Ideas for Divorced Parents and School Consistency

Ideas for Divorced Parents and School Consistency

As the school year begins, it is important to share ideas for how to achieve consistency in homework routines and school preparation. Parents who are divorced or separated and timeshare with the children should strive for as much consistency as possible.

First, both homes should be fully stocked with the necessary supplies. Both homes should have paper, pens, pencils, crayons, and a dedicated area to work on homework (this area could be a portion of the kitchen table, or a desk in a quiet area of the home- it does not necessarily have to be a separate room). If the children are older, they may need internet access or a computer to type on.

Second, both homes should receive school notices and bulletins. It is important that both parents know what is going on at school. Both parents should know about upcoming projects, papers, and science fairs. Both parents should know what progress the children have made on long term projects in the other home. When both parents are informed, they can be tremendous resources for their children.

Finally, parents should aim for consistency. If children do homework immediately after school on one week with dad, it would be helpful if the same occurred with mom the next week. If they are accustomed to doing homework after dinner in the evenings, it may be helpful to continue that at the other household. While there will be interruptions to the routine and changes due to appointments, holidays and family commitments, making an attempt to mirror the homework routine in both homes will build a consistent a reliable routine into the children’s lives. Routines create comfort and stability. Following a homework routine in both homes will also show the kids that education is important in both homes, and both parents want them to experience success in school.

In the article Bright Ideas for Divorced Parents, parents who are divorced and some parents who grew up in divorced households offer advice for keeping the education of the children a priority. One parents recalls: “We had some real battles on several issues, so we fought about it on the phone or when the kids weren’t around. When the kids were in our presence, we would often act so fake and kind to each other that it ended many arguments with laughter. The key is not how you set aside your differences, but THAT you set aside your differences.”


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Paola Parra Harris