Sunday, July 23, 2006

Back to School preparations

D goes back to work tomorrow. Its the beginning of the end of summer. Time to start getting the kids back into school routines. They were in bed by 9 tonight, with lights out by 9:30. My goal is to get them in bed by 8:15-8:30, with lights out before 9, so we'll keep working towards that - we have a week.

At dinner tonight we had a homework discussion. Every year I get frustrated by the homework routine. The routine seems to become, I tells kids to do homework. M starts homework (for 5 min maybe) then drifts to the computer or picks up his book. A starts homework, but needs my attention. A should need less intervention this year (1st grade had several parts of homework that required my interaction - a brainstorming type session and giving a practice spelling test). Because of the way that M drifted off task, it often took ALL afternoon to do his homework.

One of M's friend's mom told me that she has "homework hour", where the kids work on homework until its done - and if they are done before the hour is up, they read. All the kids are supposed to read at least 20 min per night. We are going to try this. M thinks he will DIE if he has to concentrate on homework for a WHOLE HOUR. If we have to, I could break this up into 2 half-hour blocks, but I think that will just prolong the agony of pulling kids away from computer/book/movie/toys by having to do it twice.

I know there will be moaning and groaning at first, but if this works, I think it will be a more pleasant afternoon for all of us. So, I'm going to go into this with the attitude that it will work.

We also brainstormed about good school morning breakfasts. M, particularly, gets tired of cheese toast, which tends to be my fallback breakfast. A likes more food, so he has more choices. In particular, he really likes instant oatmeal - he likes regular oatmeal as well, but school mornings are rushed, so any breakfast options need to be fast.


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