After being off track for over a month, my two oldest headed back to school today and I'm just trying to gear myself up for it!
Payton, my oldest son, is in third grade, which means that he's been in school for 4 years. Up until this year, we've never done homework. Go ahead, gasp and judge me. I told you it was a confession. It's not something I'm proud of. In my defense, he has always been a great student and he's an extremely independent child.
I thought I was living it up while I could. I'm sure he'll have more homework when he gets older, let's take advantage of this down time while we can. I'd reassure myself.
He's always had spelling words, daily reading and math papers that would come home, but Payton would complete his math papers while on the bus ride home so that he wouldn't have to waste his precious play time once he got home. He also spent so much time at school working on the spelling words that he never needed to practice them at home. He does his daily reading with the lamp beside his bed after we've tucked him in for the night.
My point is. I've never been involved in the homework process...until this year. Two things happened:
First, Payton started getting homework. Not just do-on-the-bus-homework, but needs- to-be-done-at-home-redo-that-assignment-because-it's-too-sloppy-need-your-parents-help-buy a tri-fold-for kind of homework.
Second, Parker started kindergarten. He gets a packet that he needs to complete each month, a book he reads daily and sight words to practice, which is easy. The issue is that he LOVES homework. (I'll explain why this is an "issue".) He always has. Even when he was in preschool he was begging to do "homework." (Honestly, I have no idea where he learned the word...not at our house!)
So, after 4-years of no homework, we are now required to do homework. Like everything else in life, I had to make it a priority. And I did. The past few weeks I've had to set weekly goals. Help boys with homework - daily. Since I'm being honest, it hasn't happened daily (just like my exercise goal), but I'm trying. I want to get in the habit of learning in our home daily. I want to develop these skills that my boys will need for the next bazillion years of their lives until the graduate with their PHD's. (A mom can dream.)
When I first began trying to implement homework daily it was painful for ALL of us. Payton has never been in the habit so he thought I was torturing him. Parker never wants to stop doing homework once we start because he loves it so much and gets angry when I tell him we're done for the day. For me, I've struggled to find a good time to help two boys, without pulling my hair out!
We don't have a set routine yet, but I think we're getting there. My only goal has been to do something, anything daily. I've realized there are so many fun ways to do homework. These scrabble tiles (pictured above) have been perfect for Parker to spell out his sight words. AND, he can do this for hours without needing my help, just a quick glance of approval every so often.
Payton is really competitive and loves games. We use this website aaamath.com. Payton loves doing the timed tests. We play another game together with flashcards. We lay the multiplication flashcards down on the table and the first person that can say the answer gets to keep the card, until the stack of flashcards are gone. Whoever has the most cards wins. Honestly, he's beat me a lot of times without me letting him win. We are both having fun and we're learning. Better than that, we're doing...HOMEWORK!
All this time, I thought I was being so smart, but now I'm realizing how much I've missed out on. Luckily, there is always time to change a habit and start something new. I'm grateful that I am finally making homework a priority.
Do you have any great homework suggestions for me? As you can tell, I still need a lot of help!