By: Alexandra Neff, M.Ed, Learning Specialist at the Gordon School
For many parents, homework time can be a battle, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips to make homework time easier for your and your children.
1. The Room
Find a “special” place in your home that is designed for homework time. This place should be quite with no distractions (i.e. television, toys, etc.), and good lighting. Make this “homework center” a working environment full of everything your child may need to do his or her homework. Make sure that supplies such as pencils, paper, crayons, scissors, ruler, computer, etc. are easily accessible in the area.
2. The Time
Set a specific time each day for homework. It will help to establish a routine for your child as to when homework is done. If homework time is part of the routine, it will be less of a battle every time your child sits down to do the work.
3. The Choice
Let your child pick which homework assignment he or she would like to work on first; this helps motivate children. Also this is a good time to chunk large assignments into smaller pieces by doing a little bit each night.
3. The Break
Use a timer for your child while doing homework. A timer can help keep your child on track and give him or her a better sense of time. An elementary school-aged child should work for about 20 minutes, and when the timer goes off, it’s time for a quick break of a few minutes to do a short activity or have a quick snack. Many kids find physical activity, such as a few jumping jacks, get out some excess energy and help them refocus for the next working session.
4. The Incentive
Many children work better and more effectively when they know they will be receiving a reward at the end. Tell your child that once they finish their homework, they will be able to do a desired activity. Let your child choose the reward to involve him or her in the process.
Remember, each child is unique and this list may need to be adjusted based on your children’s needs. Talking to your child’s teacher is a great way to learn what techniques will work best in your home.