Homework burdens usually increase mid-semester. There is some professional debate about how much homework is healthiest for kids. But the debate about doing it once it comes home is the most tiresome. Some kids seem to put more energy into fighting about doing their homework than it would take to just do it.
But what’s a parent to do?
Here are some tips to help create a more positive atmosphere for your child’s homework and them to focus during their homework time.
Make Homework Hour Special – Allow time for the kids to reconnect with you, grab a snack, play and think about their day when they first get home. Then, create a specific homework hour at your house. Get rid of the electronics. Set-up older students to do their homework alone, your younger kids aren’t ready to do that, yet. Keep younger kids closer by so they can see you, and you are available to help when they ask.
Collect Homework Supplies – Keep a box, basket, or shelf supplied with everything needed for homework. This eliminates getting up and down and searching for things like pencil sharpeners, pens, glue sticks or staplers. Keep a stock of extra pencils, pens, poster board, notebooks, writing paper, and index cards so you are not heading out to go shopping for that surprise assignment due tomorrow!
Don’t Give Answers – Don’t do their work for them, as tempting as it can be to just get it done. Ask questions that help them find the answers. If they really don’t understand, leave it to the teacher or their tutor to take them to the next level. Don’t risk your relationship with them over a homework page.
Homework is a way for you to stay connected to what your children learn in school. As difficult as homework meltdowns can be, remember this is evidence of their learning. And if they need more help, that’s what a tutor is for. You are the parent, not the teacher.