5 Tips For Establishing Good Homework Habits

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
This week is the first full week of school, and that means homework. Homework is an integral part of the school year. Homework, in most cases, reinforces the materials covered in class that day. Not only is it one of the first ways children learn responsibility, but it also teaches children how to follow directions and how to effectively manage their time.

Homework can be challenging for children. In order to make it go smoothly and be less stressful for children, it's important for us as parents to lay some groundwork for our children. I'm sharing a few homework tips that have worked for us year after year.

1. Designate a "homework zone"
This should be a quiet and low-traffic area of your home where your child can go to complete his homework. It should be free of distractions such as talking, the television, and children playing.

2. Set a consistent time each day that children will do their homework
Some children need a break once they arrive home from school. Others prefer to tackle their homework immediately while they are still in "school mode". No matter which your child prefers, it's important to keep homework time the same from day to day. In doing so, children know what to expect, and they know what is expected of them.

3. Set homework rules and guidelines
For those who are easily distracted and tend to make homework a long and drawn-out practice, set rules as incentives for them to complete the work. Something as simple as "No TV or electronics until homework is completed" goes a long way to incenting a child to work smarter and more efficiently.

4. Do not do your child's homework
I know how tempting this can be. Just about every time my girls sit down to do their Language Arts assignments, I want to swoop in and offer my expertise, which often leads to my taking over. Step away. Your child will never learn the subject matter if you are always completing the assignments. Let them think through the problems first, and if help is needed be readily available and willing to assist.

5. Be supportive
If your child is struggling with a particular problem or concept, lend a hand. If they solve a problem incorrectly, don't criticize. Help them understand what they did wrong and encourage them to try solving it again. And always give praise and positive feedback for a job well done.

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