Parents the world over are so familiar the afternoon homework sigh! Now, that can be both kids and parents sighing... it can certainly be a drama or just part of the routine. So how can you as a parent manage the homework drama in the easiest possible way?
Start early, when your child first starts to bring homework home from school, let them have afternoon tea, have a short break but then be sure to start. Avoid turning on electronics like tv, games as they are so hard for kids to turn back off again. Get the homework done first, games later. It is easier to use this as a motivation ‘when your homeworks done, then you can play a game, read a book, go outside’.
Find a time that works! Then stick too it. If it is rushed and chaotic then it’s not the right time. If there is too much fighting over starting then it’s too late in the day, your child is too tired, so bring it forward.
Break it down into steps. Stick to the steps, e.g.. Spelling words first, then reading book, followed by worksheet, tables.
Encourage them to be organised and to use their time well. Perhaps the homework books-bag goes straight onto the kitchen bench as soon as they walk in the door along with the lunch box, drink bottle and notes.
Avoid fighting over homework. Make it positive and an opportunity for a little one on one time with a parent, set them up at the table and get them to complete their work as you do your jobs. Praise and encourage completed work, not hassle over uncompleted or taking so looong!
For uncompleted homework let the school deal with the consequences and let your child experience the consequence – it also helps to paint the picture for your child so rather than say “if your homeworks not done you will be in trouble at school” (your child just shrugs their shoulders and doesn’t care) instead try saying “imagine what it will feel like telling Mr. Craig that you havn’t done you homework on Friday morning” the difference is amazing, they can picture their teacher and them, the conversation, the feeling, and more often than not they will get up and start!
No background noise is essential. Turn the music, tv off and keep brothers or sisters busy with their own homework or other activites.
Be creative where you find the time, with larger or busy families finding time for everyone to sit and do homework sure becomes difficult, so seize opportunites like waiting for a sister to finish sport training as a chance for younger kids to do their homework, have a store of pencils and rubbers in the glovebox, handbag, boot of your car.
For kids with a busy life after school they need some help to organise and plan their homework around their activities, show them how - don’t assume they know how to work it all out.