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  • SA and Homework

    I have a fourth grade school age boy and his kindergartner sister. They get off the bus and to the house by 4:15 and then they get picked up around 5:00. Dcd will come anywhere between 4:30 and 5:00. But mostly he comes about a quarter two. When the kids arrive they have snack that takes them to 4:30. Then mainly it's free play inside or out depending on the day until they're picked up. (Then back to regularly scheduled programming for the others that are left)

    I also have my own daughter that I struggle with having her do her homework because she just wants to play with the other two school-aged kids.

    DCD texted today if I would make the fourth grader sit down and do his homework after school because he gets distracted at home. For some reason he thinks the child's not going to get distracted in my house. Lol 😂

    I can't see this going over very well but it might be fun to try. Plus if somehow this helps my daughter with doing her homework, it will be worth it.



    My question is do I check his backpack for homework? Do I take his word that he doesn't have any homework?

    ​​​

    (Dh agrees, it may be easier to get DD to do her homework if he is.)
    ​​​

    Last edited by Alwaysgreener; 2 weeks ago.

  • #2
    If they get off the bus at 4:15, they need to have some basic human needs met first, IMHO. Just like you are already doing.

    1. Potty/Handwashing - 5-10 minutes based on the number of kids.
    2. Snack - 15 minutes.
    3. Playground time - 30 minutes minimum
    4. Homework.

    They have already served their 8-10 hours for the day. They need to decompress from the bus ride, noise, touching, social pressure and drama, just like the bus driver/teachers. Then they will be ready for chores, aka: Homework.

    I would check their bookbags if the parent asked for help and I want to offer it. That is what the teacher expects of the parent, to back them up at home, so if I agreed to support homework, I also agreed to take on some of the parental roles.

    My issue with your DCD is that he is clearly available early enough to parent his own child. Why does he not want to? Does he view his child as an inconvenience? OR Does he not understand the homework enough to be helpful, therefore fearing making it worse? My goal would then shift the solving the real issue, parenting expectations and finding a way to make it something DCD enjoys doing with his son.

    That said, I don't always succeed in all of my goals, but it does make this job much more fulfilling for me. I want to enable functional families before they leave my program. I do pick my battles and butt out if I see it is just making things worse. Sometimes I am the help they needed, sometimes I am the one to simply take the pressure off until they can learn from someone else, later.
    Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

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    • #3
      Our school agers come in put their backpacks away, have snack and do an activity or go outside if the weather is nice. We have had teachers in the past have the kids come in, put their backpacks away, have snack and do homework but now we just let them go outside or do a craft because half the time kids either don't have homework or they choose to do it at home. We've had parents complain to us that they would like their kids to do their homework at the center!! However the way these kids are taught nowadays are not the way we were taught when we were in school and it's so complicated
      Christy Sewell

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      • #4
        When I had SA kids, I didn’t do homework with them. That is the parent’s responsibility.

        DD takes time to unwind after school. She comes in and washes her hands, gets a snack, goes to the bathroom, etc. before she gets started. It gives her about a 20-25 mins break.

        If the child has questions, doesn’t understand the homework, etc. it just became your responsibility/your problem. He doesn’t have any responsibility. Also, if they’re picked up about 30 mins after they get off the bus, I wouldn’t bother with it. He’d be sitting there doing homework for 10/15 mins before he has to pack it up.
        Last edited by GirlMomma; 2 weeks ago.

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        • #5
          I agree it's the parents job, I don't expect this to work because he WILL get distracted here TOO, (I'll make sure of it) lol, I have no idea why dcd thinks more kids would be less distraction. Oh I am not helping him because I can't give him one on one time.

          ​​​​​

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          • #6
            I used to have an 11yo SA that came off the bus and started silently crying (broke my heart, she was a golden DCK in every way) every day because she was exhausted from the social pressure and bullying of the bus. What she needed was a bean bag chair, blanket, book and complete quiet for about 30 minutes before she was able to come into the playroom with the others. I always let her go into my reading room/office which was technically off-limits to kids (before my own kids were school-aged).

            She was not "playing to the crowd" for special attention either, as her parents kept telling me. I, personally, heard the kids yelling stuff at her as she walked up my driveway. Talking to the parents did nothing, so I made friends with the school bus shed mechanic/maintenance supervisor. That solved it, fast.

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            • Alwaysgreener
              Alwaysgreener commented
              Editing a comment
              I am happy to hear that you were able to advocate for a dck with the school. I recently tried to do that and got threatened by the bus garage dispatcher that she would pull DC bussing if it wasn't working for me. That would make me lose my current family and any potential family.

            • Cat Herder
              Cat Herder commented
              Editing a comment
              Oh, no. That sucks. I did not really tell her the problems we were having. I just started engaging with her in a local activity that we were both volunteering in. Just by it being known in our small town I was friends with her (and that she was at my home often), gossip, the drivers made more of an effort in my neighborhood. Passive action, I suppose.

          • #7
            You are here to provide developmentally-appropriate supervision and facilitate a developmentally-appropriate learning environment. You are not a tutor.

            Life skills and self-care skills are appropriate for these school-age kids to spend a few minutes doing as they decompress after a long school day. That includes preparing a snack and clearing up afterward, taking care of their hygiene needs, assisting you with a couple of the easy tasks that need to be done with the younger enrolled children, and decompressing from a long day of lectures.

            Do they have study hall or other times at school during which they could be getting their homework done? If not, then they are doing class work right up to the time that they get to you, and need a break.

            If they do have that kind of dedicated opportunity to get their homework done, it's not up to you to monitor them and try to get them to do it during the school day.

            Maybe you should tell the father that you are there to help them get themselves ready for their evening after school, and that you provide a space where they can do their homework, but whether they are going to do it or not is between him and his kids.

            He probably wants to get to be the fun dad in the evening instead of having to spend his evenings doing the more unpleasant parts of parenting. That's too bad. I'm sure he's exhausted from a long day at work. So are these kids. I have zero sympathy for him. Backing homework up slap against the school day is miserable for children.

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            • Alwaysgreener
              Alwaysgreener commented
              Editing a comment
              Without going into details, I just want to say your assessment of this family is off.

          • #8
            Originally posted by Alwaysgreener View Post
            I can't see this going over very well but it might be fun to try. Plus if somehow this helps my daughter with doing her homework, it will be worth it.

            My question is do I check his backpack for homework? Do I take his word that he doesn't have any homework?

            (Dh agrees, it may be easier to get DD to do her homework if he is.)
            I wouldn't agree to it for a slew of reasons but if you think you'd like to give it a try, I would suggest talking it over with dcd. Ask him what his expectations might be and tell him what you're willing/not willing to do. Also let him know that if it doesn't work out well, you reserve the right to stop at any time.

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            • #9
              Well that one easier than expected. Dcb willingly got his math book out, he already completed everything so I told him to read. I gave him a book and he read for 20 minutes. And my daughter who refuses to read daily also say down and read for 20 minutes. Total win for me.

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              • e.j.
                e.j. commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm glad it worked out so well for you. You're much braver than I am! lol

              • Cat Herder
                Cat Herder commented
                Editing a comment
                That is awesome.
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