
That from even being a possibility, make that container for supplies. If you have kids that are on the go and you spend a lot of time in the car with your kids. And sometimes that means from school to activity, to activity, to sport back home. And there’s a lot of driving time. If you have multiple kids, a lot of times the ones that don’t have as many activities are put in a position where they have to do homework outside of the home, whether that be driving in the car or at a restaurant, or while they’re waiting for a sibling to finish a practice or an activity, and they’re sitting in a hallway or on a field next to you doing homework, then you need to have a portable homework supply station. And this is easy. Go get a pencil pouch or a pencil box and put these things in it.
Pens, pencils, highlighters, ruler, anything that they need that is age appropriate for them, for the classes that they’re taking. And that stays in the car, it stays where you are going to use it. So if that means they do homework in the car, it stays in the car. If that means they do homework because you pull into a restaurant while you’re waiting to pick up other kids, or they’re doing homework on the side of the field while, while their sibling is practicing that homework, little pouch that zipper pouch, or that homework box, that’s the supplies and that stays in the car so that you can take it with you or use it in the car. Okay. That’s the first thing. The other thing is what schedule makes sense, look at your overall schedule and where does getting the homework done fit in to the time that you have available to you?
I remember being in high school and my math teacher talked about when he was in college, when he was so busy and he took a heavy course load, had a lot of extra responsibilities outside of school, an internship, a job, a social life, all of these things. And he got more done and he explained to us, and I have been reminded of this many times throughout my life. The more I have to do the better with time management I am. And that’s not, I shouldn’t even say I that’s just people in general, when you have a lot to do, you have to use your time wisely. When you have free time and downtime, then there isn’t the urgency to get the things done when we have to get them done. So you often see kids that have more activities or participate in a competitive sport.
Be very good with time management. And oftentimes that can even be a reflection of grades. They get better grades because they are forced to study. They’re forced to, to get homework done in the time that they have available to them. They can’t put it off and just not do it. So schedule the time where it fits in and let your kids know, make an assessment of your schedule. If it changes from week to week, make sure you’re doing that weekly check in a specialty for you as the parent, and then transferring everything to a calendar where everyone can see getting everyone on the same page, communicating with your family. This is what’s going on. And these are the windows we have for homework. If you instill these things, when your kids are younger, they will take these and take charge and then figure out the blocks of time when they have to do the homework, as they’re older and have these healthy, responsible homework habits that they can use as teenagers.
So figure out the schedule, where does the homework fit in and then do what you need to do to get it done in that timeframe, by creating a supply kit for home and one for in the car, if that’s what you need to do. Also think about food and nutrition. If we feed our kids so that they have fuel to be successful and have brain power and have energy throughout the day, then do they need a snack? If they have lunch really early in the day, they might be starving when they come home and they need a snack to have their snack before they do homework. If you’re crunched for time, it might mean snack is being, they’re eating that snack as they’re doing the homework. And that’s okay too. It’s wonderful. If they can have a little breather, even if it’s just 15 minutes where they don’t have to focus on anything, they don’t have to be engaged before they can go on to their activities and their other stuff after school.
But if they can’t use the time you have available to you, snack time, homework time, then what about reading? How do you get this nightly reading in same thing? Does the reading have to be done in the car? Does it have to be done when there is time that you’re not doing something, it might, should it be done 30 minutes before they get into bed at night and then they can fall asleep reading or get tucked in. After the reading is done, there isn’t a right or wrong in this situation. It’s what fits into the time you have available for you. If you have a designated homework time at your house, and that might be 30 minutes for some age, kids an hour for others, whatever you have figured out makes sense for the school that you go to, the amount of homework that comes home and the ages of your kids.
Then what you could do is say that the remainder of that time, if you finish your homework in 10 minutes and the 30 minute time is not up, the remainder of that time is reading time. I know quite a few parents that do that. And then your kids get some reading in. And after that, it’s free time. Now it’s whatever time that is, you could also instill reading time. If you have very young kids that have to read out loud to you, they can read to you while you are preparing dinner, or while you have to get something else done, put them on a stool, put them next to you and let them get their reading done because you can cut up vegetables for dinner while you listen to them, read and have conversation about what they’re reading again, come up with solutions that make sense for how your day goes for what is happening for the schedule that you currently have.
