5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Do Their Homework
One of the questions that make parents feel like a broken record is “Did you do your homework?” Some kids’ grades suffer because they forget about or simply choose not to do their homework. Try these tips in your home to turn the tide and save frustration on both sides.
- Ask your child what she needs. Think about how you feel after a long day of work (whether it’s outside the home or in). Do you need some time to recharge your batteries before starting dinner or doing the laundry? Your child is no different. Being well-behaved all day and focusing on learning is hard work, and for many children, going right into homework after returning home is not an option. Whether it’s resting in her room for 30 minutes, playing in the backyard, or reading a book for fun, allowing your child time to decompress will make the rest of the evening less of a battle.
- Create a routine, with your child’s input. Schedules will always be an important part of life, so ask your child to help you plan what the evening routine looks like. After you figure out what he needs to recharge, build the rest of the schedule from there. Perhaps next comes 30 minutes of homework, dinner, baseball practice, the rest of the homework with a snack, then some uninterrupted time with Mom or Dad before bed. A regular bedtime to ensure enough sleep will also help meet your child’s physiological needs.
- Put the homework in order. There is an order to the school day, so why not do the same for homework? If he is an instant gratification kid, encourage him to start with the easiest homework, do the hard stuff in the middle, and end with something a little easier. If your child prefers delayed gratification, try hardest, easier, easiest. You may need to play around with the order to see what your child prefers.
- Be involved! Parents who did not enjoy school often feel they cannot contribute or help with homework. Try just being present. If you have work to do in the evening, pull out your tablet or laptop and work in the same room as your child. If your child is struggling with a subject that is not your forte, ask her to tell you what she learned from the teacher about it. If she still doesn’t understand, and you cannot help, ask her to write a list of questions to ask the teacher the next day.
- They say it takes a village, so use the village! Consider asking your friends who may be strong in certain subjects if they are willing to assist your child. If that’s not an option, you may look into hiring a tutor. The school may have recommendations, or you could look into local or online options. If your child has a hard time with a subject, giving him support will decrease frustration and also teach him an important life lesson – we all have our strengths, and it is not a sign of weakness to leverage others’ knowledge.
Homework does not have to be a nightly battle. Start incorporating these tips into your routine, and within a couple weeks’ time, you will see a difference. Don’t lose heart if it doesn’t happen right away, but give it some time before throwing in the towel. Your child (and his or her grades and teachers) will thank you for it in the long run.