Homework in first grade can be challenging for both children and parents. Please see the helpful hints below to help make it an easy, fun experience for both you and your child.
You and your child can create a special “homework area” with special pencils they choose, erasers, and school supplies that are only used during homework time so that they look forward to using them. If your child helps create the space they will feel like they have ownership of the space.
Talk to your child and set up a time you both agree on to do homework. Right after school, after an afternoon snack, or before dinner, whatever times your schedule allows, give your child a couple of choices and discuss with them the pros and cons of each choice. If they feel like they have a choice they may be more willing to work at the agreed upon time. Allow them to choose what they would like to do first, next, and last.
Set a timer and “chunk” the work with breaks. For example, set the timer for 10 minutes, ask them to work the entire 10 minutes. When the timer goes off set it again for 10 minutes for a break. During the break allow your child to play with the dog, help you with dinner, whatever they enjoy, when the timer goes off it’s time to get back to work. Continue this cycle until the work is complete. They may be more willing to work hard and try their best for you in small increments of time with a break to look forward to.
Get up and get moving! Exercise spelling words and sight words, practice addition with jumping jacks. Make sentences using sheets of construction paper, write a word on each sheet and then use the words you wrote to make the sentence across the floor, then walk the sentence, stepping on each word as you read it. After one sentence you can build 2 sentences and eventually you will be “walking” a story.
Fine motor skills are important as well. Make your spelling words with playdough, use a dry erase marker to write your spelling words on legos, one letter per lego and “build the word,” write spelling words in the sand etc…
To review for science, social studies and health use my website, under the listening and learning tab, to see what we are doing in class each day. You will see the vocabulary words we discuss in class as well as some questions you can ask your child. Talk and review with your child each day so that when your child brings home the review sheet for the test it is not an overwhelming amount of information to study at once. Make a game with the vocabulary words and the questions. Use the information to ask your child specific questions about their day. If it part of your conversation each day they will not even realize they are “reviewing”.
Make reading fun and not a dreaded activity. Allow your child to read books they can read fluently. Your child should only have difficulty reading 10% of the words in a book. After reading, check for comprehension. Ask questions about the characters, plot of the story, main idea, problem and solution etc..
If your child does their homework at daycare in the afternoon, check their work and go over it with them after you pick them up.
If you are excited and interested about what your child is learning your child will be too, they will not even realize they are learning. Make it fun! We are a team, we can do this!