Saturday, October 11, 2014

Building online math time and reading into the routine

We're a month into second grade now with my oldest kid, and we're figuring out how to build a good homework routine. Fortunately, he has very little in the way of make-work homework. He brings home a few math worksheets (about 4/week) but he has the whole week to do them, and it takes less than 15 minutes, so this is not too onerous. The remainder of the homework has more of a point. His school is now signed up with Dreambox (a math program that is adaptive -- another plus. Previous ones the school has have not been adaptive, and hence got boring very fast). He's supposed to do at least half an hour of Dreambox over the week, though ideally more. He's also supposed to read for 20 minutes a night (much preferable for literacy than worksheets, too!).

Obviously, none of this is particularly time-consuming, but we've been trying to figure out when best to build it in to make it a routine. The reading can happen before bed if he's got a good book. He's in a semi-shared space with his little brother, though, and they often prefer to play at night. Turning on the computer for math homework then inspires requests from other siblings to turn on the TV, the Kindle Fire, etc. for cartoons. Right after school is hard because he doesn't feel like focusing.

So for those of you who've figured out a good time for doing online math practice, when is that? If your kids do daily reading time at home, when do you build it in? I welcome tips.


gasstationwithoutpumps said...

Reading time was easy—it was any time he wasn't being forced to do something else.

We didn't do online math until high school, though he did have a number of computer math games (the old Math Blaster series, which I understand is no longer available). Again, we had to limit computer time to no more than an hour a day.

Calee said...

Worksheets are done right after school. Reading is before bed or on the way to choir on Tuesdays. I figure 20 min x 7 gets hoit each week. We totally flopped with the iPad Rosetta stone this summer and still do t have a good answer for building in computer enrichment in. Audey will read for hhours on the iPad of we lwt her. Do math. Or Spanish, not so Much. Turns out those tablets are fill of distractions...

nicoleandmaggie said...

We no longer let DC1 do computer games on weeknights because he'd forget to do his chores. He does math practice on weekends and holidays-- we're working through Hard Math for Elementary School a page each day that he does them. After we're done with that we'll move on to Edward Zocarro, I think. He also does a page a day of Singapore Math on weekends and holidays and a page of Scholastic grammar or spelling or what have you that requires scantron (because his private school doesn't teach how to do standardized tests and it showed in some of his standardized test scores this past year-- he'd know the answer but not how to deal with the codes). He has to do piano practicing every day for 15 min except on lesson day, and he has a checklist of chores he goes through each night.

Over the summer when he was at daycamp, he'd have to do homework books when he got back, but he got back at 3pm, not 5pm, and he needed more intellectual stimulation.

He has to do stuff before he has free-time. Paper is working better than online for us, though DC2 does online stuff via ipad games.

kell said...

Typical school day for our second grader:
Home (anywhere between 3-5pm)
Snack/playing with little brother
School's homework
Khan Academy (math) while cooking dinner
Reading before bed for both
That still leaves time to play and explore things without any of our structure. We also keep books in the car for reading.

Leigh said...

My son is in grade three in a self-contained gifted class. Homework is usually limited to a larger assignment or project assigned on Fridays, but usually not due until the following Wednesday. His school has a license for Dreambox as well and the students are encouraged to spend about 15 minutes on it every day. So far, he loves it so that hasn't been a problem. Even though I resisted it at first, he usually completes those 15 minutes in morning before breakfast. Only problem, my younger son then wants "his" computer time as well.

20 minutes of reading each day has been more difficult for us. Last year it wouldn't have been an issue, but he has become a reluctant reader as of late and the 20 minute per day requirement has made it seem like even more of a chore. So, in the end, we've let him focus on math.

In that regard, we signed him up for Spirit of Math this year. Much more of a challenge, but a lot of work, in part because this is his first year while most of the students have been attending since grade 1. Any one have any experience with Spirit of Math?