What to do when homework is a struggle

Many parents try to encourage good homework habits, but what approach should you take if homework is a challenging issue between you and your child?

Homework can be a real sticking point between many parents and their children. It’s an all too common experience for hours to be wasted trying to get kids to focus and do their homework. The end result can upset everyone’s evening – your child’s homework is incomplete, or they no longer have enough time left to decompress before bed, and for parents, you’re more stressed than necessary and your own work has piled up too!

Does this sound familiar to you? Know that you are not alone in this experience. Here are some easy tips that anyone can employ to encourage kids to do more homework in an organised and focused way. Let’s take a look.

Pick a time

Make a scheduled time for homework. Different children work best at different times of day. Some kids may prefer to do their homework in the afternoon as soon as they arrive home. Others may prefer to do it after a set amount of playtime where they can reset after the demands of the classroom before tackling their homework tasks. It’s important to ascertain what works best for your little ones. Decide a time together and then stick to it. By doing this, children will realise that you are being serious about them completing their homework and over time, they will become accustomed to knuckling down when the appointed time arrives – meaning there will be less and less resistance as the habit sets in.

Pick a place

Set up a homework friendly area. Ensure kids sit down to do their homework in a well-lit place and keep all the usual school supplies nearby: paper, pencils, scissors and such, so that their concentration isn’t disrupted or fragmented by having to fetch necessary items now and then.

Make a plan

Oftentimes, children can feel overwhelmed by their homework and don’t know where or how to start. It’s recommended to sit with your child for a few minutes at the beginning of homework time and make a plan together to tackle each task. Break up the work into small chunks that your child can manage and complete. It’ll give them a sense of accomplishment and motivate them to keep going.

Praise them

Most parents assume a reward means giving their little one a sweet or some extra playtime when they complete their homework. However, this will only work for a short period and will make the child care more about the prize rather than actually developing a homework habit. Instead, try to give your child verbal praise and encouragement that especially celebrates their efforts.

Stay aligned

Children are less likely to do their homework without complaint if you’re watching a movie or playing loud songs in the next room. Instead, consider using their designated homework time to get your own work done. This way, kids will feel conditioned into a whole house ‘work time’, imitating your habits and hopefully seeing more productive results from the quiet environment around them.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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