How to schedule homework time for active 5yo? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-04-2010, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, my kindergartener has homework and required home activities. (I'm trying to get over the shock of the pile of papers he got in one week!) So when do you schedule your dc to sit and focus when he wants/needs to play outside after being in school all day?

So far, my rough schedule is getting home, eat snack, get outside & play until dinner (~5:00), do a walk, swim/bath/snack, ~7:30: teeth, toys away, pj's, in bed ~8:00. Ideas?
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:02 PM
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With my second grader he gets about an hour or so to do whatever he wants when he gets home from school. Then he does his homework. Since this only involves math, and he's a whiz at it, it takes him under 10 minutes to get it done. He also has a book he needs to read a day, this he usually does before he goes to bed.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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Dylan had afternoon K so we did his homework in the morning before school. He had about one paper (sometimes 2 sided) of homework a day; 4 pages a week (Monday to Thursday). The packet came home on Monday and turned in on Friday. In elementary school, homework was aproxamenty 15 minutes a night (Monday-Thursday; packets were handed out on Monday, turned in on Friday) per grade. He did it in after school care during homework time. What he didn't finish after school, he did it at the kitchen table while I made dinner or finished after dinner while I cleaned up the kitchen.

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Old 09-04-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Sorry...this won't help....but OMG why does a kid in Kindergarten have homework? Thank goodness we chose to homeschool for now.
I think after a bit of outside playtime and cooldown perhaps just before dinner...or after the bath (does he have one every night?). He could munch on a snack and do the work at the same time....I can't imagine homework at that age being for more than a few minutes.

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Old 09-04-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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Can he do any of the homework outside, like at a picnic table?
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Old 09-04-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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my dd had a tonne of hw at k.

if we sat and tried to focus she would totally lose it and be totally overwhelmed over the amount of work.

so we'd head out straight to the park. she'd play, come back do a little work, play, study, play, study. then at around 5:30 we'd head home.

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Old 09-04-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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My dd's K didn't do homework and her teacher in 1st grade only assigned about 10 minutes of homework. The guidelines are 10 minutes per grade level in our district but it isn't a daily thing for most of the teachers I have seen. Usually homework is work that hasn't been completed in class. We did the homework right after snack so it would get done. She hasn't had any homework this year yet because she does her work at school so I haven't had to deal with the homework thing this year.
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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What's the homework like? Is there any of it that he could do while on the move, or in the tub (things requiring oral answers)? I'm thinking flash cards and the like. Or can you modify it so that he could answer orally?

We are lucky that my dd's kindergarten firmly believed in no homework for little kids. If she had have been one that piled it on at such a young age I think I would have exempted my dd from anything that just seemed like busywork. If it was a concept that dd was having trouble with or could use a little extra practice on then we would have done it. If it was something that she could already do no problem then there's no way I would have my 5 yr old sitting at a table for an hour to go over it a bunch of unnecessary times.

This year my dd in first grade and it seems like the trend is 3 nights of homework a week (we're only 2 wks in though). When she gets home I give her a snack and then ask if she'd rather do the homework right away or have an hour or so of playtime first. So far she's chosen to do the homework right away and get it over with.

I'm keeping an eye on the homework load/content and I'm fully prepared to talk to her teacher and/or write a note excusing her from certain homework if it is only busy work.

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Old 09-04-2010, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your replies. I think the part that gets me is that the homework rests on my shoulders and being already stressed in our day to day life, its MORE that *I* have to do. I can't tell my 5yo to go do his homework. It's up to me to coordinate it, lead it, write it and turn it in.

I was so ready for ds to get into K since the past 3 yrs have been turmoil with him (daily tantrums, defiance, etc..); so I admit I was looking forward to calmer days and much needed time away from him. And now I have to add this to our schedule and fight with him to do this. I've wasted more money on activity books and Baby Einstein learning cards that I just don't see him all of a sudden NOT wanting to ride his bike in favor of homework.
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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What will the teacher do if he doesn't do the homework?

IMO anything beyond "Read 20 minutes together" and "find three things that begin with the letter A (B, C, D)..." in K is silly. More than silly, it's detrimental to his learning.

When ds was in 1st grade, he had about 5-10 minutes a day. He did it right after dinner. Starting about middle of 2nd grade, he chose to do it right after school.

