Having a regular routine and schedule each school day helps children achieve well in school.
Last week we started discussing how vital it is for nannies and au pairs to help childen with homework.
Having a regular routine and schedule each school day helps children achieve well in school. The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL), an education and tutoring center, explains that established routines set expectations, helps create a focused atmosphere, and models time organization.
The daily school routine should begin the evening before children go to school. In the evening caregivers and children should gather all school supplies and completed homework needed for the next day. Backpacks should be packed, school lunches and snacks should be made and stored in the refrigerator, and clothing should be picked out for the next day of school. Having these tasks completed before going to bed helps the children get ready for school in the morning.
In the morning nannies should provide children with a healthy breakfast. Once dressed and fed caregivers and students should check one last time to ensure that children have their lunches and snacks in their backpacks and that they have all schoolwork and materials needed for that day in school.
After school nannies need to help children develop a daily routine as well. The NWREL recommends that homework helpers start the homework routine by taking a few minutes to talk about the children's day or chat over a snack. They explain, "This is an important part of getting homework done. Remember, children have been in school for six or more hours before sitting down to do homework. A moment to decompress, collect thoughts, and relax the body and mind will result in a more successful study time."
But, the NWREL advises caregivers that it is best to have children complete their homework before going to other activities or having playdates. Although, extra curricular activities may require children to complete homework after activities or dinner.
Julie, a nanny from Seattle, advises nannies to let children have a healthy snack after school and a little exercise, then do homework. Julie believes that it is "best to have as much homework done before dinner when possible. Never have kids go to sleep before homework is completed."
The U.S. Department of Education (U.S.D.E.) explains that what works well in one household may not work in another. The U.S.D.E. explains that a good schedule depends in part on the children's ages as well as their specific needs. For instance, one child may do homework best in the afternoon, completing homework first or after an hour of play and another may do it best after dinner.
The U.S.D.E. also recommends that caregivers should help elementary school children develop a schedule. Older students can probably make up a schedule independently, although homework helpers should make sure that it's a workable one.
It may be helpful to write out the schedule and put it in a place where everyone can see it often, such as on the refrigerator door. See our Homework Contract posted on Tuesday September 8, 2009.
What are your tips to help children with homework?