When children are old enough to attend school, life becomes busier, more chaotic and time consuming. Life before school (as a parent) was bliss, carefree and quite frankly easy. (Perhaps those who are at the early baby and toddler stage might think otherwise, however just you wait and see)!
Before children attended school, time was not an issue. If you were a stay-at-home-mum the clock was never watched and school drop off and pick up times was far from your mind. You did your own thing and in your own time frame. You never had to drop everything and rush out the door to collect your children from school.
However, once schooling beings, life becomes hectic with routines, schedules and many appointments, including school excursions, sports carnivals, meetings, parent/teacher interviews, school concerts and rehearsals, other sporting commitments along with after school training, swimming, music or dance lessons etc. Not only this, there are also the other routines of making continuous school lunches, washing uniforms and and of course the HOME WORK.
Homework ~ this word most probably sends chills down every mothers spine. This time period from 4.00pm till 7.00pm can be one of the busiest times of the day (perhaps longer in some households) as these hours tend to drag on and can also be very chaotic.
Picture this, a quiet tranquil and peaceful home (perhaps it is clean and tidy too), suddenly a cyclone sweeps through the front door. School bags are tossed in the open doorway, blazers and hats thrown sideways and around the room, kids are fighting and pushing, lunch boxes scattered from one end of the kitchen bench to the other, meanwhile mother is giving orders left right and centre.
Even though the children know their bags, blazers and hats are meant to be hanging at the door as they enter, their lunch boxes emptied and neatly put out on the table; sometimes these little tasks can be quite easily forgotten.
As a mother of seven (with all seven at school this year), you can very well imagine how chaotic this home is during the hours mentioned above. Thankfully I tend to organise my meals earlier during the day so I don’t have to struggle with dinner time as well as the homework schedule. For myself ~ meal planning is essential.
Organising your day prior to the mad hours is a bonus. Here are some simple ideas on how to be a Supermum and have your day organised.
As for homework with 7 kids, this can take a number of hours to get through, therefore having a designated area for the children to do their homework is a benefit (ours being in our family room / kitchen). Each of the No Excuses children have a school dairy (which should have their homework listed inside) and having them all sit around the table is an easier way to monitor one after the other.
With Prep to Grades 2, 4, 5, Year 7, Year 8 and Year 10 students, homework must be done as soon as they all get home from school (and after they have got out of their school uniforms and emptied their lunch boxes). The sooner they complete their homework, and evening routines ~ then they are able to have play time or free time to themselves before dinner (of course the High School students can take all night long to do their homework). Free time does not include movies, DVDS or TV (and especially not on school nights) unless all chores are done and their evening ROUTINE completed before hand.
For the younger primary school aged children, they do general writing, spelling, maths, reading and memorising questions for religion class which at times it can be so stressful and agonising especially when trying to get a child to sound out words, do reading or just writing.
The 3 older girls tend to work at their own pace and need little help. If one does need assistance with a maths or science problem (which is out of my league), they would tend to ask their dad for assistance. In the past when he use to work away from home, we had to rely on live video calling via Skype – thank goodness for this modern day technology!
Homework for the smaller children can at times become strenuous, tiring and hard work for both the parents and children. There are days when children are just not up to doing their homework, so forcing them only makes matters worse. At times my Prep student has been too tired and emotional after a long day at school to do his work, therefore on these particular days (which is not often) I would just write a note in the dairy and get them to do it another night (if need be).
There is no need to stress the child and yourself out even more with something not worth worrying about, however I must confess there have been times where I have had to crack open a bottle of wine or have a pear cider just to get through this exasperating, hair pulling and EXCRUCIATING homework madness.
Then with all this homework nonsense, perhaps home-schooling might be the answer to my troubles. Of course there are various families that choose to home school there children and I highly commend each of every one of them as it takes a special type of person to do take on the role of being a teacher.
Unfortunately, there is NO WAY I could home school my brood; their teacher would be harassed, booby-trapped or worse still ……there is always a risk of being admitted to into a mental asylum!
However, getting back to home schooling and homework, I will never forget a comment made by my home schooling friends son “mum, why do those that go to school have to do homework after being a school all day; we have our school at home and you don’t give us extra school work”?
This IS definitely something to think about!