Working parents, how do you help your child with homework?

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Working parents, how do you help your child with homework?

Postby fuchsia » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:09 pm

Hello parents,

My daughter just entered P1 this year. The school hasn't given any homework yet. But I give her some bite-sized worksheets to do every day.

Eventually, the school will start giving homework. So working parents, how do you help your child with homework?

My child is in morning session, so she needs to get to bed latest by 9pm so that she can have enough sleep before waking up early the next day.

By the time I reach home from work, it is 7 plus or 8pm. So that leaves me only 1 hour or so with my kids (and I have 3 kids, not just 1). The P1 child is the eldest.

Ideally, if she would like to clarify some of the homework questions or don't know how to go about it, I would like to help her while I am at work (so that I don't have to waste that 1 hour of precious time I have at home - to be spread over 3 kids - dealing with homework).

But I can't download skype onto my work laptop. Sometimes it may be difficult to explain by phone. Any other ideas on how to use the web / email / iPad / taking photos to help with homework? (How do online tutors do it?)

fuchsia
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Re: Working parents, how do you help your child with homewor

Postby Funz » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:38 pm

Hmmm.. Interesting. You using iPhone and you have any iPad or iPod touch at home?

How about using Facetime. If you have an iPhone4 you can video call your kid on their iPad or iPod touch.

Not sure if your employer would like it that you are using office hours to coach your DD in her homework.

Funz
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Re: Working parents, how do you help your child with homewor

Postby buds » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:48 pm

Divide the daily one hour with hubby spread across the three.
ie. you take jiejie half an hour n hubby takes the other two.
After which swap back so u know u manage to spend time with all 3. If the other two younger ones don't need to sleep by the same time as jiejie (9pm)... then they'd hv more time with u n hubby.

This assuming tt you don't need to cook or clear up after dinner or start on any housework.

After school, where does she go? Does she spend time at home with alternative caregiver ie. helper, grandparent, student care...?

buds
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Re: Working parents, how do you help your child with homewor

Postby Musings » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:03 pm

Hmmm this is a problem I face too. This is how I do it and it worked for us. I make sure DS takes a nap for at least 2 hours in the afternoon from 3-5pm. He reached home about 210-215 - has lunch, bathe. After nap at 5pm, as far as possible, I arrange non academic activities for him, he has piano on 1 day, swimming on another day. 1 day, he has Chinese enrichment - all starts after 5 pm to make sure he has time to rest and nap after a long day in school. I find it impt that he gets sufficient time spent on non academic stuff. I keep 2 weekdays completely free after school so after his nap he is free to play in garden, play catching with his brother, cycle in playground, play lego...

I emphasise to his grandma and the maid (his caregivers) - no one is to make him do desk workn until after dinner time when I will coach him myself.

I get home by 7 pm. We all have dinner until 730 pm. Then we put in a good 2 hours doing reading, spelling. There's sufficient time to spend half hour on English reading, half hour on Chinese reading, half hour on Maths.

He prepares for bed at 930 pm and usually falls asleep by 10 pm. He wakes up at 630 am and leaves home for school at 7am.

Due to his nap and enough time to play, he is very fresh and willing to do desk work for 2 hours in the evening.

Of course, this routine will change as he grows older with CCA and supple class. But so far so good.

Musings
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Re: Working parents, how do you help your child with homewor

Postby Musings » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:05 pm

Oh I should also mention I have a younger boy in nursery. So hubby and I take each child separately. we spend one hour with each child and then swop.

Musings
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Re: Working parents, how do you help your child with homewor

Postby fuchsia » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:09 pm

Funz,
I have iPhone4 and iPad2. But my iPad is wifi only. Will Facetime still work on iPad if wifi only?

buds, musings

Already split the time with hubby. I find I spend at least half an hour with # 1 going through her work (if any), getting her to pack school bag etc. The other 2 are entertained by hubby. Then I make #1 read her story book by herself while I read to #2 (teaching her how to read right now). I entertain #3 after #1 and #2 go to sleep.

