Make a schedule and stick to it. Life is hectic for most families. With parents working and kids going to school and then the extracurricular activities that follow, some nights it’s hard to even squeeze in dinner. But coming up with a solid plan for attacking homework can take some of the stress away, especially for younger children. Allow a little decompression time after kids get home, but limit the TV, electronics and other distractions to no more than 30 minutes. Then get down to business.
Create a fun workspace. If possible make sure each child has a desk their room. This area should be designated for studying and doing homework, but make it a fun environment too (without electronics though). You don’t need a large area to accomplish this, even a small table and chair with the necessary tools can be enough to create a successful workspace. Include some personalized items on the desktop to offer a sense of ownership of the area. Also keep it clean.
Give them a break. This will come in handy on nights with especially difficult assignments. A quick card game or a walk around the neighborhood will help the child refocus and clear their head. It’ll also help you from becoming too stressed out while helping with the work.
Work with them, not for them. It’s natural to want to help your kids with their assignments, especially if they’re struggling. But it helps no one if you do the work for the child. It may be tempting, but fight that urge and find ways to help without doing it for them.
Provide Incentives. There’s a needed balance between study time and technology time. It’s important to unplug and focus on the task at hand for everyone, not just students. But when your kids are doing homework and accomplishing task, reward them. Set up the guidelines however you like, but ideas would be to exchange study time for screen time (60 minutes of studying = 20 minutes of electronics). Smaller children who aren’t tech savvy can be rewarded with small toys or other treats. Carry out the reward system when good grades and behavior are recognized at school.
Celebrate! The reward system works for long term accomplishments. But don’t forget to celebrate the small victories too. Once homework is complete, let the child announce to the family they’re finished. Come up with a victory dance (teenagers will not want to do this). A victory treat of some sort can be offered at the end of the evening too, target it to your kids’ interests, but don’t over do it on the small goals.
Getting an early handle on the homework, studying and school projects is the key to success. Don’t procrastinate because it’ll add stress to an already tense situation. And don’t forget to keep the homework away from the dog.