Back To School Blues = Homework Organization

Why do I always have to be the different one? Practially every Mom in America is doing the happy dance because their kids are going to be starting school soon. Not me. Blake is starting school again on Monday and I always take it harder than he does.

I just love summer and I hate the school year. I do! Isn’t that terrible? I love the freedom of summer. Not having to be anywhere at a certain time (other than work!) and not having to chase down paperwork and worry about homework assigments. I don’t get any nasty notes from teachers telling me that he’s been acting up in school again (what the heck am I supposed to do about it when I’m at work clear across town??) I don’t have to have him come home crying or upset because the other kids were mean to him or wouldn’t play with him. Gosh I’m getting all depressed just thinking about it. Oh well, 5th grade is coming on Monday whether I want it to or not.

Here’s my biggest problem – the homework thing. I’m always that parent who is late getting the permission slips or the book orders in and I forget to turn in lunch money on time, etc. Let’s face it, I’m terribly disorganized and I’m passing it on to my children. Matt struggled terribly all through Jr. High and High School and I’m sure a good part of it was my failure to follow through with him on a daily basis. If I don’t want Blake to end up having the same problems, I’m going to have to start teaching him now and also getting my own fanny in gear!

Help me out ladies. What can I do to help HIM take more responsibility for his homework and chores? It’s hard because I’m not physically there when he gets home from school. Matt is home at 3:30, Tony is home at about 4:00 and I typically don’t get home until 6:30 or even 7:00 some times. Plus we’ve got some other activities that tend to throw us off our schedule. We have Scouts, Karate, and a new church program called ACTS, so there is three nights a week shot. I’ve tried having Tony or Matt monitor his homework, but they are busy with their own afternoon activities, and they typically don’t pay a lot of attention to whether Blake is doing his work or not. I’m just saying, I don’t see a lot of help coming from that direction.

Based on some of the back to school tips I’ve been reading, I’m going to try a couple of different new things. I made a checklist for him of various things – making his bed, brushing his teeth, doing his homework, clearing out his backpack. There are 17 things on the list and he has to check off at least 13 of them before he can watch TV or play any video games. He is passionate about his video game time, so that is a good incentive for him.

I’m also going to set up an in box/out box for his homework and other papers. That will get them out of his backpack where we can see them and also get him into the habit of sorting out his own papers on a daily basis. I’ll have one slot for completed work, one for parent announcements and flyers, and one for homework in progress. This is one of the things on his checklist.

I’m also going to set an extra alarm clock to keep us on track in the morning. He never has a problem getting up, but he has ADD and he totally gets sidetracked trying to get himself ready in the morning. So do I, which is why I’ve been using my timer in the mornings and having him help keep me on track. So I’m going to set an alarm for 7:30 in the morning. That’s when I need to be in the shower and that is when he needs to be dressed and ready to start breakfast. Then he can be fed, lunch made, backpack ready and out the door by 8:15.

One thing we’ve totally dropped the ball on is allowance. I’ve always been totally inconsistent over the years with handing out allowances and surprisingly, none of my kids really seem to care. But having them be good money managers is high on my list, so I guess if I want to have that happen, it needs to start now. I don’t like the idea of paying them for chores, but I’m thinking I can tie it into the checklist concept and every day he makes his 13 items, he also earns a dollar. That will put more emphasis on keeping up the checklist and provide a bit more accountability. But should I pay it to him daily (easier for me) or weekly (easier for him)?

I think I’ll have him call me at work when he gets home and again when he’s finished his homework. That way I can remind him to get started and also monitor how long it is taking him to do his work. I can also remind him to put the finished work in his backpack. This is one of the things on the list too.

Sorry this is so long, but it helps me to get my ideas out of my head and kind of think them through…. Hey, what else is a blog good for? But seriously, if you’ve got any good tips for back to school, organizing kids, homework, allowance, etc. I’d really LOVE to hear them. This is an area where we could really use some serious help!


  1. Sorry, I like the end of summer. It is 110 degrees here, and with no pool, I’ve been cooped up in the house for two months with four borderline hyperactive kids! I need a break!

    I have a hard time staying on top of stuff, too. Good luck with your plan!

    I got my updating blog list just under CUSTOMIZE (top right next to sign in), then ADD A GADGET. The first choice on the list is BLOG LIST. I added all my links in and it does the rest.

    Thanks for visiting me and leaving comment 30! Altho, I think three were me, so those might get thrown out by the Chinese or Russian judges.

  2. Hey Adrian! I love what you have planned! We took a family class with our son and one of the things they suggested is having a time when chores need to be done that you can check. For instance, the dishes need to be out of the dishwasher by 7:00 p.m. The other thing I love is your In and Out Box. Maybe you can say that all homework has to be completed and in his Out box by 6:00 p.m. That way you will have time to check it and observe him putting it in his backpack? Love ya girl!


  3. Me too! I hate summer coming to an end. i love having my kids home.
    Wish I had some suggestions but it sounds like you’re starting some really good ideas. I am so not the organized mom.

  4. I am just like you when it comes to summer – LOVE IT and am not looking forward to school starting on Monday either!!!!!!!!!

    I think you have some great plans to keep organized and insure that your son is doing his homework – they all sound very good and sound like they should work! I have a hard time too getting Billy to do his homework and I am here the whole time, so don’t feel alone!

    Take care – Kellan

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