So my kids are back to school this week, and I’m reminded of all the things that come with that event. The homework, the lunch requirements, and anxiety about being in school make my days more difficult. For my kids, they get short with each other and there is more fighting. They both get very anxious during school, and although they are trying to do well, they worry about it all year. Managing all the emotions that come with the school year can be difficult, but taking care of yourself becomes important as you try to take care of them.
Over that last couple years, my work schedule has been hard and I have been commuting, making homework time more limited and time for myself non-existent. This year, I’m am working closer to home so I’m hoping that it will make things easier for me and for them. We try to set up a structure around home work. My kids have to work on homework independently, so they do as much as they can, then I will help them with the rest. I found that if I help right away, I tend to do most of it for them (just to get it done), which doesn’t facilitate any learning for them. It’s better if I correct and support, than participate in the first try.
At a certain time, we come to the kitchen table (or family room couch), review and work on whatever needs further help. The TV needs to be off (or it just gets too distracting) and for my youngest it needs to be quiet. We review what they have already completed and I will try to provide instruction and support for the things that they had trouble with. This can be a difficult process, especially for my youngest. She has ADD, and is easy distracted. Sometimes helping her is a real challenge for me, because I have to be firm, but also supportive and sometimes those things don’t go together. She has the ability to complete the work, and when challenged is able to get it done, but she likes to play more than do school work, which is one of the reasons that she is behind in school.
Keeping kids focused on school work is a very tough task, both in school and out of school. Think back to being in school. How did you do in school? Did school come easy, or did you have hard? Did you like school? These are important questions to ask yourself because your school experience will affect your ability to help your kids with their homework and other school issues. Whether you liked school or not, school is key when it comes to your child’s future. That is something that I try to remember when helping my kids because as they move forward in life, there will be more school if they are to be successful.
This is where your own self-care comes into play. Make sure that you are getting enough rest this school year. Exercise to work off stress and stay healthy, and prioritize things around the house so you can get everything done that you need to get done. If you are anything like me, you still need to keep up with the housework, even when you end up spending three hours a night on homework (I really need the kitchen cleaned up before I go to bed).
You will make it through this school year, with good planning and organization. Stay focused and it will help you kids stay focused and have a good school year. Just don’t forget to take care of yourself too!