Back to school season is here (already!).
It’s time to think about setting our kids up for success in the homework department. Helping grade schoolers create a consistent homework routine is one of the best ways to teach them good study habits and prepare them to be lifelong learners.
So, where to begin?
How can you create a non-stressful and consistent homework routine?
Once the novelty of a new school year wears off, you might be facing complaints and procrastination when it comes to homework assignments. Scheduling conflicts with after-school activities can also make it a challenge to get it all done.
To give your child the oversight she needs while also encouraging her to be self-motivated, here are four things to consider while preparing for the new school year.
1. Do It First (Almost)
Without this rule, homework can be frustrating and stressful every single day (we’ve learned this the hard way!).
My oldest likes to take a break after school, but I also like to teach the importance of “work before play.” It’s important to let kids recharge their batteries, so to speak, so they can focus on homework.
We like to eat a snack and have “talk time” in the backyard when we get home. Then we can do homework and have the rest of the day free.
What if you have extracurricular activities?
The same rule can still apply. If the activity is right after school, move everything back a little.
Your child can still have a little recharge time when you get home (set a timer if necessary), but make homework a top priority to complete, so everyone can “clock out” for the day.
If the activity is in the evening, it’s even more important to get homework done first so everyone can get to bed on time and get a good night’s sleep (vital for learning!).
2. Make It Rewarding
Where does your child do homework?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t work well in a cluttered environment. I can’t blame my kids for not being able to either.
Whether it’s a desk or the kitchen table, make sure your child’s work surface is clear before she gets home from school. Associate homework with a peaceful atmosphere.
I like to associate it with a reward, too. I’m not saying to pass out candy after every assignment, but we all enjoy having something to look forward to after being productive.
3. Avoid Distractions
I’m sure you’ve experienced this in your vocation as an adult. Distractions are the enemy of productivity.
Different kids have different levels of tolerance for noise while trying to concentrate, but screens are a universal distraction, so avoid screen time until after homework is done.
4. Be Available Without Hovering
Educators recommend that you help your kids with organization and study skills, but also give them space to complete the work on their own.
Sometimes it’s difficult to find the balance between being hands-off and hands-on. So be “around,” but try not to helicopter (easier said than done, I know!).
Include your child in conversations about helpful homework routines. Hopefully with some conversation and preparation, you’ll both be ready to have a hassle-free school year.