School is starting up again which means homework is starting too. Here’s ten homework tips that will stop the tears, complaints and stress both kids and moms face this time of year.
1. Set up a homework routine. If you don’t have a routine set up yet, do it as soon as you can. Kids work better when they have a routine that is right for them. Some kids do better right after school while others need some time to relax and have a snack before attacking their homework. No matter what routine you choose just stick to it to see results!
2. You can help, but not too much. If you’re lucky enough to understand your child’s homework, it’s tempting to help a bit too much. It is okay to do one sample problem with them to get them “unstuck”, but don’t do three or four or soon you are the one doing the homework.
3. Make it Fun. It is easier than you think! If your daughter is a visual learner go online and find a great video that can help her. Or, if your child is studying and needs to memorize equations for a test, help them create a goofy song. This helps make kids more relaxed and ready to learn.
4. Become a Time Management Ninja. Middle school and high school students need to balance academics, extracurriculars and their social life. Help your children put together a schedule either online or use an erasable whiteboard– whatever works for your family. Make sure you add in study/homework time each school night to help your child see when he/she is truly free. Several months in your child may be able to take over the calendar with less help.
5. Big Projects? Start Small. Older children have more long-term assignments such as a research paper or essay assigned in September but due in October. It’s easy to procrastinate and then find your son or daughter in a panic a few days before the due date. Help them map out a plan where they complete a piece of the assignment every few weeks such as going to library for research followed by completing an outline. Having regular due dates will help keep projects on track and reduce last-minute meltdowns.
6. It All Counts. If your child is planning on going to college, their freshmen GPA will go on their college transcript. Make sure your child is taking the right mix of classes and see what support is available at the school. You can make an appointment with your child’s school counselor to ensure you are on the right track.
7. Take A Break. Research shows students don’t concentrate well for long periods. Rather than demanding your child finish all his/her homework in one sitting, encourage him/her to take breaks every 20-30 minutes. That’s a great time to check their phone, get a snack or just get up and stretch. They’ll complain less and be more productive.
8. Not Good at Math or Writing? Don’t Tell Your Kids. Instead tell them you understand math or writing is really tough but you know they can do it. If you can’t help, make sure you know who can or look online for great resources like tutorials and videos that break down tough concepts.
9. Time to Tell the Teacher. If your child has worked on a problem for hours and is no closer to getting it, then it’s time to write a note to the teacher. The teacher will be glad to know that your child had problems with the assignment and needs some extra help.
10. Celebrate. I am a big believer in celebrating your child’s successes! A great biology grade, finished essay or a week of completed homework assignments deserves some recognition. Come up with something that works for your family – maybe it’s dessert at your favorite ice cream shop or a new app. Your child will appreciate being celebrated!