I don’t know about you but homework during the holidays has kind of slipped my mind. It wasn’t intentional but to me a Christmas break is just that, a time for families to spend that time together and not be concerned with working, homework or in our case routine too much.
It’s now the final weekend before the schools go back and it’s dawned on me that I’ve not even looked at Emmy’s homework, I’m sure I’m not alone either and the sheer mention of it has sent Emmy into a tizz.
Don’t get me wrong, she adores school and she loves reading and writing but during the holidays we like to do things on our own terms.
She has been reading to me daily but NOT her school books, I have been keeping her reading record up to date with her progress. I find if she is able to choose the book herself then she is happier to read it and more inclined to actually read to the end even if it’s a long book than if it’s a story given to her which is of no interest to her whatsoever, she has also started to read Harry his bedtime story every evening which is just adorable.
Emmy has also been writing loads during the holidays, drawing lots of wonderful pictures and adding her own stories to these pictures.
To me I see this as writing practice, she is learning new words, asking how to spell them and improving her handwriting the whole time, so while it’s not the actual homework she has been set it is work to a certain degree…only that of which she enjoys and chooses.
Yesterday I sat her down to do the set homework tasks and boy was it a struggle, it wasn’t a huge task but it didn’t interest her so took far longer than it should have with lots of stopping and restarting and tantrums in-between.
Next time the holidays come around and she has homework I won’t be leaving it to the last minute but will actually take a look at it at the start of the holidays and forward plan. Instead of making homework a chore I’ll be trying to make it fun so if she has to make a poster as she did this holiday I’ll try to find a programme about that topic and watch together or plan a trip around that topic/ subject…that way she will have the ideas for the poster fresh in her mind and choose to write about them or at least be more willing to.
When I was Nannying I took the above approach and it was definitely easier once the children got older and I also used it to help me plan lessons when I was tutoring older children during school holidays when the family I worked for were away, they were of exam ages and I helped to organise revision plans and offered a helping hand with their homework and Maths preparations. Working with the children closely to personalise a revision schedule to suit them and to try to make it as fun as possible.
This isn’t something I do now I’m no longer working in this field but if when my children are older and they want/need that extra help then I would be more than happy to look at a private tutor at least once a week during the holidays as I’ve seen the benefits first hand. Fleet Tutors offer a wide range of tutors to suit all age groups from KS1 upwards.
For now though I’m about to put on a Blue Planet programme for Emmy to help her learn some more facts to add to her poster about the Arctic and Antarctic and then tackle the writing homework for which she needs to document one special day in the holidays – there are a few to choose from including breakfast with Santa, Disney on Ice or even Christmas day opening her presents but she is reluctant to write about any of them for some reason.
How do you encourage your children to do their homework and are you guilty of forgetting like me?
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