How Can I Lessen Nightly Homework Drama?
Pencils and paper and pens, Oh My!
At nine o'clock in the evening, an Oh my! is not the usual response when our children sheepishly mention there is a project due tomorrow instead of next week as they originally thought. The pacing begins and sometimes the overwhelming tears of disappointment in themselves follow. Or truthfully more often, the genuine fear of the parent response. I learned early on as a parent a lesson that I taught myself as a teacher: HOME SPOTS.
In my early days of teaching, I was eager to have an area of supplies that were just for my students. A fully stocked drawer with all kinds of necessary supplies and tools was all that was needed to avoid frustration and lost class time. So, with three children of my own at home – why were there so many last-minute trips for the needed poster board or book report folders? As I was sharing one of my late night parent rescue stories to get poster board and glue sticks with one of my students, she simply encouraged me to have the same supplies at home that I keep in my classroom (one of the many reverse teaching moments I have experienced!).
So, I took my student’s advice and created a simple student drawer and shelf for my kids. Nothing fancy. I didn’t purchase any special bins or furniture. I just cleaned out a kitchen drawer and one shelf. And Oh My!, did it make all the difference for the late elementary school and middle school years. I thought for sure when the high school years came upon us, I could clean out the kitchen drawer for my wooden spoons – but noooooooooooooo – not an option declared by my family. (I think my husband even benefits from the school system, but that’s another paragraph.)
Sounds pretty easy, right? But here is the catch: HOME SPOTS. This is crucial to a successful student center on the home front. It means that everyone has to agree to put the stapler back in the exact stapler HOME SPOT. The scissors too. And tape. All of it! No floating paper clips on the family room carpet or magic markers rolling off the kitchen table to never be seen again under the stove. It’s the agreed upon rule in my classroom for all these years and at my home, too. At the end of every school year, all my classroom supplies are neatly resting in their HOME SPOTS – all proud to have survived another year.
- Purchase a full complement of supplies: tape, stapler, pencils, erasers, paper clips, pens, sticky notes, rulers and protractors, colored paper, poster board, magic markers, crayons, stencils,and everything else a student at school would need to have a successful class experience.
- Keep it simple - no fancy or expensive storage items are needed.
- HOME SPOTS - everything—I mean everything—is returned to the same place from which it came!