It’s a rare parent who doesn’t face a homework struggle at some point during their child’s school career. Complaints, delays, and excuses might be the norm in your house. What parents need to realize is that they have the ability to dictate the outcome of homework. It’s up to you to create an environment that inspires learning and accountability on the part of your children. Most kids thrive on a schedule and not too many kids are incredibly self-motivated–it’s way more fun to play outside, watch TV or surf the net than it is to do homework after a long, hard day at school. Homework needs to be approached as a daily routine. Routine requires planning so it’s important to include your child is the development of a study routine. Some parents find that a snack and then immediate homework work best for their child. Others choose to give their kids an allotted amount of time as a break. This is entirely up to you. Try both ways to see what works best for you.
1.Set up a designated study area in your home. You might want your child in sight so the kitchen or dining room table is great. If you feel it’s okay, let your child complete homework in his room. Have your child help you decide what is best. However, once the place is established, don’t change it.
2.Show your child how you expect assignments to be written down in their homework assignment book and that you expect the appropriate books and workbooks to be brought home. Remember that routine brings continuity to your child.
3.Quiet down the house during study time. If your making dinner, greeting other children and answering the phone, that’s way too much noise to concentrate. Homework time should be quiet. Other children should be kept busy with quiet activities. Color books are a great quiet time activity for younger siblings when older kids are doing homework.
4.Set up a system of how you want your child to work. The sheer amount of work assigned for homework simply overwhelms many kids. Break out assignment book and make a plan with your child’s help. Often, after a long day at school, your child needs a mental break. Try the easy work first and move to the more complicated assignments next. Or better yet, ask for your child’s input on what he’d prefer to work on first.
5.Be available to assist but don’t do the work. Your child is attending school, not you. You’re a resource, much like an encyclopedia.
6.Teach your child to pace themselves for larger assignments. Term papers or projects are much less stressful for both you and your child if he performs the work in small intervals.
7.Use incentives carefully. Incentives would be a ice cream date with Mom for a week of properly completed homework or a movie after a month, and so on. Your aim is to take the argument and frustration out of the equation of completing homework. Incentives might be the spark for your child to get them on the path to completing their work in a timely manner.
8.Praise a job well done. Kids glow under the praise of their parents. Heap the kudos on your child for completed work. Your kind words will go farther than any ice cream or treat.
9.Consider having your child read quietly every night. Reading helps with concentration and comprehension that is a skill that can be used in any school subject.