Dealing with younger siblings during homework time

kindergartenIf you find that younger siblings become more difficult during homework time they might be feeling jealous that you are spending more time with the older child. My older son has ADHD and homework can take a LONG time as a result. There were days at the beginning of first grade when I was sitting with him for hours at a time. I would bring my laptop and work next to him. If I left the room then there was no way he would do his homework. He could spend an hour playing with his pen and not even realize it. On these days my younger son would start misbehaving in order to get attention. I bought some preschool workbooks that were both fun and educational. During homework time I asked him if he also wanted to do “homework”. I then sat between them and worked with them both. I explained to my younger son that he does not have to do homework but can if he wants to. Most days he chooses to do his homework but I never force him to do it. He has gained so much from his “homework” sessions. Besides learning to read two years before his friends start reading he stopped misbehaving during homework time. He knows that whenever he wants to he can sit with me and receive the same attention that his older brother gets. Often we sit near his older brother and play a game. That way I can be with both kids and neither feels left out. Homework becomes a family commitment and sends a message to kids that it is an important time that all family members need to respect. My children also see me either working or reading while they are doing homework and this sets an example too.

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