Gaby started kindergarten and we now have a schedule we need to follow. As much as I want her in bed by 8- 8:30pm we are taking forever on everything. When we get home its around 6:30pm at that time she changes into comfy cloths and off to homework we go. I set the timer to 30 minutes or an hour depending on how much she has to do. While she is doing that I'm doing dinner and entertaining Alejandro. After she is done with homework I set the timer again to 15 minutes for her to eat dinner. I started this on Wednesday b/c she was taking forever on everything she had to do. So far she's been good on staying on top of her time limit but I'm concerned I'm turning her into a time freak and she has to finish everything on time.
My question is- should I allow her to take her sweet time on her 3 activites (homework, dinner and shower) or am I doing okay by putting her on the clock? Also, her teacher wants us to read for 30 minutes every night. I've been reading to her since she was a baby and having to read for 30 minutes it quite long. I read 3 books and barely get to 15 minutes. Honestly if I read for 30 minutes I'm looking at her going to bed at 10pm! For now she is heading to bed at 9- 9:30pm and that's me being on top of her. Am I doing okay? Should I change something? Any input would be fantastic! Thanks!
Re: Teachers please come in- or non teachers
I forgot to add....as far as the timer goes, I see it as you teaching her time management not necessarily making her a time freak. Maybe before she starts her homework, you can go over it and ask her how long she thinks it will take her to finish. And set the timer to what she thinks. That way she's working within her time limits. If she finishes before the timer goes off, she gets a sticker or some other reward.
Obviously, I'm not at that stage yet so I don't know if my suggestions are off the wall, but it might be worth a shot.
I know the rush of trying to get everything done in the evenings.. Its such a pain.
But homework for 30min and reading for 30min is ALOT for K.
My DD is in 1st and she does her homework while I do dinner-- it takes about 15 min. We eat and then we do some sort of outside activity.. riding scooters, bikes, playing ball, etc.. Then they take baths and she reads her reading assignments before bed. She reads so it takes a bit longer but really only about 10-12 min. And then I will read a book to the both of them. DS(doesn't know how to read).
I would maybe set the timer for the 1st part of homework but not for dinner. Let her eat without rushing (but if she's just playing with the food-tell her she's done unless she wants to eat). And I think 2-3 books is great.. But should not take 30 min.. Thats a long time.
Good luck.. Some days go easier than others..
Teaching her a love of reading and actually reading together (in my opinion) is more important. Our reading teachers (in middle school) assign the students to read 20 minutes a day and write a summary of what they read. Try to fit reading in whenever you can. Don't stress as much about 30 minutes a day... think of times you can incorporate reading. Read over breakfast, read while waiting at a doctors office, keep a few books in the car for her to read through while you drive and have conversations with her about what she reads. The students that start with a love of reading and like to read tend to be better students.
Find out what they do with the students during aftercare and see if they are reading with them there. In older grades I'm sure they'll help give her time to do her homework - so why not reading.
agreed. don't make the reading a "need to be 30 min or else" type of activity. that will just drive her to hate it and be like my middle school kids who haaaaaaaaaaaaate reading. I think teaching her the love of reading is JUST as important as teaching her to read. But you know what? She'll get a lot of the "how to" at school. The more she loves to read, the easier it'll get... especially at this age. Don't stress 30 min exactly, but make sure she's enjoying herself. LIke Rach said, keep books EVERYWHERE!! That way, 10 min waiting at the dr, that's 10 min of reading. That kind of thing. Good luck!
I use the timer ALL the time when I taught primary b/c since they have no concept of time, they would also take forever to get through an activity. I think that will establish good timing habits for her so she can use her time wisely and help her understand how long a period of time "feels" like. You don't have to use it forever, just until she gets into a routine and you see that she is finishing before the timer rings. Also, I would give the timer a few extra minutes so that they felt like they finished early or on time so it was a positive experience.
Someone mentioned exactly what I was thinking - aftercare. If she's in aftercare and you're paying for these services, they should be helping her complete her homework. Sometimes, I understand that aftercare teachers are not "certified teachers" so they may not be able to help kids with their homework but they should at least set aside some time for homework completion and give the kids an incentive for doing so - like we'll go to the playground when everyone finishes their homework. Also, I know some parents want their kids to do it at home with parental help, but letting them do it on their own and then checking it later with them or just waiting for the teacher to check it with them establishes independence.
Lastly, the reading 30 mins every night is just part of the state's plan for reading in which elementary kids have to read 30 mins a day for homework on top of their regular homework. As a teacher, I just looked to see that the reading log was complete. I didn't expect a kindergartener to read for 30 mins straight, in fact their activities should be 5-15 mins long. As long as reading is made part of a daily habit and something positive in the home - reading cookbooks, reading news, reading labels, reading books, etc. - it will help them establish a good self-esteem and confidence when reading.
HTH! Sorry so long!!! I feel your pain b/c for the first time as reading coach I have a class of intensive reading kids (only 15 7th/8th graders) and they have such a horrible attitude towards reading. Most read just fine, but that damn FCAT has warped their self-esteem and attitude towards reading. Most of the kids in my class didn't pass by just a few points. Now, that I started their required reading curriculum, I even see that it's too easy for them. I just need to spend most of the year building up their self-esteem and, at least, get them comfortable with reading again! (sorry to take over your post and vent, but it's just something I'm very passionate about).
Thanks ladies! I completely agree with each and every one of you. I've been reading to Gaby since she was a couple of days old. For us it's been part of her bedtime routine. We read a book to her every single night and we enjoy it too. It's that time we have to relax and enjoy what we are doing with her only. I did put the actual time in her reading log- it being 10 minutes or even 20 minutes. I logged it. I like you girls think reading is very very essential to any child, so for us it's a big thing for both our kids to learn and love.
Finally, I've found a routine that helps me and the kids. I guess I was super stressed with getting her to bed on time and making sure all her homework was done and complete before that time. But we did survive the first week and now it's just a matter of staying in our routine and making it work.
Also, some of you ladies mentioned aftercare. Well Gaby is in aftercare but at Alejandro's daycare- so its really "playtime" for her. It works better for us financially and for me picking them both up at the same location right after work. I will confess- I'm one of those moms that wants to be super mom and do everything, help Gaby with her homework and know where she is learning wise and not having an after school care counselor give her the answer. So I rather her do homework at home and me doing it with her.
Thank you so much again ladies!!!!