So, if it's really not optional, I'd set the timer for 10-15 minutes and do as much as you can in that time. What doesn't get done doesn't get done. I'd try one of the following schedules:

Home from school, snack, homework, outside time, dinner, play, bath, bed, etc.
OR
Home from school, snack, outside time, dinner, homework, walk, bath, bed, etc.

Given that he's an active 5 year old, I'd try the second schedule first.

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Old 09-04-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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Ds ate a snack then did the homework; both of those things might take a half hour together, then he would play. If we let it go later ds would be too tired.

If you get the hw a week or month at a time you could try to do more on the weekends; that is what we are doing in 1st because ds has football practice 3 days a week.

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Old 09-04-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nansense View Post
I was so ready for ds to get into K since the past 3 yrs have been turmoil with him (daily tantrums, defiance, etc..); so I admit I was looking forward to calmer days and much needed time away from him. And now I have to add this to our schedule and fight with him to do this. I've wasted more money on activity books and Baby Einstein learning cards that I just don't see him all of a sudden NOT wanting to ride his bike in favor of homework.
Do you have any sort of diagnosis for him? Then you would have support for a 504 plan that could accommodate his needs.

Otherwise, I do like the timer idea.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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Just opt out of HW and enjoy your evening reconnect time with your ds.

Bring back the old MDC
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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I'd do it with him while he's eating his snack. The act of chewing actually helps with focus and concentration (I actually learned this from an Occupational therapist). It's also keeping him sitting in one place. If you're the one doing the writing anyway than there's no reason he can't eat while talking to you. But I also would only do 10 minutes a day with him and anything else I would leave undone.

Jennifer, mama to darling dancing Juliette, and sweet baby Jameson
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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Just opt out of HW and enjoy your evening reconnect time with your ds.
Yep. We told the teacher we wouldn't be doing any homework in K. It's a full day program, so if they can't get it all done in 6 hours it isn't my problem.

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Old 09-06-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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DS1 just started school last week and our routine so far is home, he gets changed out of his uniform and has some afternoon tea and then we do homework. HOWEVER DS1 only has to read a book (well, he can't read yet, we are meant to read it together). I think it's ridiculous for a 5yo to have more homework than that!

It's complicated.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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I would view it as a weekend/rainyday/downtime thing, if you are getting a weekly bundle. Also if it is just a big bundle of fun worksheets, that the teacher isn't collecting, I wouldn't think she views getting through every single one as obligatory, you can call/send a note/email her and ask.

DS likes to do math when he is pooping, maybe he could do some if it in the bathroom.

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Old 09-06-2010, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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eepster: LOL..."do math while he's pooping"!!! Now there's an idea I hadn't thought of!
(be careful though, in 5 yrs he may not be able to complete a math test without sitting on the pot!LOL!)

I am going to talk to the teacher to see what's required and what's not. Since the teacher is fresh out of college and has no kids, I'm sure she's doing the same as the other K teachers, so it's probably a school thing. And I will see if I can opt out completely - I seriously don't think he'll lose much learning.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nansense View Post
I've wasted more money on activity books and Baby Einstein learning cards that I just don't see him all of a sudden NOT wanting to ride his bike in favor of homework.
Personally, I would say riding a bike is WAY more education than homework for a 5 year old. I am serious. He gets coordination, exercise, goes from place a to place b, and will probably learn a lot on the way. Both my 3 and 5 yo bike a ton, and they are constantly stopping to pick up stones, pine cones, little discoveries like bird feathers or even bird bones, which then leads to a conversation about how the bird bones are similar/different than human bones, how the bird bones got there (did another animal eat it?), to why a dog didn't take the bones and bury it (too small).... Because of the specific interest of the child and the spontaneity of it it is much deeper learning than a forced assignment. Way more valuable than worksheets, imo. (Assuming here - you haven't said what kind of homework it is). Also, homework as a blanket rule for all 5 yo in the class (as opposed to those 5 yo who just naturally love to do worksheets), is not only not beneficial, it is actually harmful, because it makes homework a chore, a grudge, a PITA. Good way to kill the joy of learning.

OK, off my soap box now. (That felt good!)
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