If getting your kids to sit down to do their homework without complaining is like pulling teeth from a rabid crocodile, you need these five simple steps to stop the homework battle once and for all! Check them out!
As summer draws to an end and kids are preparing to go back to school, many parents dread the return of the homework battle. Fortunately, with some changes to the way you and your family handle homework time, it’s possible for homework to be less painful. I’m sharing a few of my best parenting tips and things that have worked for me! Read on to find out how to put an end to the homework battle once and for all.
Back to School Parenting Tips to Stop the Homework Battle
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- Consult your kids. Have you ever asked your children what they don’t like about homework time? Perhaps your son says he needs a break after school and your daughter shares that she is easily distracted by her brother’s music. It’s impossible for you to know what the problem is unless you ask, and once you know, you can work together to come up with solutions.
- Take a break. If your son shared he needs a break after school and before homework, he’s not alone. Science has shown that taking a break about every hour increases productivity. Many kids need some time to run around or decompress when they get home from school. In fact, regular physical activity has been shown to improve memory and brain function. Go ahead and let your child have 30-60 minutes outside to run around before starting homework – it will help him come back with a clear mind for his homework.
- Background matters. Are you a person who focuses better with music in the background or the one who cannot have any background noise to get things done? I’m a no background noise person, and I’ve always been amazed that people can focus while listening to music. What type of person is your child? If she needs background noise like quiet music to create the best atmosphere, let her have it!
- Create a homework haven. Work together with your child to find the right place for homework. Is it a desk in the corner of the room with posters and a couple of fun new writing utensils? Perhaps it’s a cushion on the floor in the basement with a lap desk (remember those?!). Don’t get boxed into thinking that your child has to do homework at the table or in a fancy homework station…unless that is what they want. Creating a place for homework success could make all the difference for your kids.
- Be available to help. This one may be hard. You’ve had a long day, and all you want to do is relax. But guess what – your kids feel the same way. Schoolwork doesn’t come easy for everyone, and it’s important that your kids know that you’re available to help if they need it. If you don’t know the answer, spend time together looking in the textbook or online to figure it out. If you’re engaged, your kids see that you make homework a priority just as they should.
You’ll notice that the key to getting kids to do homework without complaining is all about what they need, versus what we think they need. Getting input from your kids doesn’t just help create the ideal environment, it also makes them feel like they have a bit more control over their after school time. Think about it this way: they spend 6+ hours trying to sit still and focus on their teachers. They’re told when to switch classes, when they can eat, and even when they can use the restroom. Giving them choices when it comes time for homework helps them feel a bit more in charge of their own education, and that’s vital to succeeding in the long run.
Ending homework battles isn’t something that is going to happen right away. Keep in mind that new habits take some time, so give these recommendations at least a month – undoubtedly you’ll see a change, and everyone will be happier for it!