5 Top Tips to Conquer Homework Battles
Your family, like many, probably has a busy schedule on many late afternoons that includes getting your child to extracurriculars before finally returning home to get dinner on the table. On those hectic days, you hope your child will heed your reminders to make good use of their time, getting their homework done before dance or ball practice.
As you clean the kitchen after dinner, you ask, “Did you get your homework done and packed away?”
You cross your fingers that your child will proudly unzip their backpack to show you their binder containing neatly completed assignments. But, instead, you hear a groan and a mutter: “I forgot to do it.”
All you wanted was to wind down for the night and catch up on your favorite show, but your dreams of a restful evening turn into another hour or more of frustration for you and your child. Then, finally, bedtime comes, and you can’t get to sleep as you wonder if the whole school year will be one long homework battle.
While you remember being a kid and wanting nothing more than to come home after school to eat a snack and play, you simply want your child to self-manage and be better motivated to complete their assignments. You may even feel like you’re doing a lot of the work for your child so that they can get through their assignments and avoid a lousy grade. It’s not what you want to do, but you don’t know what else to do.
Put these few tips to work and end your homework battles once and for all.
- Make a homework plan with your child. By involving your child in a discussion about a schedule for homework that considers your child’s need for a snack, play, or an unwind period after school, you’ll begin to get their buy-in. If your child has weekly homework packets, talk with them about the evenings that your family plans are more open and would be best to work on the packet.
- Set up rewards. Incorporate easy-to-deliver rewards, such as time to play on electronics, play a game, or watch TV. Give your child lots of praise for their accomplishments, as intrinsic rewards (the strong positive emotional rewards of doing tasks) are more powerful shapers of behavior than extrinsic rewards like money, toys, dessert, or electronics. With a little time, your child will learn that hard work feels good, and play feels better when they’ve already finished their work!
- Keep all school supplies organized and accessible. Have you ever sent your child to find their markers only to have the search turn into a 15-minute quest of sorting through drawers? Instead, use a clear bin to store any supplies your child may need for homework, such as pencils, sharpeners, colored pencils, a ruler, and paper. With their supplies organized, your child can start homework without any supply hurdles.
- Remain calm. If you find yourself getting upset while your child is resisting homework, calmly explain your expectations and walk away. Remind them of any rewards you set up, which are theirs to earn or lose, but be careful not to fall into trying to bribe your child to finish homework. Children need to learn that homework is their responsibility, and as much as you may cringe at the thought, allow natural consequences to fall. It may take the discomfort of the teacher asking, “Where’s your homework?” to prompt a different choice the next time homework is assigned.
- Get tutoring help. Many children avoid work that is hard for them. If you notice your child consistently avoids math or reading and writing homework, they may benefit from an academic boost. Best in Class Education offers engaging enrichment programs to help students close learning gaps and find joy in their learning opportunities.