Do you find yourself in a nightly battle with your child over homework? Are you tired of seemingly endless numbers of multiplication problems and geography questions plaguing you every night? Don’t let it get the best of you. Here are some tips to help end the battle once and for all.
1. Strike Up a Discussion
You may have encountered a few battles with your child, but have you actually had a calm and productive discussion about it? That’s your first step. “In an age appropriate way, have a discussion with them,” says Aricia E. Shaffer, MSE, parenting coach. Listen to your child first and her him out. Then, ask him to create a schedule that works for him. Would it be better to get the work done before or after dinner? What sorts of things can he look forward to doing once he gets his work done? Would he rather do it all in one go, or would he rather take a break every 30 to 60 minutes? “Work it out with them. If they’re involved in decision-making process, they’re more likely to follow through,” says Shaffer.
2. Create a Homework Station
Next, pick a quiet spot in your home and turn it into a station that’s just for schoolwork. This space will include everything they need to get the job done, like sharp pencils, pens, notebooks, calculator, ruler, etc. You want to make it as easy as possible for the kids to get their schoolwork done. “A tired kid who has to do a nightly scavenger hunt to get homework done is not a good thing,” says Shaffer. She also advises that some kids do better with a radio on or a fidget spinner in hand, so try this if your child tends to focus better with a little background noise.
3. Give ‘Em a Snack
Make sure your child isn’t hungry or thirsty before getting started. “We’ve all tried to power through something that requires brain power while we’re exhausted and famished. It doesn’t end well for us and it’s even worse for kids,” says Shaffer. Provide a healthy snack and some water to help give your kid the energy to get the task done.
4. Stand Up for Your Kid
Don’t be afraid to stand up for your child if necessary – or help them stand up for themselves – when appropriate, advises Shaffer. “When a second grader has three hours of work each night, that’s a concern to discuss with the school,” she says. What’s a good rule of thumb? Probably about 10 minutes per grade level per night. So, a second grader should probably have 20 minutes of homework. If you feel that the amount of work your child has to complete each night is out of hand, contact his teacher and ask for a conference.
Homework shouldn’t be a nightly battle. Instead, work with your kid to make it a more pleasant experience to help them enjoy the process of learning and studying at home.