Often times, when your child has homework, so do you!
You many find yourself cajoling or even arguing with your child about getting homework done. There may be power struggles or tears. Your child may be saying, “I can’t do this” or “I won’t do this!”
Daily struggles with homework end up being stressful for everyone.
To make the homework hour at your house less stressful and to help your child be more successful in completing it, follow these six guidelines that help your child develop a “homework habit” so homework becomes a ritual that's done without procrastination.
Getting your child’s buy-in at each of these stages also helps to reduce power struggles about doing homework.
1. Determine, with your child, a consistent place to do homework.
Experiment with your child to find a place that she feels most comfortable doing homework. It could be at the kitchen table, on the floor in your family room, on a bean bag chair in the bedroom, or at a desk in the home office. When your child finds a place that's the best for doing homework, stick with it!
2. Determine whether your child needs to be near you, or can work independently.
Some children need to have solitude to concentrate best. Others need to be near a parent. Yet others do better with a homework buddy. Again, work with your child on determining what situation best meets his needs. Keep other siblings who are too young or don’t have homework away from your child by setting them up with another activity.
3. Monitor the noise level during homework time.
Some children need it totally quiet to concentrate. Other children can handle background noise. Yet other children will actually benefit from playing background music. Several studies suggest that listening to Baroque music actually enhances the learning experiences of some children, particularly those who are auditory learners. (Baroque music includes composers like Bach, Handel and Vivaldi from the mid-1500s to mid-1700s.)
4. Find a consistent time to do homework.
Ideally, a child should do homework at the same time every day, so rituals can be developed that prevent procrastination. Short of that, you can at least develop a daily schedule. For instance, on Monday, homework is done right after Girl Scouts. On Tuesdays, homework is done before piano lessons, etc. Your child should put the schedule in her planner. If your child doesn’t have assigned homework one day, still have her study or read during the time allotted.
Most kids appreciate having a break after school. Consider letting your kids have a snack, play outside, or do some other enjoyable activity before they start doing homework.
Also, think outside the box. If your child is an early riser, perhaps she can do homework before school in the morning.
5. Develop a homework "basket."