Whether your child is struggling in school or not, homework time can be a difficult time in many households. Instead of arguing and worrying, create a homework plan that works for your child’s personality and learning style.
Homework doesn’t have to be the worst part of your day. Use these tips to help your child focus on getting the homework done every night without a struggle.
Before the School Year Starts
About a week before school starts, create and discuss a homework schedule with each child. A homework plan should be drafted and agreed upon by both the parent and the child.
In your homework plan, outline when homework should be completed, what rewards will be given for finishing homework on time, and where homework should be completed (for example, at the kitchen table instead of on the living room floor in front of the TV).
If the school year already started (or if your child needs a homework “refresher”), I LOVE Drama Free Homework to stop arguments and frustration (from both you and the kids).
A Time for Homework
When creating the homework plan, it’s helpful to establish a specific homework time each day. A few children like to jump right into homework as soon as they get home from school, but some children need a little time to unwind from the school day before homework is started.
After sitting for most of the day, many children can benefit from some type of physical exercise. Outdoor play is a great way to shake off the restlessness and refresh the mind.
If needed, plan on delaying homework for at least an hour after the child arrives home from school.
Don’t Forget the Snack
A nutritious after school snack is usually needed.
Nobody can work when they are hungry, and it is especially hard for children. Offering nutritious snacks instead of sugary, unhealthy foods will help children focus.
For easy snacks and lunch ideas that your kids can make themselves (and for a complete school planner), grab the Organized Back to School Planner.
Create a Homework Space
It is much easier to complete homework when an established homework space is available. This space should be stocked with all the supplies a student needs, should have adequate lighting, should be free from distractions, and should be comfortable.
It is hard to finish homework when cartoons are on TV and someone is playing a video game in the same room. A quiet study space will help a child focus on homework.
In addition, if your kids have several homework assignments, help your kids figure out which assignments to focus on first. Use the printable homework plan to organize the work and create an action plan for assignments.
Be Available for Help and Support
Children like parents to be interested in what they are doing. Provide support and show interest, but don’t go so far as to complete homework for the child.
If a homework assignment is too difficult, offer constructive help without giving away the answers.
Keep an Eye on the Clock
Some students have more homework than they can comfortably handle.
If a young child is struggling to get homework done within a reasonable amount of time each night, then the parent should speak to the teacher. It is possible that the homework load is too heavy.
The general rule of thumb is that elementary school-aged children should have ten minutes of homework per grade level. So, a second-grader should have no more than twenty minutes of homework a night.
While you don’t want to rush kids through their schoolwork, setting a timer may help procrastinators and dawdlers. 😉
Save video gaming, TV watching, and other exciting activities for the time after homework is completed.
Many school-aged children find it difficult to stop in the middle of a video game to do something undesirable, like homework. Using these activities as a reward will spur most children on to complete their homework.
Homework time does not have to be a power struggle. Be flexible when establishing a homework agreement with your child, but be consistent in following the plan. When the parent follows through, the child will too.