By Larissa Rohlik, Licensed School Counselor
Homework can be one of the hardest parts of the day! When supporting your child with their homework, there are things we can do to make it a smoother process before the backpack even gets opened. Here are some tips to make homework time a more enjoyable experience.
Setting the Stage:
- Set up a homework space that has everything your child needs and is free of distractions. One of the difficulties with homework is that children do not see their home as a place of work – it’s primarily a place of rest and relaxation. Having a place designated for homework and free of distractions such as having a spot that is not near a TV, can create a calm and productive environment.
- Work with your child to come up with a plan for when they will complete homework. For some kids, it’s best to begin homework as soon as they get home from school. Other kids might need a short break before they begin. Work with your child to determine what strategy will work best for them.
- Be sure that your child brings home their homework journal every night so they are aware of the homework that needs to be completed.
During Homework Time:
- Model a positive attitude towards homework. If you have work, or even reading that you can do, do it while your child is working on homework. This will show your child that learning is important for you too.
- Help your child practice coping skills to handle any frustrations that come up. If you notice your child is getting frustrated, practice coping skills such as deep breathing, getting a drink of water, counting to 10, talking it out, etc.
- Offer short breaks if necessary! Short breaks can be a great way to keep a child focused, and it’s important to be clear on exactly how long the break will be and what they can do during the break. Use a timer to track how long the break will be and have your child do things like stretch, listen to calming music, etc.
After your child is ﬁnished:
- A great motivator to ﬁnishing homework is allowing your child to do an activity they enjoy after they are done. This can include playing outside, watching a movie, playing a game, etc.
- Continue communicating with your child about what went well and what could be done to make the time better. Communication and collaboration are key.
Homework time doesn’t have to be a struggle. Use some of these tips stated above, build homework time into your schedule, and make sure to celebrate your child’s hard work throughout this school year!