Is homework a stressful time in your household? At one time or another, it’s probably resulted in bribery, disagreements, frustration, and a tantrum or two. The reality is no child really loves homework. Think about it. When you were your child’s age, did you enjoy completing more work after being in school all day? Odds are no.
As a parent, it is important to level with your child and try to view things from their perspective. If you’re willing to take their views into consideration, when combating homework issues, they will be inclined to discuss things with a level head versus a combative mindset.
The resolution to homework qualms and quarrels isn’t a one-step plan, but we have an assortment of tips to get the job done.
Create a routine.
Develop a routine that works well for your household – this will vary depending on your child’s age, transportation home (bus, walker, daycare, etc.), sports, and other activities. Schedule a time that your child must begin their homework every day. If it helps, consider writing the schedule down on a family calendar or chore board.
Be consistent with the schedule. If your child doesn’t abide by the routine, implement consequences. The reprimanding recourse could be no screen time, early bedtime, no outside playtime, or writing lines. Having a routine will alleviate any questions on start times and empower your child with a sense of independence.
Distractions can be social media, phones, TV, or other people. Make a rule that your child must focus on their homework without any distractions. Odds are if they have less background noise, they’ll be able to complete their homework quicker and more efficiently.
Set up a specific area for homework.
Whether it is the dining room table or a desk, designate a specific area for your child to complete homework. Having a designated homework space will create boundaries within the physical household and help your child step away from homework and relax.
Consider creating a homework caddy that holds pencils, pens, highlighters, erasers, post-its, index cards, and other helpful school items. Your child will not have any excuses about having the materials necessary to complete their assignments, and it establishes that area as a homework destination.
Give your child breaks.
Break up your child’s homework time by allowing them to take a break. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and allow your child to make a snack, stretch their legs, or just get a drink of water. Implementing segmented breaks will help your student feel refreshed as they complete their assignments. But don’t allow electronics during the breaks because that could serve as a distraction.
Make yourself available.
Help your child get started with their assignments. Ask your child what work they must complete and help them create a to-do list to get it finished. Many kids are not self-starters any lean towards being slow starters. Therefore, being available and active in your child’s homework execution will make assignments feel less daunting.
It’s also important to let your child know that you are available to help with questions they have. Be patient and ask your child if they have notes provided during class time, about certain subjects and lessons.
Work together to manage long-term assignments.
As you know, some assignments require more than just one night’s work. Each week, work with your child to develop a schedule that is achievable. This could look like setting aside 15 minutes each weeknight to work on a project or blocking off time during the weekend to work on a project together. As adults, we tend to take the habits of being independent and thoughtful for granted. It’s important to keep in mind that you didn’t develop mindfulness overnight – it is a lifetime process.
By working together to manage long-term assignments, you’ll help your student create habits that they will use forever.
Make Sunday night a school night.
If your child is involved in extracurricular activities and/or sports, allotting Sunday nights as school nights will be beneficial for everyone’s well-being. Help your student budget their time by establishing assignments they can knock out on Sunday night. This can look like getting a head start on reading, working on a large project, creating an outline for an upcoming paper, studying sight words, or tackling assignments that aren’t as time invasive.
There will be days when homework can’t be completed at a decent hour because of other obligations; therefore, it needs to be completed beforehand. Starting the school week on a Sunday, will reduce stress and help your child develop a good sense of time management.
Make homework a priority.
If your kid doesn’t complete their homework, then implement consequences. If homework isn’t finished, then they must miss practice. Creating a strong foundation and prioritizing homework will motivate a student to stay on track.
There are also consequences if they do a poor job on their homework. Making these rules will encourage your student to create quality products.
Bribery is not the same thing as rewards. Bribing your child is usually used as a threat in hopes of getting your child to do the right thing; however, rewarding your child is reinforcing your kid’s good choice. Discuss incentives with your child beforehand because the rewards can serve as motivation for your student. As your child gets older, consider editing the rewards. For example, if your younger student completes their homework without any problems for a whole week, maybe you could extend their bedtime by 30 minutes. However, if you have a teen and they produce the same consistency, you could consider extending their curfew by an hour.
Be consistent with consequences.
Assess your consequences and make sure that they are effective. Also, strive to be consistent with the consequences because you want to make sure that your child knows what to expect.
And be honest with yourself to make sure you’re not overreacting. Try to keep a level minded approach when assessing your child’s grades and production. It’s okay if your child has a bad grade once and a while. It is okay to give your child grace occasionally – we all have our off days.
Always communicate with your student and try to stay positive. If you implement these tips into your homework structure, you’ll definitely see a big improvement; however, it is important to recognize that everyone has off days, and that is totally okay.