If you have kids in school, you’ve been there. The family schedule is already packed with extra-curricular activities. Perhaps your boss has doubled your workload and the laundry basket is piled high. You hoped to spend some quality time with your child until you learn their teacher has assigned homework that’s due the next day. But fear not, here are some tips to get you out of the deep trenches of the homework battlefield.
Make a Schedule
Look at the time of day that works best for your family. As a rule, it’s best to tear into homework sooner rather than later. Tackling homework soon after the school day ends is ideal because the information is still fresh in your child’s memory.
However, there are situations that cause homework to wait, such as dance lessons or basketball practice. So, try to avoid cramming in homework when resistance will be at its worst. For example, bedtime is not the optimal time for homework.
Set the Scene
Make a plan for homework that includes an area free from distractions and is ready for the job. Take a quick look at the assignments and gather the necessary supplies. Grab that calculator or those coloring supplies prior to beginning the work. This allows your child to stay engaged with the task at hand without having to stop to look for something and then losing their focus.
Meet Your Child’s Teacher
Take the time to get to know your child’s teacher. Learn their expectations and grading policies. Build a rapport that allows for open, honest conversations about your child’s work habits. When you have a connection with the teacher, it’s easier to reach out for homework help when it’s necessary.
Set a Good Example
Model the importance of a strong work ethic by working alongside your child. Pay your bills or read a book. Write in your journal or organize your household budget. Or, you could learn a new skill. Do it in the same spot where your child is working.
Allow your child to see your efforts while staying available for questions and assistance with the homework. Be careful to just check their homework and offer suggestions. Even though it may be tempting to save time, never do the work for your child.
Build Confidence in Your Child
Many students don’t know how to tackle assignments without some assistance. Show your child how to chunk large assignments into manageable pieces. Also, offer praise for the completion of each step. When directions cause frustration, break them down and find out what your child does know how to do and follow with compliments to boost self-esteem.
When there is a staggering amount of work to do in one evening, allow your child to vent and show empathy to your child before you dive in. Get rid of those negative emotions before the work begins to ensure a quality session.
Following a few simple guidelines could turn a night on the homework battlefield into a fun evening of learning with your child. Who knows? You might even start to look forward to homework.