And it might not look the same every day of the week. You will adjust to this and your kids will adjust to this. Talk about it with them, come up with the plan and make sure that you guys are working together to achieve the success of the homework and, and get it done and not just rush through it, but actually make it a meaningful time. And when it’s finished, then you have to do something with it. What does that look like? Make sure that in order for the homework to get turned in at school, that you have come up with a system and a routine for what happens when homework is done. And again, depending on the ages of your kids and what is developmentally and academically appropriate for them, this will look different. You probably are not checking to make sure that your 10th graders homework is done and put in their backpack or submitted online.
They, unless there has been a struggle. If they are doing this on their own, this that would be age appropriate for high school students. They should be at the point where they don’t need a parent to check, to make sure that the homework is done. Now, if they’ve had a struggle, you go back to the struggle and you come up with a solution for them. If they’re not doing this on your own, then that’s when you’re implementing consequences and reasonable punishments or consequences until the homework is done. Maybe they do have to bring the computer to you when they are submitting the assignment, to make sure that it’s submitted, or they let you know it’s submitted and you log into your parent portal and you check, and then they can have their screen time. Then they get their phone back. Then they can go outside.
Then they socialize with their friends, whatever it is. Again, the solution to the problem is available. You have to create it for your family and the needs of your family. For younger kids, checking homework is a more common occurrence. Maybe the teacher even re makes it a requirement that you sign a little section of the planner, or you initial a page of the homework. If those things happen, you need to have a system in place. So your kids know what to do. If they’re independently completing a worksheet or doing homework, then they need to bring it to you afterwards. So you can sign it. If you are not home and a babysitter is doing it, but the parent has to sign. They need to put it in a place where that is something you do. And then the backpack is packed up, but make sure that part of the end of the homework routine is that the backpack is packed up because the homework is put away.
The backpack is packed up. Folders are put inside of it. And that backpack or school bag is put by the door in a spot that is designated by you guys and your family. And it is ready to leave in the morning. Homework routine might also include lunch, packing, packing of lunch, preparing of lunch the next day, or maybe it’s just the kids. Take the lunch box home, empty it out, place it in the sink. And then you pack the lunch for the next day. Come up with the systems that work for your family. You want to create routines that make sense. The routine doesn’t have to be the same every single day, but you need to establish what the routine is depending on your schedule. The day that is packed with activities is going to have a little bit of a different routine than the day that you are at home after school, come up with these routines that work for your family.
Make sure you’re addressing your schedule, where the homework fits in, how you’re going to do that. Make sure you’re addressing snacks, feeding your kids need to be fueled to get the homework done and remember, maintain the information you are coming up with a way to get, have homework supplies available for your kids in the car, on the go and at home. Make sure that you have addressed to the nightly reading or just general reading requirements that need to happen. There aren’t actual homework that needs to be turned in every day. But think about what happens with nightly reading or just reading in general to get books, read for assignments and book reports and things like that. Come up with the plan for papers that need to be signed. Things that need to be checked on by a parent, a babysitter, a caretaker, and come up with the plan of what to do when homework is done with the folders, the books, the backpack, the lunch box, all of that stuff, how to put it away and where it goes so that it’s ready for the next day, so that nothing is forgotten or left behind.
I gave you a lot of information there. I hope that helps you. If you implement some of those things to conquer the struggles that you are having, homework will become less stressful and your kids will have more success with it and less meltdowns and struggles will happen. So implement those things that apply to you and your family for the ages of the kids that you have and the stage of life you are currently in. If you have more specific questions that you want me to answer or things that I can help you with go to intentional, edit.com and click on that record. Now button, leave me a message there. And I will answer your question on a future tip Tuesday episode. You can also reach out to me. If you want to join the Facebook group, go to Facebook. There’s a link in the show notes for this.
You can click on the link, join our Facebook group, make sure you answer the question so that I know you’re a real person and not a bot or not span. And then I will let you into the group. The group is called Z clutter organized and create systems to simplify your home and life. You can join us over there, post your struggles, post your organizing, whatever you’re doing before and after pictures, I wanna see it all, but join us over there or go to intentional, edit.com and leave me a question so that I can help you with your struggles, your organizing your decluttering and get you creating systems and routine that will change your life and simplify to make things easier. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the intentional edit podcast, and I will see you next week for the next tip Tuesday episode.
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Lauren is the founder of Intentional Edit, a home organization and lifestyle company focused on consciously editing to create efficient and organized spaces. Lauren believes that a functional home that looks and feels good has a positive influence on all aspects of life. Creating systems that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating most of the clutter and chaos is her priority. While trends come and go organization is always in style!
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