Yeah, don’t need to cook or clear up after dinner or do housework.
After school , maid picks her up and walks home. But she refuses to nap.
In the afternoon / evening (before I am home), she must do her worksheets and practice piano. In between she can play, read, do art and craft, draw or colour etc. Evening time, she can go to the playground then after that watch TV / dinner.

So my problem is by the time I come home, even if I want to teach #1, she is very tired and sleepy already and cannot absorb because she doesn’t take afternoon nap. So we can’t even make it to teaching her for ½ hour each day - 10 mins out of that is already spent getting her to pack her school bag. And she reads a few chapters of her story book before she goes to bed.

The maid tried getting her to take afternoon nap – she will toss and turn from 3 – 4pm. Then finally only fall asleep at 4pm for more than an hour. Then because she is too refreshed after her nap, she has trouble falling asleep at night. So sleep later. But still have to wake up early at same time in the morning, so not enough sleep. Then become tired before school. Sigh! So therefore, skipped the nap in the afternoon.

fuchsia
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Re: Working parents, how do you help your child with homewor

Postby Funz » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:50 pm

Keep her nap to no more then 1hr. That should be sufficient to recharge her. Wake her up. Force her up if needed. After a couple of weeks of such a routine she will get use to it. That way, you can delay her bedtime by 1/2hr-45mins.

If hers is an iPad, you call her via her email address. You can google for demo or instructions on how to set this up.

My kids have been facetiming each other via their iPod Touch so I believe it can be done. But there might be some lag in terms of response.

Funz
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Re: Working parents, how do you help your child with homewor

Postby nansk » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:51 am

Sorry, I didn't read the rest of the replies, so some of my suggestions may be repeats. I am in the same situation. Ideas to try:

1. Have her nap in the afternoon so that you can push back her bedtime to 10 pm.

2. Check with your office if you can start work half an hour or an hour early and leave work early accordingly.

3. Focus only on finishing her homework on weekdays. Check her timetable and do only those subjects that are due the next day. There really isn't that much homework in P1 and not all of it is due immediately. The teacher usually gives upto a week's time to finish the work. Be in touch with the teacher and understand her expectations. Negotiate for an extra day if needed. Teachers are flexible.

4. Divide the subjects between you and your husband (or another elder if possible). So, for example, you do English with her, he does Maths, and grandpa (or a tutor) does Chinese.

5. Leave extra worksheets/art work/enrichments for weekends. We wake up at the same time whether it is a weekday or a weekend and we do our work in the weekend morning after breakfast. Then we leave the rest of the day for our child to play/read/whatever.

Do keep in mind that most of these tips will work at the P1/P2 level. I have no idea of the workload in P3 and beyond. It is well possible that despite all my tips above, *I* myself may be scrambling for time next year onwards. :-P

nansk
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Re: Working parents, how do you help your child with homewor

Postby Yong HL » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:24 am

Hi KSPs

do your kids have cca on weekdays /tuition and enrichment classes on weekends?
i tried to do as much as possible during weekdays but really time no enough. My dd is in morning session. She goes to her grandma's place after school and i told her to finish her school homework 1st (sometimes have sometimes dont have. If have, also at most 2 pages) and then do assessment books. I limit her homework time to about 1hr to 1.5hrs max during daytime. Then she can do whatever she likes after that. Then at night, we will go through work done for the day, also limit to 1hr. But sometimes, 1hr at night is not enough coz she sometimes forgets concepts, questions too hard that i need to explain, careless works that need to be redo. I am amazed how some parents can do so much in this precious 1 hour slot in the evening.. oh man! time is really not enough....

Yong HL
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Re: Working parents, how do you help your child with homewor

Postby Funz » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:08 am

DD is in P3 and DS P1. They have chinese enrichment on 1 week day. DD has CCA and higher chinese. They are both in the morning session as well. School work to be done after lunch and that includes learning their tingxie & spelling. I have yet to give them any additional work as I am still trying to have a feel of how heavy their workload is like from school.

On weekdays, I focus only on going through their school work when I come home in the evenings. If they have questions on their schoolwork, the objective is to help them complete the piece of work. If they appear to have a weak grasp of the concepts, I will make a note of it and do the reinforcements on weekends or on days when there is no schoolwork to go through.

Funz
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