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It’s been just about a month since area children kicked off their flip flops and hopped on the bus to start a new school year. September is the month when families trade those blissful summer days for hectic afternoons and evenings, filled with sports practices, homework and other activities.


If your home is anything like ours, you know what it’s like to have a sudden swarm of papers fly out of your child’s backpack each day. It seems almost everything requires a signature, from field trip permission slips to book order forms and lunch menus. And let’s not forget those fundraising brochures and notes from the teacher.Photo: momtatsic.com


Getting and staying organized—for parents and children alike—seems to be an ever-present challenge. Many of us spend long days at work and want nothing more than to hug our children after a long day and enjoy family time. It’s also a daily struggle for families where a parent stays at home. Each day can seem like a race just simply to get ready to do it all over again the next day.


So how do we ensure we’re doing the best we can to help our children succeed? Above all, we hope our children are developing good homework and study habits because education is a tool for their future well-being.


I recently spoke to Jen Drummond on WCHE 1520 am about the daily hectic after-school routine, how to help our children manage these hours each day and the importance of carving out time to relax. Drummond is a former local educator and currently runs O and M Tutoring, a tutoring practice in Exton. Drummond walked me through several helpful steps that parents can follow to set the stage for their children’s good homework and study habits.


Drummond recommends that your child’s regular after-school schedule should look something like this:

1.)    Eat a healthy snack

2.)    Unpack backpack with essential papers

3.)    Place papers in labelled baskets: “papers that need to be signed,” “papers for home,” and “assignments to complete”

4.)    Use a portable homework caddy for children that contains essentials such as pencils, a highlighter, ruler, calculator and crayons

5.)    Do homework in a designated area or what she refers to as a “homework zone”


Such a routine, along with the organizational tips she recommends, can help both parents and children stay organized and focused. Parents should also ensure their children are getting the proper amount of sleep each night for their age.


Routines help children from getting too overwhelmed, says Drummond. She also says that simple measures, such as checking off completed tasks on a calendar, or doing a large project in manageable chunks, can make all the difference. Finally, parents should be nurturing, create reasonable time limits and make sure that everyone earns valuable personal time.


Drummond says that homework should never make your child cry and if it does, to contact the teacher. Drummond further emphasized that homework is meant to be a time for your child to reinforce learned material and that if your child is consistently doing homework for more than 45 minutes each evening, to contact the teacher.


Hopefully, these simple measures can help make your children’s transition from school to home each day smoother, while making homework less of a hassle for your entire family.

Jen Drummond spent nearly 20 years working in the West Chester Area School District, where she recently retired in June as a distinguished teacher. She has her Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education and a Master of Arts in General Education. She’s taught on the elementary and middle school levels. You can reach her at 610-836-1079 or via her website at oandmtutoring.com.


Julia Sherwin, a mother of three, is the host of “Perspectives on Parenting with Julia Sherwin,” which airs on Mondays at 1 pm on WCHE 1520 am You can send her your parenting questions at parentingwithjuliasherwin@gmail.com, or connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/perspectiveonparenting  or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JuliaSherwinPoP



Email her at jsherwin73@gmail.com  and followe her on Twitter @JuliaSherwinPoPYou can also follow her other parenting articles at juliasherwin.wordpress.com.

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Photo: momtastic.com