As of this writing, my two gradeschoolers just arrived from school and they were both babbling about their day in school. As a mom, I felt proud that unlike other kids in our neighborhood who just go to school for the sake of it, I can truly say that my kids ENJOY attending their classes, mingling with their teachers and classmates, and especially learning new things both in their academic subjects and extra-curricular activities despite their tough lessons everyday. Imagine a six and seven year old children learning about Biology, Zoology, Integers, and other topics which as far as I can remember were discussed during my high school days (and it was eons ago hehe!) Becoming a student in this new era is truly a “long and tough journey” for these kids.
On the other hand, my kids LOVE their Chinese subject. They only have it once a week and they would both get excited when I tell them that it is their Chinese subject day. They would share to me what they learned that day. Chinese words, greetings in Chinese, what their names mean in Chinese, and more.
Both my kids are in the afternoon class (they go to school at 12noon) and they arrive home from school at around 6pm. It is not yet dark outside these days during that time, so I still allow them to play for about 30 minutes with their playmates. I know they had a long day at school and so I want them to unwind by playing for a short while. They do not do their assignments at night but rather on the following morning. I am the one who carried out that rule because I know their minds are more active and refreshed after a good night sleep. After all, they have more time in the morning to study and do their assignments.
As a hands-on mom when it comes to helping my kids with their assignment, I know if my kids are learning from their class or not. I am not the type of mom who will do their kids’ assignment. I check their books and notebooks regularly and see how they fair in class when they have quizzes and seat works. My kids are also vocal in letting me know which topic they find easy and hard to understand. They have assignments every day and quizzes every other day. I believe these assignments are meant to extend classroom learning and for them to practice important study skills. I feel truly blessed to have kids who do not hate doing assignments. In fact, sometimes I have to remind them that assignment time is on the following morning. This is because sometimes they wanted to do their homework right after they arrived from school.
In the morning after they had their breakfast at around 7am, my two kids would take turn on my work desk. As productive as I am when I am on my work space, they both claimed that they feel comfortable and could think better too when they are on my chair and table. So I believe that setting up a perfect spot for home work management helps a lot.
To sum it all up, I wanted to share to you how I help my grade school kids with their studies and homework and you can do the same too.
1. Set up a proper work space for your kids.
Keep in mind that aside from a comfortable chair and table, the room must be well-lit, quiet, and free from distractions. Ours is in the living room but we make sure that the TV is off and their little sibling is not around. School supplies must be within reach like pens, pencils, paper stapler, calculator, ruler, and references like dictionary or thesaurus.
2. Set up the computer/laptop in a visible place.
There are times when I allow my kids to use the laptop but only for educational research and educational games only. They are more motivated to work on some exercises I found online. For instance, my daughter wanted to review skip counting. I found a site where she can learn and play a game pertaining to that lesson. I make sure though that I am around and I can see what she is doing on the laptop. If my kids need to ask me something or I need to check their work, I am just at their beck and call.
3. Stick on your schedule.
As I said earlier, our homework time is every morning before they prepare for school after we had lunch. We have been on that routine since the school year started and we are all accustomed to that by now.
4. Commend and give words of encouragement.
I do this equally with both of my kids. When I checked their books and notebooks and saw that they did great on a seat work or quiz, I commend them. On the contrary, if I saw that they did not quite make it on a particular exam or quiz, I would ask what confused them or what they do not fully understand. I always make myself available for them. And when they speak up, I would shower them words of encouragement and we will go back to that particular lesson. I avoid scolding them and even though I would tell them that it is okay if they did not get high scores, still I would encourage them to do their best next time.
5. Reach out to their teachers.
I’ve done this before with their previous school. Sometimes I would accompany them to school and have a little chat on their teachers just to ask how the kids are doing in class. However, with their current school, they are a little strict. Meeting with the kid’s teachers must be set on schedule first. Impromptu visits/approach to the teachers are not allowed.
Next week will be my kids’ First Unit Test and they have already handed me their Pointers to Review. They could not wait till weekend comes where the three of us will be sitting around in one table to review and study.
How do you help your kids with their studies and homework?