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How to Deal With Excessive Homework

Updated on November 30, 2012
Homework is a permenant fixture for children and is assigned from Head Start throughout their entire school career.
Homework is a permenant fixture for children and is assigned from Head Start throughout their entire school career. | Source

Homework seems to multiply with every year of school that passes by. You start out with minimal homework at the beginning of your school career and by the time you are approaching middle school it seems as though the homework becomes a bit excessive. There are ways of coping with excessive homework.

The Beginning Years of Homework

I have four children, two of them are in sixth grade, one is in second grade, and my fourth is in a Head Start Program. All four of my children are required to complete homework. My two younger boys do not yet know how overwhelming homework can be because they are still in the stage of their schooling that requires them to complete minimal assignments at home.

The Head Start Program that my youngest son attends sends home Weekly Happenings Sheets every week. These sheets explain the topic of the upcoming school week and what they will be learning. There is also an activity for my son to complete at home with us each week. Once the assignment is completed it is returned to school and used during their discussions about that weeks topic. The assignment helps the children to talk about their feelings, drawings, etc.

The homework for my second grader increased a bit from last year but is still minimal. He has the same basic homework schedule each week. The homework consists of three days of spelling homework, two days of reading homework, and five days of math homework. It takes about 15 - 20 minutes for him to complete his work.

The homework for my younger two is cake work compared to the homework assignments my older two must complete each week.

Homework through High School

My older two children are swamped each week with homework assignments and they are only in the sixth grade. I know from my experience with school that homework only increases with each passing year. A typical weeks homework for my kids consists of spelling, math, social studies, science, language, reading, health, art, and band practice. They have math homework every night and even on weekends. The spelling homework is the same each week. The assignments for spelling are assigned on Mondays and are not due until Thursdays, unlike the other subjects that are generally assigned one day and due the next day of school.

It can be difficult to complete the homework without becoming overwhelmed especially during the sports seasons when sports practice takes up extra study time. I am trying to teach my children how to deal with their excessive homework assignments so that they can have good homework habits throughout the rest of their school career.

Example Homework Chart

Subject
Assignment
Due Date
Math
New lesson each day
Due the following school day
Spelling
Write words 5 times each, complete spelling packet which consists of six pages
Due Thursday
Reading
New assignment each day
Due the following school day
Science and Social Studies
Complete chapter questions
Due Friday

Excessive Homework System

It is easier to complete homework in a systematic fashion. It is easier to complete the homework when you plan ahead. By creating a homework chart system you can easily determine what needs to be completed and when it needs to be completed by.

If you look at the above table you will see that math and reading have daily assignments that must be completed each night. It is best to tackle these subjects first. Other subjects that only have homework once in a while can easily be added to any chart to help your child complete the assignment easily and on time. Subjects like spelling that are assigned on a Monday but not due until Thursday should be completed after the daily assignments are done. You should try to complete as much as possible the first day, by this I mean the area of that homework that will take you the longest amount of time. My children complete their 5 times each assignment first each week. It takes them longer to write 20 words 5 times a piece than it does to complete the spelling packet. I usually try to make sure that have all or most of the spelling packets completed by Tuesday night because it can be difficult to complete the whole packet at the last minute on a Wednesday evening.

I have taught my children that it is better to start completing assignments the day they are assigned even if they are not due for a few days because you do not know what homework will be assigned in other subjects the rest of the week. Some assignments take a longer amount of time to complete and it is better to have a jump start on assignments so that you do not find yourself trying to finish homework for a few different subjects in a limited amount of time.

Good Homework Habits

By helping your child create good homework habits in elementary school you will be helping them to easily handle the larger and more excessive assignments they will receive throughout the rest of their school career. It is less stressful to complete homework when you have a proven system set into place and your child will feel less overwhelmed when it is time to sit down and complete their assignments!

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