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How can i get organized when it comes to helping my children with their homework?

I have 3 kids ages 14,12, and 9. I work and I am a Nursing student so my plate is very, very full. In the past year my children's grades have really been suffering. With one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary I am having a hard time figuring out a strategy to use to get organized and help them get their grades up. My husband would help more if they would let him, but he is the step dad and they always want mom. I have tried to have better communication with the two older ones teachers, but they have like 6 different teachers each and I just cant seem to stay on top of it. My 12 yr. old went from a's and b's to all C's and one D!!!!!!! My 14 yr. old is getting all D's and E's. She always says it is the teachers fault or has some excuse. Today was the last straw.. I worked 12 hours at the hospital yesterday and when I came home I never went in my son's backpack. This morning when I did I found out he had a social studies test and 2 worksheets due today! No time to study or do the work, now he will probably fail. I told him he has to tell someone when I am not home. Please help... even though it sounds like it isn't a priority for me it really is. I know how important their education is and i want the best for them... give me some ideas that will help!

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Asked by jamiet at 9:07 AM on Jan. 27, 2011 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • It isn't easy when you are so busy, but you can do it. Schools all have websites or phone-in hotlines that list assignments. There should be no question about what work your kids have to do or when tests are coming up. You need to make the time to check on those assignments every day. My kids have to do their homework as soon as they get home from school. They eat a snack while they work. No TV, video games, music or anything until the homework is done. You husband can monitor this. It is not the teacher's fault that your child is failing. Your child has to do the work and study, not the teacher. That is a very common cop-out by kids. It isn't true.

    Answer by Marwill at 9:12 AM on Jan. 27, 2011

  • IMO you need to start to put your children first. You and your Husband need to get on the same page, with each other and your children. You both need to be a united front, if you continue to let your kids choose you over him then they're never going to repsect him as a parent. The kids need a set routine, when they get home, it's snack and homework, no matter what. If they have other activities, stop them, they don't deserve to have outside activities if they can't do well on school work, they haven't earned it. No TV, computers, games, etc until all homeowrk is done and checked.
    We use our dining room table as homework central for our boys, they all get a snack, sit down and get to work. If they need me or my Hubby we're right there at the table. They also don't put Friday homework off until Sunday, they do it when they get home.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 9:56 AM on Jan. 27, 2011

  • I can do the homework before activities and so forth.. but i need some organization ideas, how do you stay on top of everything due for every kid with 14 different teachers???? Are you in constant contact with the teachers? My 14 and 12 yr old's teachers feel it is the kids responsibility at their age but they are not doing a good job... they are still kids. I am thinking of "file folders" with each teacher for each week.. things like that.. that is the ideas I need. thanks the info is great though.

    Comment by jamiet (original poster) at 11:22 AM on Jan. 27, 2011

  • My kids' teachers all gave out their email addresses. That way I can contact them at my free moment (my lunch hour, late at night, etc.) and they can respond when they have a moment. A whiteboard or wipe-off calendar will help a LOT! Maybe different colored pens for different people? Also, if you make sure backpacks and any important papers go in the same spot every day, you know where to look for them. I bought my son's each a folder in their favorite color that goes by the door. If I need to see it, stick it in the folder. On my way in the door, I grab the folders. While I'm changing clothes, using the bathroom, washing up and getting dinner ready, I can look at the folders and keep track of stuff. Anything I need on the go, I add to my phone calendar!

    Answer by geminilove at 12:20 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • Do the kids use a daily planner? My son's school gave them each a planner where they write their homework and longterm assignments. Your kids have to be made responsible enough to fill them out, and use them. Then you will have a resource to go to when you need to know what they are supposed to be doing.
    Sit them down and explain (I'm sure you've done this, but do it again) why it is important for them not to waste this chance at an education. Explain to them the different jobs they will not qualify for unless they graduate, and the difference in pay they will have to live with. You are a good role model, being in school and having to work to support the family as well as go to school.
    Then explain how to focus on getting their homework done, how to break down longterm assignments so they do a little each day, how to do a group project. Stepdad is your go-to person, they have to accept his authority from you!

    Answer by RedRowan at 4:33 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I have children that are close in age as well, so what i did was got a tutor to help on certain days and i inquired help from the school district. This method does help.

    Answer by ShellyRo at 2:37 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • I will also ask,do they have planners? My son's school issues them to every student. Everything goes into the planner, which I check daily. If you don't get one issued by the school, you can buy planners for each of the kids at any office supply store. EVERYTHING goes into the planners, and then you can check it. It might take a bit for them to learn to use it but learning to calendar everything will really help.

    File folders are fine, too. My son has a binder with file folders for each class.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:42 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

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