Every parent wants their children to do well academically, but homework can be a source of contention. In many households across the country, homework is as painful for parents as it is for their kids. If you spend the majority of after-school hours prodding, pleading, and begging your child to complete assignments, it may be time for a new approach. By establishing a routine and utilizing some technology, you can improve your child’s homework habits.
Establish a routine
For some kids, it’s difficult to naturally get into a routine to effectively study. However, by setting some ground rules and sticking to a routine, you can help your child get on the path to homework success. Observe your child’s interest and energy level right when they come home from school. It may be beneficial to give them time to snack and let them relax and decompress rather than jump right into homework.
While some children do homework quickly and correctly as soon as they get in the door, others are more productive after a break or even after dinner. Talk with your child and figure out what time works best, and then stick to a consistent routine each and every school day.
Give them access to technology
These days, children are expected to use technology for their homework. In fact, some students must turn in their homework assignments online or communicate with teachers via email. If your child doesn’t have a personal computer, consider a tablet.
Just remember to keep an eye on your children when they are on the internet to make sure they are being safe online, and that they are actually doing their homework, not just watching YouTube or browsing social media. Consider adding parental control apps to keep your child focused.
Having said that, it is important to offer incentives for hard work. For example, consider allowing your child to play a video game for a set amount of time after completing a homework assignment, or you can choose to wait to reward them until after they’ve completed all of their homework. Either way, you may want to think about whether your child is getting the most out of their playtime. If, for instance, your internet connection could use a boost, upgrading to 5G could greatly improve gameplay thanks to the smoother performance and significantly less lag.
Set up a dedicated homework space
Don’t expect your child to be able to focus and concentrate if other children (or adults) are watching TV, playing games, or talking around them. Establish a designated study area where they can focus on the task at hand. A comfortable room or nook with good lighting and a practical desk is the key. Aim for a spot that is still close enough that you can monitor their activity and assist them if needed. Keep in mind that while some children need a quiet space to concentrate, others study more effectively when there’s a bit of background noise, such as a fan or music.
Talk to the teacher
If your child is overwhelmed by the amount of homework they are assigned, it might be time to talk to their teacher. Research shows that homework is beneficial to older children up to a point, and perhaps not so beneficial to younger kids. The National Education Association notes that many school districts support the 10-minute homework guideline – which basically means 10 minutes per day, per grade level (with more homework time for high schoolers).
If the workload seems to be too much, talk to your child’s teacher or a school administrator to find out how long the assigned work should be taking and if there are other options. You don’t want to squelch your child’s love of learning with a flood of homework.
If homework isn’t going well in your house, try a new approach. After a full day at school, your child might need a break before diving right into assignments. By changing the timing, establishing a routine, and utilizing technology, your days of homework woes can be behind you.