Do you feel like you’re struggling every night to get your child to buckle down and get their homework done? 

All parents face this problem occasionally, but many have this issue to look forward to at the end of every day.  Don’t despair!  Here are some quick tips to help your child develop the ability to get their homework completed without tears and a lot of help from you.

First, you will need to implement a clear routine.

  • Decide on the right location for your child to work.  This should be the spot where they have the fewest distractions.  Be sure to ask your child where they feel most comfortable working.
  • Now that the location is set, you need to ensure the space contains all the supplies needed for your child to complete their work.  Some of these items might include pencils, a calculator, a ruler, and a laptop.  Consider prominently posting a calendar to keep track of long-term assignments.  If you’re using a space that your family uses for other purposes, be sure to have a bin that your child can pack things into once their work is done.
  • Consistency and routine are key so help your child develop the habit of doing their homework at the same time every day.  Obviously, every child is different as far as their after-school activities, but try to have this time before it gets too late and your child is tired and has mentally switched off for the day.
  • A daily homework schedule needs to be discussed.  You need to review what assignments need to be completed and get input from your child as to how much time they need to do the work, what supplies they require, and what help they might need from you.  Once you’ve reviewed all of this information you can mutually decide what breaks should take place.
  • A very efficient strategy is building in choice.  When possible, allow your child to choose the order in which they want to do their assignments.

Second, consider implementing an incentive system based on what type of homework struggles your child has.

  • You will want to have a discussion with your child and have them identify their struggles so they recognize them for themself.
  • Set goals together so they understand the expectations.
  • Find what motivates your child and decide on rewards you can give when they accomplish homework in a timely fashion without a lot of grumbling.  For example – allow your child to do something they really enjoy once their work is done or devise a point system where your child can use accumulated points for rewards.
  • Keep in mind that you may have to introduce some penalties for not completing work.  These are typically a loss of a privilege – talking on the phone, iPad time, playing video games.

Sometimes a homework contract is beneficial.  Develop this along with your child so the expectations and responsibilities for both you and your child are clearly outlined and understood.  Rewards can be given as work is completed and is neat and well done.  If your child isn’t living up to what they agreed to in the contract, you can decide on the penalty you think is appropriate.