Are you tired of the homework struggles? Do your kiddos have a hard time doing homework? Do they flat out refuse to do them? Here are my top 10 tips for to help get homework done.
- Do homework right away. Training our kids to do homework as soon as they get home was our main goal as a parent when my oldest daughter started Kindergarten. By starting in Kindergarten, she learned the routine of coming home and doing homework right away. Thankfully her two younger sibling just copied what she did when it was their turn for school.
- Give them a snack. Lunch time and end of the school day is usually a few hours apart. A snack during the drive home or right when we get home is usually a great idea around my house. I’ve noticed that a small snack (a fruit, granola bar, cracker, beef jerky) usually calms my kids down and quiets their tummy and helps balances their low blood sugar. Phew, mood swings or crankiness averted.
- Turn off all distractions. During homework there is no tv or radio on in the house. Sometimes soft classical music is ok but for the most part everything is off. Why no radio? According to my daughter when a song she knows comes on, it can cause her to sing along which distracts her from homework.
- Designate a homework spot/table. Each child having their own designated homework space really helps eliminate any chit chatting or bickering during homework time. Their space (desk, dining or coffee table, bed) helps them to spread out, get comfortable and really focus on their homework. Be sure to have homework tools (pencils, erasers, crayons…etc) they might need to complete their homework easily accessible to them.
- Tackle harder or lengthier homework first. Getting the harder or more frustrating homework done first might boost your kid’s mood because the rest will seems easier. Yes, it could also do the opposite but their brain might be able to tackle those harder parts earlier in the game rather than the last 10 minutes of the hour. Did that make sense? I hope so!
- Let them walk away. Kids get frustrated just like WE do. A teacher once told me that it’s ok to let my kid stand up and pace, walk away or even take a little breather in between when I notice them getting frustrated. This isn’t however a pass to leave the homework unfinished. Im talking a minute or two of a mental break, and then they should go back and finish. Another teacher suggested to switch to the next subject/topic of homework. Perhaps the small shift from the unlikeable class homework to the I love Science homework will help them re-focus and calm down.
- Ask for help, Give HELP. If you as a parent is genuinely concern about your child’s frustration with homework, don’t be afraid to ask teachers or friends for any tip they might have to help your kiddo(s) with their homework routine. Usually your child’s teacher will know your child and their study habits better than your friends so I would ask them first. Provide your kiddo help with homework, guide them to the right answer NOT give them the answer. 🙂
- Use Aroma therapy. I like to light scented candles around the house where my kids (12, 10 & 6 yrs old) can smell them. I also like to diffuse oils for added zen and focus (corny right?). I just think that if scents can help us focus and relax as an adult then why not try it with my kiddos. I like do terra’s balance blend or lavender oil for this.
- Remind them, that it’s not a punishment it’s just a part of their JOB.…Remind them that this is a part of their job as a student/kid not a PUNISHMENT. My oldest daughter told me she does her homework because it is what is expected of her as a student and as a kid (WOW!). I asked her to elaborate and she said, because it helps prepare us for being a grown up. Homework is like a project or job we need to do at work, if we don’t do it we could lose our job or an opportunity. Then she added that she would rather learn how to be responsible and develop good work skills now while she is still a kid at school. (I swear those are her words) So perhaps she was listening all those times when I say these are life skills but she may also be mature for her age. Whatever it might be, it was nice to be reminded that homework isn’t just a chore but a tool to help them with their work ethic one day.
- Lastly, let them Have FUN! Let them be kids. My middle kiddo told me that her motivation was that the sooner she gets done the sooner she gets to have fun. To be fair her idea of fun after homework is to sit and just veg in front of the tv till it’s time for soccer practice. The sooner (give them a time period if you genuinely know they can adhere to that) they get done the sooner they can have FUN!!! This FUN time in-between activities really helps my kiddos calm down and re-adjust for the next activity. Sometimes things get crazy and homework takes longer but they will still get their fun time (even if it’s just 10 minutes) after all the activities are done.
I hope that these tips helps you and your kiddo get homework get pass the homework struggles. Remember that deep breaths and perhaps a cup of caffeine free tea before hand might just help us mamas and daddies stay calm if the homework storm hits. Wishing your kiddo(s) a great new school year and I hope you make it a great day!