A homework club can be very beneficial for parents and children both. Children can learn from each other and parents can see where their children are struggling in school and confer with other parents to see what sort of things they do to encourage their children.
In order to start a Homework Club the initiator of the club must come up with a set of standards, regulations or ideas in order to have something to present to other parents. Sit down and as ka few questions: when should it meet, for how long should it meet, is it for one grade or varied grades, where will the meeting place be, etc. Think of all the questions you might ask if someone presented you with the idea of a Homework Club.
Once a preliminary idea of how the club will work, the best way to start one is to advertise for it to see if there is an interest. No sense in going through a lot of work just to have no one sign up.
HOW TO GET THE WORD OUT
1. Most schools have newsletters, ask the principle if you can advertise in it.
2. Enlist the help of the Parent Resource teacher, the school volunteers, the principal or the assistant principal. If they are speaking to a parent who is struggling with their child regarding his/her homework then a school employee or volunteer can mention the Homework Club.
3. Join or attend PTA meetings. Parents don’t attend every meeting, so attend as often as you can to reach different parents or ask a PTA member to mention the homework club at every meeting.
4. Speak to the School Board and ask for advice or to post a bulletin in their offices.
5. Make fliers and post in your community with contact information, or send letters home with students. If you do not feel comfortable putting your number on the fliers ask the principal if you can use them as a middle-man.
6. Talk to teachers to see if they will mention it when they talk to parents, or encourage the children to speak to their parents. Having frequent contact with the teachers will also ensure that parents have the right idea about homework, due dates, and student expectations.
Think about having a “calling-tree” in case a date is canceled. A calling-tree works in that each person calls the next one on the list so that for a large Homework Club one person is not left calling a bunch of people.
Also, a newsletter for the Homework Club can be good for letting parents know of the dates, and cancellations (if prior notice is known) the times and places and to provide encouragement for continued participation. I
It is also wise to get parents and students opinions on how things are going and where things need improvement. The first meeting should be with just the parents getting together to discuss where and how the club will function. Are the meeting places going to vary? What time and how long will each session last? What are the expectations and wants that should come from club?
If a club is to be held at a public library or community center confer with the director to see if it is allowed, and what time or day is convenient for them. It is possible they will even allow a spare room to be used for the club.
A Homework Club is not going to be very efficient if a session is total chaos due to scrounging around to find a pencil, a sharpener, crayons, paper. If the club will be held at the same place each time then a small cabinet or drawer can be cleaned out for supplies. If the meeting places will always change then purchase a large tote bag to carry supplies. Parents can donate money or supplies to keep them replenished.
UTLIZE YOUR RESOURCES
Utilize the homework sites on the internet, or purchase a dictionary and an almanac for reference. Check with your parent resource center, library or the school board for practice worksheets and homework tips. If your child’s school has a homework hotline, utilize it for due dates and to ensure that the right homework is being done on the right day. Teachers are also a great resource to utilize. Constant contact with teachers is valuable to any Homework Club and should be an essential requirement.
Most of all, stick to it! If only 1 other parent signs up for it still hold the homework club at the times and dates designated, if you can show it is a success then next year maybe more parents will sign up.