With the start of the school year, the nightly homework battles begin. Nothing is worse for a parent than to having to beg,plead and yes, even having to yell at their kids to get their homework done – especially after a long day at the office.
Below are seven tips for making homework happen as smoothly as possible:
1. Set a regular homework time. This may need to be somewhat flexible to deal with extra-curricular activities, but it should be as regular as possible so your kids know what to expect each day.
2. Invest in cool school supplies. Funky pencils, colorful erasers and notepads can bring some flair and fun to homework. Keep everything you need close at hand so your child doesn’t have to search for his or her pencils or homework materials.
3. Create a Good Study Environment: Homework in front of the TV is a big no-no. Set up a clean, chaos-free work area that’s well lit and close enough to you for easy access to questions or homework help. Some kids work well with background noise or music, others don’t. Find what works best for your child and stick to it.
4. Catch up on your homework, reading or emails at the same time. Pay your bills, write your grocery lists, respond to work emails or fill out all those permissions slips. It’s family homework hour and everyone has work they need to get done.
5. Create a reward system. Don’t think of it as a bribe, but instead motivation. You can reward completion of homework within a given time, finishing homework without being reminded, or whatever makes sense for your child. Discuss with your child what a good reward would be, and feel free to change them as time goes on.
6. Follow Through and Be Consistent. Like most other parts of parenting, consistency is key. If kids think they can talk their way out of it, they will. Stick to your guns and make sure the homework gets done. The kids will adapt to the new routine, it just may take some time.
7. Hallelujah, Give Praise! When homework is finished, praise your kids for getting it done. Let them know that they can now relax because they got their work out of the way. Play a game with, go outside, allow some computer or TV time – let them see that it’s worth it to get the homework completed in a timely manner and without your nagging.