It’s that time of the day that nearly every kid and parent alike dreads—homework time. As the kids have been in school all day long and they are tired of paying attention, the notion of doing homework isn’t exactly a winning one. Though they all know that they have to get their homework done, that doesn’t make the task any easier. Most parents also know that this task is usually met with resistance and even frustration as there is often a lot to get done in a short period of time. How can a parent ever create a winning homework strategy? How can this task become easier and more successful for both parties?
There are some simple and effective ways to break down the dreaded homework challenge, and even turn it into a positive. It’s a matter of talking through expectations with your child. It’s also about trying to keep the activities to a reasonable level, so that you’re not always trying to squeeze in homework at the last minute. As each new school year begins, it’s helpful for the parent and child to sit down and talk about how to tackle homework each and every night. Though it may never be something that kids love, homework can become much more manageable if you put the proper amount of thought into it. Planning ahead can make this so much easier.
Though parents may shudder when they see the homework folder come home, these tips can make this a more successful job. Be available to help your child, stay patient, and know that sometimes it may take a bit of time in working through the process. Here are the best ways to make homework more manageable and ensure that both parent and child come out ahead.
- Set up a place to do homework away from any distractions: This sounds obvious but so many parents tend to skip over this important detail. Your child needs a place that is designated just for homework. This might be the kitchen table, the office, or even a desk in their room. It’s away from the TV, loud siblings, or any other distractions that may get in their way. You want to be sure that it’s close to you or that you are sitting with them in this designated spot to help them. They need the structure of a homework spot for this will help them to focus and be successful without anything getting in their way.
- Set a time where you can sit down and help them with their homework: This is another important consideration, particularly as you are planning around extracurricular activities. It’s not always easy but you want to take a look at what each day brings and then coordinate in dedicated homework time. This is their time to get the homework done, and you are there with them too. You both put everything else aside at this time just to help them through the daily tasks, or at the very least to be available to help answer questions. Setting a time whether it’s after school or after dinner will help to keep things on track nicely.
- Have a designated spot for their school work, folders, and any tools they may need: Things can get lost really easily with kids, and this isn’t good for anything. Have a spot that is easily accessible where they can put the work that needs to be done, then pack it up in their backpack when it’s complete. Put any tools such as pencils, paper, or whatever other supplies that can help in this designated area too. Then they don’t have to rummage around looking for what they need, and this is all part of the homework routine.
- Stay ahead of it, get into a routine, and try to break things off a little at a time when possible: If there are bigger projects then break things down one task at a time. Try to stay ahead of most tasks and plan for them by breaking it down into smaller pieces. Do whatever you can to get into a routine for each night, but then break down the bigger tasks into digestible pieces. Then nobody is stressed out and no task becomes too big—and that’s really the way that it should be. If you follow these tips and really get into a winning routine, then homework will never overtake you again.
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