Parentlife

Claudia Sasse, Airdrie

Finding the fine balance between home and school activities

All of us have a schedule that needs to be followed. In some cases it can be a slower-paced agenda; in others it can be a very busy one. Whatever the situation, don’t forget that kids also have their own schedules at school, and co-ordinating the family’s events with the children’s school and after-school activities can be quite complicated.

We have to be careful that we don’t overwhelm children with too many extracurricular activities and leave them without the energy and time to complete schoolwork and also enjoy some well-deserved free time with family and friends.

I remember when my daughter told us she wanted to play competitive soccer.… I thought we wouldn’t be able to juggle our personal commitments with her schoolwork plus add an extra activity to her (our) schedules.

It involved long discussions and hours of planning, but in the end we found a way to make it work for our family.

School is a very important part of children’s lives and as a teacher myself, I can attest to that firsthand. Plan enough time for school activities and homework as well, even if sometimes the tasks don’t seem as appealing or amusing. Education is a fundamental piece to support our children’s growth, as individuals and as citizens in our community.

Take adequate time to support your children every day when they are completing their schoolwork and projects. That doesn’t mean do the work for them; it means make sure they have all the necessary materials well in advance and be present to answer any questions they might have.

Homework and school projects have always been a topic that brings some (or a lot of) controversy, especially with new studies that indicate the amount of assignments should be minimal from kindergarten to Grade 6, and that activities should be enjoyable for students. According to Dr. Harris Cooper, a homework expert and professor of psychology and neuroscience, “homework should reinforce what a child has already learned, be presented in a clear, manageable way, and be engaging.”

Ultimately, it’s up to parents how they will approach their children’s homework and school projects and how they will manage their schedules, but we always have to keep in mind the well-being of the child. Have a free channel of communication with your children’s teachers to make sure that the amount and type of work being sent home is adequate for their needs.

Claudia Sasse is a mom and teacher, with a master’s degree in elementary education. Born in Brazil, Sasse has lived in Airdrie with her husband and daughter since 2009.

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