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Resident Blogger The Organised Mummy

The Organised Mummy - Renee Bennett

Helping Kids and Parents Survive Homework!

15 March 2013 | The Organised Mummy

Homework causes stress for kids and parents - stock photo

Homework = Stress...

...not only for children but parents as well!

After an entire day of being at school, most children are not exactly jumping for joy at the thought of sitting down for more study. And to be completely honest, I share their feelings. After school time is what one of my good friends cleverly labeled as 'Arsenic Hour'! We have sport's training to get them to, loads of washing piling up, dinner to think of and even tomorrow's lunches!

So how can we not just survive homework, but even maybe make it a pleasant time with your children? Yes, I said pleasant in the same sentence as homework!! It is possible!

Create a predictable routine

You know by now I am the Queen of routine and organization. Having a routine for homework just like other parts of the day helps children. It can eliminate an argument if they know that come 3.30pm or 4 o'clock, it's homework time. Homework time becomes predictable, just like tea time and bed time. It also saves you chasing them down everyday and screaming at them!

Our routine looks something like this. You do whatever suits your family, but make sure it's the same everyday!

  • Arrive home from school
  • Hang up school bag
  • lunch boxes in the kitchen
  • homework on the table
  • afternoon tea
  • homework
  • free time

Make a chart if you have to (like my 'get up and go' you can see here).

Create a relaxed, comfy homework zone

We all sit at the dining table together so I can easily help all 3 of my children.

If you are busy starting dinner, put them near you so you can still help.

Supply everything they need

I collected jars (jam, vegemite, sauce etc…) and use them to store lead pencils, coloured pencils, crayons, ruler, glue, sharpener and even a jar of special textas.

Recycle jars as pencil holders

Recycle jars to use for organising pencils, textas and crayons at homework time

Negotiate with the teacher

What some children take 15 minutes to complete, others take 30! If your child is struggling to complete tasks and homework is taking them far too long, go and speak to their teacher. Most teachers I know would be very willing to negotiate parts of the homework. For example, some children need an easier spelling list or less words to learn. Remember, you are your child's advocate!! You are their safe place!

Provide plenty of encouragement and positive comments

Pepper your language with comments like

'I know you can do this!'

'You are so clever'

'I know you find this tricky but I'm so proud you're having a go!'

Don't do the work for them but provide plenty of support

My middle son just looks at an assignment and literally throws his head onto the table! He would love nothing more than me doing the whole lot for him! So along with plenty of positive comments, I help him break it down. Some children need help to unpack a big page of work. Help them but don't do it for them! Ask questions, help them research etc…

Set goals for your child

If you are working on something, set achievable goals and reward them once they've achieved it. For example, my son was behind in learning his times tables. Once he could fluently recite one lot to me, he earned $2.

Don't allow the privilege of television or outdoor play until homework is complete

Good luck getting them back to the table once you've allowed the tv to be turned on or let them go outside! Teach them they have a responsibility and once they have completed it, they can have the freedom to play. This is simply teaching them a life skill. You are actually doing them a favour here!


We leave the reading component until bedtime. My boys love using their torches to read in their beds. They find it fun, it helps them wind down before sleep and before we know it, they've read for twenty minutes or so. Reading is so important and this makes it fun too! If school readers are boring, consider asking the teacher if they can read something else. There are so many brilliant series out there that kids can't get enough of! Here are just a few:

  • Judy moody
  • Alice Miranda
  • Hey Jack!
  • Diary of Wimpy Kid
  • Kyla May
  • Tom Gates
  • Captain Underpants
  • Zac Powers
  • Big Nate
Buy this book online with free postage here

Some nights, let them read on the ipad for something different. There are clubs on the internet that allow children to collect and read books in a 'virtual library'.

Can I just say as my parting comment, that from a teacher's perspective... is very obvious the children who do and don't receive support at home from mum or dad with their homework. Please help your child! It really does make all the difference in the world to them!

X x Renee

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The Organised Mummy - Renee Bennett

About The Organised Mummy - Renee Bennett

Renee is an experienced educator who specialises in literacy for young children. She grew up in a single parent home and is a regular speaker to community groups around Australia on this subject. She now has three children of her own.

Renee is author to the newly released picture book Imagine We Were. It's available at good bookstores and from the publisher Wombat Books.

You can read The Organised Mummy's full profile here

This blog contains only general information, correct at the date of publication. For advice regarding your own personal circumstances, always seek individual advice from a qualified professional. Read the full Disclaimer here

What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the


are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.


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Even so,

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