For most American families, school is back in session, and that means homework. It seems that children are getting more and more homework these days. In fact, a study published last year by the American Journal of Family Therapy found that on average elementary students are receiving three times as much homework as recommended by the National Education Association and the National Parent-Teacher Association. Large amounts of homework can be just as much a stresser for parents as it is for students. Creating an environment and action plan for homework success will help take the sting out of studying.
1. Create a homework zone. Find a clean space in your house where your kids can work without much distraction. No TVs, no tablets, no toys, no younger siblings. This should be a well-lit area with a comfortable desk and chair that doesn’t see much family foot traffic.
2. Have supplies ready. Paper, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, pens, tape, paste and the like – whatever your child may need to complete a homework assignment, have those supplies on hand, so homework time isn’t pushed back by a trip to the store.
3. Hang a white board. Have your child list all the assignments that need to be completed that day or that week. There is nothing quite as satisfying as checking off a task list, so let your child wipe away each assignment as it is completed. To motivate them further, you can even give them a bell to ring to celebrate each task completed.
4. Play quiet, instrumental music. Studies have shown that playing classical music while studying can help students to relax, enabling them to concentrate and to later recall more information.
5. Start with some brain fuel. Instead of having your child hit the books right when he or she gets home, take a beat. Let them have 15 minutes to relax or get a snack. Give them a moment to transition from school to home, but set a timer so they know exactly when they need to start working on that homework.
6. Establish a routine. However you choose to tackle homework in your home, consistency is key.
No one wants to battle with their children for hours over homework. Clear expectations coupled with a productive environment are sure to set your child up for homework success. Do you have any great tips for helping kids get their homework done? Let us know in the comments!