Top Five Homework Hacks for Parents

After a long day of school, most kids are less than eager to come home and do their homework. Unfortunately, it’s a reality they can’t ignore. Amidst distractions, disagreements and lots of “no’s”, it can be tricky to help your find motivation. Below are some “Homework Hacks” that will help your family manager the homework load well:

girl holds a notebook and pencil in front of a chalkboard

Establish a Routine

Consistency will help your child expect and prepare for homework time. Work with them to create a schedule for what homework time looks like: expectations increase the odds of follow through. An after-school schedule could look like:

3-4PM Snack time/Rest
4-5PM Homework time
5PM Dinner time 
6PM Family/play time
7PM Screen time
8PM Bedtime

Whatever your family’s schedule looks like, put it somewhere visible for everybody to see – it may be a lifesaver for future arguments!

Create a Designated Space

One trick for increasing focus is choosing a designated “work space.” Whether it be a home office, a desk in their bedroom or the kitchen table, establishing a place dedicated to homework is a great way to create consistency and ensure motivation. Find a space in the home free of distractions and with plenty of table space. 

girl with glasses sits at table with homework
little girl painting

Break Tasks into Chunks

Our ability to focus has decreased as a society in recent years. The idea of sitting for an hour straight to focus may be daunting to your child – focusing for 20 minutes may be more manageable. Set a timer for dedicated “focus” time, followed by time for a “brain break.” This is also known as the Pomodoro Method. Use this Pomodoro Timer as a guide.

YOU can support them!
But don’t do it for them.

Be available! Especially for more difficult subjects, offer your support if they need to talk something out or ask questions. Of course, this doesn’t mean you do their homework for them. Encourage them to problem solve themselves while supporting them along the way. Your presence will help them process through moments of frustration or confusion.

boy sitting on couch play videogames

Incorporate Rewards

The word “reward” can be a bit controversial for some people. Incentives, however, can be an effective motivator. This could be as simple as earning screen time after finishing assignments or receiving a small treat for completing tasks without procrastinating. Just as we as adults value extrinsic motivation, so do kids. If they know some screen time or a play date lies on the other side of homework, they’ll be more motivated to finish it.

Obviously, most kids will never enjoy coming home and doing homework. While we can’t guarantee complete ease in homework time, these hacks will hopefully result in acceptance of it. By creating boundaries, offering rewards and being present for them, we hope this after-school time can create an opportunity to bond with your child. Be patient, be flexible and encouraging as you foster responsibility skills that will carry into the rest of their lives. 

For more parenting tips, check out Decade2Connect today!

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