Dealing with elementary school homework

Many parents despise homework almost as much as their children do. Or at least I am not fond of it, and I know neither of my kids want to do homework – though they may actually have fun doing some of the assignments.


Jase began receiving homework in kindergarten. It was simple. It could be done in less than 15 minutes. They simply have to pick three squares to complete tic-tac-toe. It could be practicing your letters, playing on a particular website or drawing a picture. For Lexie (my current kindergartner), homework is sent out on Monday and due Thursday.

For Jase, first-grade homework took a little more time and now with second grade homework Jase spends about 45 minutes on it. He receives the assignments on Monday, and they are due by Friday. He has to complete three of the six homework assignment squares as well as study his wall words (spelling), learn his vocabulary words and read for 15 minutes each day.

Assignments range from math problems to writing and there are even learning games on the computer. Each homework square usually corresponds to a different topic they are studying in school. One square – often math or reading – is always a “must do.”

We typically do all the homework on Monday, except for the daily reading and review of his vocabulary words. I also give him a spelling test on his wall words on Thursday. Thanks to the Spell City website, the test is somewhat “fun.”

I like getting all the homework done at the beginning of the week, so we have less to worry about as the week goes on. Not to mention that Lexie has gymnastics on Tuesday and that pretty much takes up most of our after school time before dinner. After dinner, they would rather spend time with dad then do homework.

The first week that Lexie had homework, I tried having her and Jase do their homework at the same time. Big mistake. I couldn’t concentrate on helping either kid. Lexie at 5 years old obviously needs help but so does Jase. I am trying to give him less guidance, but he still needs some help. My solution has been to do Lexie’s 15 minutes of homework first and then start Jase’s. So far, that is working out.

I still dread Mondays most of the time. I know the kids are going to whine about doing their homework. It seems mostly like busy work, and they would rather be playing. I would rather they have that “down” time to play too but homework must be done. And unfortunately, they are just going to get more (and harder) homework assignments in the future.


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