What’s homework time like in your household? Do you struggle with your kids doing homework? Do they constantly say ‘I don’t have homework’ (even though you know it’s probably not true)? Does no work gets done unless you sit with them while they complete their homework or study?
Homework issues cause a lot of conflicts and stress in many families. It doesn’t feel good neither for the parents nor for the kids. Sometimes it takes more time and effort to sit your kids down to do homework than the homework itself.
Homework time doesn’t have to be filled with anger, discouragement, frustration, and hurt. Parents need to set a few rules in order to establish homework habits in their kids. The earlier parents do this the better. Even though kids will not be happy about these sudden rules, parents must remain firm until overtime the rules become part of their routine life and their resistance fades.
* Have a set homework time everyday.
Kids need to be doing homework, studying, memorizing, practicing, reviewing their school subjects every day. Primary school students need a minimum 1 hour/day and middle and secondary school students should be doing homework 1.5-2.5 hours/day. Establishing routine homework and study habits allows your kids to not have to face the nagging worry/anxiety about when, or if, they will be able to force themselves to start working. Also, learning to review or do extra practice when there is no official homework assigned by the teacher is a good way to eliminate cramming during exams. Make sure kids do homework and study on weekends as well. Parents should not allow an entire 2 day breaks in routines. If you want to give them time off, give them Sunday off and make it a family day instead.
* Set homework time the same time every evening and have a time limit.
This is the same if your child has tutors and gets tutoring lessons. Make sure these sessions are at the same time every evening, if possible. This is best at establishing homework or tutoring as routine. Also, parents should speak to their child’s teacher about how much homework/independent review the child should be doing and make sure that your child is not spending too much more than that every night. Do not allow your kids to think they have the whole night to do their homework. If your child is struggling in their homework, be sure to get help from the teacher or hire a tutor as soon as possible.
* Eliminate distractions during homework time.
If your child has a phone, take the phone away or turn it completely off. A lot of times kids keep checking their phone even if the volume is turned down to see if they have any messages. Remove anything else – video games, computers, toys, pets, etc. from the room. It’s actually not productive for kids to be listening to music while studying or doing homework unless it is baroque music. Once they finish their homework time, they can begin their play and leisure activity.
During elementary years parents should be helping their kids with homework and monitoring their work. Help them get started by going through what needs to be done and together coming up with a plan of action. Then leave your kids to do independent work and 10 minutes before the homework session ends check over what they accomplished. Praise them on 3 things they did good on and then tell them about 3 things you will help them to improve on.
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