Have a flawless homework routine? Neither do we. That's why we compiled these awesome homeword tips from your fellow ParentMap readers. Make sure homework doesn't become a headache this back-to-school season.
Creating a schedule
- Consistency is key — right from the get-go. Set up a routine and stick to it!
- Include bedtimes, homework times, play times, dinnertime, etc. in your schedule, so there are no surprises.
- Make sure your child gets regular sleep and dinner the week before school starts to help with a rhythm.
- "Print out and post a fall schedule for everyone to read. Post it in the kitchen or near family table."
- Parents need to establish their own after-school routine to lead by example.
- Give them a snack!
- Make sure the schedule takes into account sports and other after-school activities.
The takeaway: Start early, be consistent and create a schedule with the whole family.
- Many parents say, "Have the kids do their homework while you make dinner!"
- "Get it done first thing after school. That way they can play the rest of the afternoon/evening."
- "My kids work best after some outside playtime."
- For older kids who have longer homework commitments, make sure to give them breaks!
- "We give them time to snack and decompress first. "
- With all our activities and the dinner rush, we do homework in the morning!
- "My kids decided to do their homework on the bus ride home."
The takeaway: Figure out the best time for your family and your child's needs.
- No distractions: No internet, cell phone, TV, email or video games until homework is done.
- "We usually do snack and show or reading to decompress right after they get home and then homework. I think it is imperative to teach them about flexibility and how sometimes they will be to get homework done if they have other commitments."
- "Give them at least a few minutes of chill out time before even discussing homework. They have already been doing school work all day. Bombarding them with more as soon as they walk in the door is too much."
- Minimize after-school classes, playdates and other commitments so kids have plenty of time for homework and play.
- "Computer/screen time after homework is a great incentive."
The takeaway: Minimize distractions and allow time to decompress.
Making homework fun
- Encourage them to help design their schedule
- "We do a snack and fun activity as soon as she gets home so that we can talk about the school day. We then go through her back pack and prioritize things that need attention."
- "Self-care is key, so avoid burn out."
- Incentives! "We have a sticker chart that we use to incentive: $1 a day for each day there is no complaining whatsoever and homework gets done."
- "We have a clock in our common rooms and time blocks are color-coded for certain activities. For instance, the block of time between 4 and 5 p.m. is color coded orange and orange means this time is for homework; 5 to 6 p.m. is green and green equals the first playtime; 6 to 6:30 p.m. is dinner, etc.."
- "We set up a weekly 'homework playdate' where my student gets together with a friend to complete their homework and then play."
The takeaway: Be creative!
- "I with them every afternoon while they do it. They like my proximity because they have been away from me all day."
- Try the SOAR system workbook.
- "We make a chart with stars for every 15 minutes doing homework for the refrigerator; 20 stars earns ice cream night on Friday night."
- Give them a pep talk about upcoming school year! Ongoing encouragement is key.
- Visit the library and have them starting reading all throughout the summer.
- "Celebrate small successes. Foster independence, yet provide support by looking over homework."
- Don't push it. Ease into the busy back-to-school time.
The takeaway: Be encouraging and supportive.
- Create a dedicated space for homework that is close by and free of distractions.
- Keep the homework space clear and free of clutter.
- Establish the same work space, to add physical consistency to your homework routine.
- "Keeping school supplies organized is ideal!"
- "I read or catch up on my own work at the same table, for support."
- Make sure your kids have a designated space for completed homework, to ensure they turn it back to their teachers on time.
The takeaway: Organization, organization, organization!