As a parent, we usually have a plan in place for everything…sickness, discipline, juggling busy schedules, even menu options for the week, but have you managed a way to rise as the victor in the homework battle? After learning for 8 hours, the last thing your child wants to do is more schoolwork, but not doing it can drastically impact their grades. While we can’t make your child do their homework, we can provide some tips for ensuring it gets done. Start here:
- Set up a routine. Make homework a part of the day, just as eating dinner or family TV time is. As soon as your kids walk into the house from school, have a designated spot for backpacks, jackets, shoes, etc. Have them get out their homework assignments and lay them out on the table. Grab a quick snack and get to work! This can be tweaked to fit your schedule, but it is a great way to incorporate consistency into your routine.
- Keep organized. When homework is completed, there is nothing like losing it in the house, or worse, a messy backpack. Take a few minutes each day to organize and go through backpacks. Keep papers organized and in folders, throw away old pencils, and get all the trash out. Designate a specific spot in your home for completed homework to go (ex. countertop, in a folder in the study, or on top of their backpack) so that you can monitor their progress and ensure it is complete.
- Reward good behavior. While homework has to be completed in order to get good grades, it will not hurt to reward their efforts along the way! Promote good behavior such as doing homework without being told, doing extra work, or properly completing assignments with little treats. It can be as simple as a few extra minutes of game time or a piece of candy before dinner, but it will be something extra to let them know you appreciate their efforts!
- Give them a break! Some kids will have no problem with walking through the door and starting homework, but some will need to wind down from the school day. Let them have some time to play or read before starting homework. If homework time lasts a long time, allow them to take breaks.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is for both you and your child! Your child should feel comfortable asking for help on what is not understood, whether it be asking you, a classmate, or a teacher. If there is some work that you cannot fully explain, you do not need to be shy, either! Ask the teacher for help or suggest meeting after school to go over it together. Tutors can now be found both online and in person, so that may be a great route to explore.
Things are changing…homework isn’t the same as it used to be. You know your family and their routine better than anyone, so explore your options and do what works best.