Safe Haven Kid’s League of California City Homework Helper Program approaches homework assistance in a way that will allow our kids to thrive at school. Getting it done takes organization and time management skills. And those areas are exactly where many children struggle the most. Our system is tried and true. Here’s what we do:
Provide A Dedicated Space for Homework
An area is set aside for doing homework that is quiet and well lit that contains a few distinct components:
· Tables for small groups of kids to work together, which is also where our kids get help if they need it
· A separate work area where kids can work on their own
· A research area with computers so kids can look up information or type assignments
· A comfortable place to read – YES READ! Our Homework Helper program designates a specified amount of time for kids to complete their homework; typically approximately 30-minutes a day for elementary schoolers, and as much as two hours day for middle schoolers.
If kids finish their homework early, we allow them to move on to a new activity, depending on the day, but the activity is always more challenging such as playing a game that uses math skills or fun word games that help to build their vocabularies.
Our kids will get healthy snacks and on every other day a hot healthy meal. Sometimes we allow the elementary school children play outside for a while before requiring them to start homework. Home work is always the priority as the other activities are worked into the schedule. Educators who volunteer are on staff to
monitor homework and provide help that’s needed. These people are certified teachers or college students studying education.
A Process to Communicate With Parents
Kids who struggle in school do better when their parents and afterschool staff keep in touch.
Our Homework Helper staff always alerts parents of the following:
· Assignments are taking longer than usual
· A great deal of help is required to complete one assignment
· Shows no interest in doing the homework or improving We either email parents or arrange to speak at pickup.
Integrate Systems Schools Have Created
We have learned that children with learning and thinking differences can benefit from systems that help them track their work. Some instances, teachers have established a “Homework Contract” with certain children that outlines his/her expectations for that particular child with either rewards for follow through or consequences for not doing so. Our Homework Helper staff enforces the contract. We also keep logs that our kids use to keep track of assignments.
Assistance for Accommodations
Depending on each child’s need, we make sure to accommodate for it. For example, kids who struggle with writing we sometimes allow them to dictate their ideas rather than writing them. This way, they not only learn how to navigate voice to text software on the computer but also gain a sense of accomplishment by using it and hearing their ideas spoken in their own voice. In a nutshell, completing homework on a regular basis improves self-confidence at school.
Safe Haven Kids’ League is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization.