Homework Help: 7 Tips to Make Homework Time A Little Easier

Are you pulling your hair out every evening trying to get your child’s homework done?

Do you dread the afternoon just thinking about homework?
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I see posts on social media all the time about homework. Parents are frustrated with homework and I so often hear moms and dads complaining about their child’s homework.

Here are some tips to try to make homework time a little easier.

  1. Timing – Set aside a specific time everyday for homework. Homework should be the priority and not an afterthought. Right afterschool is the best time to do homework. I realize with busy schedules this may not always be the case but as close to afterschool as you can is key. Children are still in school mode immediately afterschool and they are more apt to remember what they learned and be able to apply the skills taught. images-52
  2. A Special Quiet Spot– Create a special space for your child to complete their homework. This can be a desk or even at the kitchen table. Try to avoid places that will have a lot of distractions like the television or lots of talking. Ideally they should keep their phones and iPads off, unless they are needed for the homework assignment.  They should also have easy access to all the supplies they need things like; pens, pencils, glue sticks, paper. A good idea is to stick those items in a caddy that can go away in a drawer or closet when they are done with their work.images-51
  3. Check It Off– Have your child check off their assignments in their agenda or homework assignment book as they complete them. Checking off assignments as they are completed ensures that they don’t miss any assignments. It also gives your child a feeling of accomplishment each time they complete an assignment.
  4. Do The Hard Stuff First–  Don’t save the harder assignments for last. Get them done right away . Tackling harder assignments first is better because your child will be fresh and won’t yet be fatigued by the other assignments.books
  5. Check Their Work – It’s okay to check your child’s work and have them make corrections. It’s not okay to do their work for them. Nor should you be spending tons of time reteaching the material at home. Especially with Common Core Math, you will find that you have no idea how to solve the math  problems the way your child was taught. If you find your child can’t complete the assignments because it is too hard you need to contact the teacher immediately. If you correct the homework every night it is hard for the teacher to understand where your child needs help. Teachers use homework as a way to assess students. If the homework is always correct the teacher will have no idea that your child is having trouble.images-49
  6. Set a Timer Homework has to have an end time. There is usually a policy regarding how much homework the children should have. Check out the homework policy at your child’s school. If your child is spending hours on end completing homework it is just too much. Depending on the age of your child set a time limit. For example 4-6th graders should take no more than an hour to an hour and a half. If it is going on for hours, just end it. Then write a letter to the teacher and let them know how much time it is taking your child to complete the homework.
  7. Keep It Positive – Homework is not a punishment and should not be causing frustration or tears. Try to stay positive and be an advocate for your child by supplying them with a time, place, supplies and contacting the teacher when need be.
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Easy, Inexpensive DIY Evil Step Sisters’ Costume

Out of Halloween Costume Ideas?

Looking for an easy and cheap Halloween costume?

Drizella and Anastasia

Drizella and Anastasia

Last Spring I hosted a DisneySide Villains costume party and was pretty impressed by my friend’s ingenuity. She whipped up Drizella and Anastasia with one quick trip to the dollar store for plastic table cloths.

Cinderella's Evil Step Sisters

Cinderella’s Evil Step Sisters

The concept was so brilliant and so simple at the same time. Purchase colorful plastic table cloths. Color suggestions are pink, green, blue and purple. Cut a neck hole in the tablecloth and fasten with strips of the other tablecloth to create ribbon belt. You can use excess tablecloth to make a hair ribbon.

Top  view of Drizella and Anastasia playing Disneyside Bingo

Top view of Drizella and Anastasia playing Disneyside Bingo


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Side View

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Remembering 9/11

English: Twin Towers NYC (scanned from print p...

Once there were two towers side by side

They were each a quarter of a mile high…

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein

Can you believe 11 years have passed since that fateful day? Like so many others I still cry when I  watch memorials on television or read newspaper articles about the victims and the loved ones they left behind.

Every year at my school we honor the victims of 9/11 in a special ceremony in the auditorium. Afterwards my students and I would have a discussion about 9/11. They were always eager to share their own stories of 9/11 with the class. Most had personal stories to share and knew someone who was there the day the towers crumbled.

However, now there are no children left in elementary school who were alive on that fateful day. September 11th will be a story they are told, not an event they lived through. Similar to my grandparents retelling stories of Pearl Harbor. This realization made me wonder.

Will they ever be able to appreciate the events of that day?

Will they ever really understand how scared we all were?

Will they ever know how we banded together as a city and a country?

I don’t really know the answers but I began to understand my role and how important it is to make sure that I continue to talk about 9/11 with my students. I want them to remember and honor the victims of that day. I want to teach them to always remember and never forget.

Since I am a teacher naturally I love books, so I was thrilled when I came across The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein. Every year I share this wonderful story about an amazing French street performer named Phillippe Petit. In 1974 when the towers weren’t quite yet complete Phillippe performed a daring high wire act. In the middle of the night dressed as a construction worker Phillippe snuck to the top of the south tower while his friends were making their way up the north tower. They strung a cable between the towers and Phillippe performed the most amazing tight wire performance of his life for the gawking New Yorkers below.

The book is so well written and has the most breathtaking illustrations. It helps the children understand what iconic structures the Twin Towers were.

But, what I love so much about the book is that it is a celebration of the towers and their history. The story is uplifting and serves as a beautiful memorial to the towers and lives associated with them.

At the end of the book I get choked up every time I read the last few lines which simply state

Now the towers are gone

But in memory, as if imprinted on the sky, the towers are still there. And part of the at memory is the joyful morning, August 7, 1974, when Phillip Petit walked between them in the air

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Secrets & Wives Finale Tonight

Sitting at the Truth + Beauty Spa in Roslyn Heights last night I was taken by complete surprise by the unassuming, sincere and down to Earth nature of Long Island’s newest TV reality celebrity Cori Goldfarb. The Reality TV star of Bravo’s newest Reality experiment Secrets and Wives which showcases several life long friends living on Long Island’s Gold Coast. The show premiered in June and the big finale is tonight.IMG_2070

We were assembled at Truth + Beauty to celebrate the shows finale which will air tonight on Bravo at 10:01 pm. Even if you never watched the show you would have been easily taken in by this charming entrepreneur who, when all the chairs were occupied, popped a squat on the floor.

Cori completely at home chatting with guests on the floor.

Cori completely at home chatting with guests while in the floor.

She was extremely easy to talk to and we shared stories about our children and discussed how a mother is really only as happy as her unhappiest child. Her daughter, who was just as sweet and sincere as her mother discussed the trials of dealing with her mother’s newfound celebrity. In the end she is extremely supportive of her mother and it was evident how close the two are.

Cori and her daughter

Cori and her daughter

If tonight’s finale garners big ratings it will hopefully lead to a second season of Secrets and Wives. The show is definitely worth the watch and comes complete with Long Island accents & attitudes. Of course there is plenty of drama and a good mix of funny and bawdy behaviors which is the recipe for a hit reality show. Tonight’s finale revolves around cast member Liza Sandler who is throwing herself a big blown out moving party. It proves to be quite the shindig and Liza is extremely hands-on with her party especially when it comes to dessert.

Not sure if I am hungry anymore...

Not sure if I am hungry anymore…

As a proud Long Islander I am definitley going to watch the show tonight. Why should we let Beverly Hills and New Jersey get all the attention. We have plenty of well-to-do kooky housewives here too. I mean come on we can show up Jersey can’t we? Watch tonight!

Cori and fellow cast member Susan Doneson

Cori and fellow cast member Susan Doneson

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We will miss you Grandma!

Today my family lost its center. My grandmother passed away at the age of 97. We were extremely fortunate to have had her a part of our lives for so long. She touched us all and played a major role in all our lives. To my grandmother family always came first and it just won’t be the same without her. I remember as a child wishing my grandma would live until I was 40. In my young mind 40 seemed like an age where I would feel like an adult and be able to deal with such loss. Little did I know that at 42 I am still not a grown up and at any age loss is never easy to deal with. She lived a wonderful life and in her honor today I am reposting what I wrote for her birthday 3 years ago.

An undated picture of my grandmother, she must be 2 or 3 in this photo

My Grandma was too cute!

I love my Grandma, she is the best. She is an extraordinary woman. 94 year’s old it is just amazing. I am exhausted at 39 I can’t imagine 94!

Grandma Catherine

Grandma Catherine

It is hard to appreciate just how much the world has changed since she was born. Women didn’t even have the right to vote. Our world today barely resembles the one she grew up in. Her world was one without ipads, computers, telephones, cell phones,  internet, or television sets. All of the things we deem necessities and consistently use on a daily basis simply did not exist. Admit it you shuddered a little of the thought of no tv and no cell phone. Come on I am not the only one addicted to my cell phone.

The amount of technology and the rapid pace that the world has advanced must seem mind boggling to a person who has lived through it all.

Life has radically changed since 1918. Forget inventions and technology think about the history she has lived through.  Two World Wars, The Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, The Space Race, the Moon Landing, the Kennedy Assassination, the Civil Rights Movement, The Cold War, The Korean War and Vietnam,  and countless other historic events. Better than any history book is an afternoon with Grandma.

The key to her longevity is flexibility. Although, she didn’t always agree with the direction the world was going in she always took it in stride. A lesson we could all benefit from.

My whole life my grandmother was an integral part of my life. She visited every week and took us shopping, walked us to school on the first day every year. Every important event of my life my grandmother was always there giving her love and support. There were countless sleep overs at her house and many walks to the local convenience store to get comic books.

And of course it goes without saying I am her absolute favorite of the 8 great-grandchildren!

Today she lives with my mother and my children benefit from seeing her everyday. It teaches my children that it is important to respect and care for their elders. A good lesson I hope they remember.

When I get home from work it always gives me a smile to see Grandma watching Power Rangers and Dora with my 4 year old. They are so lucky that they have a great-grandmother who is with it and who they enjoy spending time with.

They are so fortunate that she has been by their sides, just as she was for me, at all of the important events in their young lives. I am sure one day they will look back on their childhoods and be so grateful for the time they had with her.

The luckiest little girls to have a grandma and great-grandma

The luckiest little girls to have a grandma and great-grandma

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