The Final Countdown to Colé

We are ready more or less. The school bag wheels have been located and the new work books are packed along with those lovely new packs of pens and crayons. All labelled individually! I love that job…not!

img_4801 The only thing left to do is to cover the work books. I know there is a technique to this, and each year I start the task confident that they will look more professional as I have learned from last year’s mistakes… sadly I never seem to quite succeed in that smooth glossy finish that other mums seem to achieve.

You could keep a pet hamster alive in some of the air bubbles left under that pesky plastic contact paper, and you can’t even begin to imagine the things that get trapped under the layers … primarily glitter, as our table would not be complete without a sprinkling of that.

We call it fairy dust in my house, as the table is where all the magic happens!  It is not just a dining table, as more often than not, it doubles up as a craft and work station.  Although the dinner does magically appear there according to the rest of the family!

Planeta ExploraSo the early night routine has not been too successful so far, and with the feria in Mijas just starting, it means a few more late nights are in store. We managed to get a routine underway last week, as Mia had her last week in science camp at Planeta Explora, Ciencia Divertida, and that meant getting up earlier.  She managed to be there by 9.15 most mornings, so at least we know it’s possible. Having said that, getting her out of bed to go have fun inventing marble runs, catapults and sending up rockets could have been an incentive. Jumping out of bed eagerly to go to school could be a different scenario. We will see.
Let the battle begin!
We have now completed the Time Capsule project we described in our latest newsletter to our subscribers. (Get our newsletter scroll down to the bottom of the website) It’s really quite cool, your child sets goals they want to achieve this term, writes them down and places them in the capsule and by the end of the term or the end of the year you dig it up and they see if they have met their goals!  Cool hey?

Mias jar is ready to be buried in the garden (if we can break through the rock hard earth. Daddy Daycare has assured me he is up to the job). Mia is confident that by the end of school year next summer, she will have learned to tell the time properly, and she will be able to play a tune on her recorder. She has signed the contract and it’s in the jar, so there is no going back now!
As Mia will have her first new teacher since starting in reception school, we are all a little bit nervous. The local grapevine of mums is full of information and I understand that she is really good and super nice. I hope so, as apparently the third year in primary becomes a whole new ball game, with lots more homework. So I have been researching a new plan of attack for winning the homework battle. This is what I have discovered so far:

HOMEWORK TIPS FOR GETTING IT DONE WITHOUT TIME OUT!
Do your kids have different after school clubs which seem to sabotage all plans for getting the homework over and done with?

Everyone has their different daily routine to cope with and it sometimes seems impossible to fit everything in. We all know the importance of getting those assignments in and on time, but we also know that younger children need the other method of learning …to play and to socialise and to experience different challenges, whether its sports or dancing or chess or art.  These all teach our children different life skills and are asequally important as school homework.  So we have to learn to manage the time that is available to squeeze it all in, within reason. Sticking to a set time each day is advisable whenever possible as it needs to be part of the daily routine just like cleaning their teeth.

Kids & Homework
Obviously, the less tired the child is, the more likely they will be able to complete the task without tears or tantrums. So whenever possible, homework should be tackled before the fun clubs start. If not, try planning it with them and break down the assignments into manageable time frames and split the work load up, but try to tackle the hardest subject first.

Suggest using a check list and plan how long each section should realistically take.  Bring in a timer or clock if it helps with the agreement of the child involved. If they feel they have some control over the process, they are more likely to cooperate.

Making sure there are no distractions may seem obvious, but when there are other people in the house and sharing the same space, they will be bringing their own noise and you cannot expect them to be silent! However, the designated space needs to be a mobile, tablet and a television free zone… they are just too tempting otherwise.

Finally, always have the materials needed for the homework available on hand. Getting up to find something is a great excuse to stop and breaks the concentration.
Do you have any other tried and tested solutions?  Let us know if you do, we would love to hear.  We are all in this together, and help is never turned away.

2 comments on The Final Countdown to Colé

  1. This was so helpful thanks Yvonne. Homework battles are all too familiar for me – and your hamster remark with the book coverings made me laugh so hard. Every year I get creases galore, I don’t know how others do it!

    Thanks again x

  2. Only just stumbled across your brilliant ideas for kids. I love the enthusiasm, encouragement and advice you give. I really hope the idea takes hold and you sell loads. I’ll definitely be recommending My Gecko Box to my friends with kids. All the best.

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