End Homework Battles

There are two homework battles you should end before they start. The two issues families struggle over most often are time and place.

To settle the time for homework, sit down with your child and a calendar. Write in when all after school activities are taking place. Consider how long homework should take each night. Put a good amount of time on the calendar each night for at least several weeks and then stick to this schedule as best as you can. Keep notes as you go about what works and what doesn’t. After the first several weeks check the calendar again and make a plan moving forward. The idea here is to end the daily debates about when to get started on homework.

Another guideline related to time with homework is how long to spend each night. The best answer is to set the length of homework at the longer end of what it typically takes your child to complete. For the first two weeks, record how long homework takes. If it varies from 25 to 35 minutes, plan for 35 minutes every night moving forward. On nights when assigned homework only takes 20 minutes, use the other 15 for reading or another school related activity. If they get to go play as soon as they finish each night, many will learn to rush through. Keeping it the same amount of time each night encourages them to slow down.

To settle the place for homework, sit down with your child and discuss the options. Think about a quiet, well lit place with a good table top for writing. This may be a counter in the kitchen or their bedroom desk. Once the place is decided, stock it with all the supplies they may need. This includes pens, pencils, a highlighter, paper, notebooks, scissors, a ruler and a calendar. Again, this ends the daily debates.

Good Luck!
Dr. Rene

Author: Dr. Rene Hackney

With a MA in school psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology, I founded and work as a parent educator at Parenting Playgroups. Somewhere in there I trained in the Developmental Clinic at Children's NMC and in the public schools. I have two beautiful, funny children who make me practice what I preach most everyday.

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