Homework

How to Make a Homework Schedule

Consider your daily schedule. Does your child have a gap between school and starting gymnastics, or do you commonly have visitors during the evening hours? Kids work best in a quiet environment without distractions, according to KidsHealth. Avoiding homework times when interruptions are likely may be ideal.

Talk to your child about his homework preferences. A sense of control over when he gets to do his homework may reduce conflicts between the two of you. You may make suggestions, like reminding him of how he's often distracted an hour before bedtime. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you agree to a trial run on the time and place to do homework.

Give your child time to adjust to her new homework schedule. She may follow the routine more closely if she is given distance to do her homework herself, or she may rely on you to help her organize her homework tasks. The National Association of School Psychologists advises flexibility according to your child's needs. Younger children likely need more assistance and supervision than older children in order to keep to the homework schedule.

Think about letting your child have a more unusual, dynamic homework schedule. Some kids may benefit from 10-minute homework sessions spaced apart by a few hours, according to KidsHealth. When it comes to longer-term assignments, some children may also fare better by having one or two longer homework sessions compared to several shorter ones.

Tip

Do what works best for your child. If homework directly after school leads to fights, try to make an agreement for a different time. If homework is continually a struggle, speak to your child's teacher about what can be done.

Parents should remove media and other distractions from the homework space, or ensure that the child's homework area is in a place where supervision is possible, according to Scholastic.

Warning

Some children may avoid homework due to an undiagnosed learning disability, according to KidsHealth. If you think this could be true for your child, schedule a visit with his pediatrician for more assistance.

How to Encourage Your Teen to Excel Academically

Ask your child each night if he has homework. Help him with his homework if necessary. Limit distractions while he is doing the work. That means no doing homework in front of the TV.

Get your child involved. There are many activities and opportunities for kids to take advantage of in high school. Encouraging your child to get involved will help him later when he goes to apply for college. Plus, most clubs require students to get good grades in order to participate.

Organize your child. If your child’s backpack and workspace at home are organized, it will make it easier for him to work. Once each week, have your child go through his folders and backpack to remove trash.

Get ready for school at night. Have your child lay out his clothes for the next day each night. Have his lunch packed and ready in the fridge. Put his book bag by the door with his shoes and anything else he needs to bring to school. The less he has to do in the morning, the more likely he will be on time.

Feed him breakfast. Children who eat breakfast are more energized and alert.

Talk about current events with your child. Have intellectual discussions at the dinner table. Ask what they are learning about in school, and share your own interests, too.

Get to know your child’s teachers. Attend back-to-school night. Communicate with your child’s teacher if he has any special learning needs. If your child has a problem or is struggling, ask the teacher how you can help at home.

Praise good effort, not good grades. If you know your child studied and tried hard, don’t come down too hard on him if his grade doesn’t reflect that. Focus on what your child is doing well and help him out in subjects he is struggling with.

Give your child time to unwind each day after school. Don’t make him come right home and study. Avoid over-scheduling your child, which can cause stress and anxiety.

Ease up. If you micromanage everything, your child will never learn how to be autonomous.

Establishing Homework Rules for Teens

Working Together

Teens usually hate when others impose their rules on them, so if you want your teen on board when it comes to homework rules, try developing the rules with her input. Talk about what you expect her to do at home and about how she can best do her work. Some teens can quickly take care of homework assignments in study hall at school, while others have to spend a lot more time at home. You may also find that she works better in a dedicated study space in her room, or out in the open where she can get some help from you. Set some rules about homework and other activities, such as no TV until all homework is completed or working continuously for 45 minutes before taking a 15-minute break. Let her negotiate her position rather than laying down the law.

Logical Consequences

When he doesn't follow the rules, the consequences of his actions should fit the crime. If he put off homework to hang out with friends, you may decide that he can't go out with friends for a week. If he's playing too many video games and his schoolwork is slipping, take the game system away for a week. Avoid doling out a punishment when you're angry. Make sure that it fits logically with his bad behavior.

Setting the Routine

It can take some time for your teen to get into the routine. The first few weeks are important. Spend extra time checking in with her, and seeing that she follows the rules and completes her homework. After she's into the full swing of it, she won't need you as much anymore.

Following Up

Revisit the homework rules as necessary. You may need to increase homework time during midterms or finals, as he'll need to spend more time studying. If he's started a new activity, or the sports season has just ended, consider rearranging the homework schedule to fit the new schedule. Homework rules don't need to be set in stone to be effective. Flexibility is always the key to being an effective parent.