Homework Help

Homework time is no joke for a child who has been holding it together all day at school. As soon as he comes home, he just wants to fall apart.

There are some strategies and structures that you can put into place to make life easier.

First, make sure that you allow your child to have some downtime after school. Whether this be eating a snack, jumping on the trampoline, watching a short video, or sitting quietly in a cozy space, downtime will help your child focus. Movement activities prior to homework time, will increase the chances that he will stay in his seat and pay attention to his tasks.

Place a symbol that says “homework” in his daily routine so that he knows when it’s homework time. Now is not the time to throw surprises into his schedule, so make sure he is prepared.

Create a visual system for homework time to make expectations clear. Many kids get overwhelmed at the thought of homework, because they think that it will last forever. However, if you structure this time in a way that makes expectations clear, he will know that this activity has a clear beginning and end.

Make a list of everything your child needs to do for his homework. Include details such as: take out homework folder, do your math worksheet, read pages 3-10 in book, get up and jump 10 times, sit down, take a deep breath, do page 10 in workbook, etc.

You can also try setting up containers on a table from left to right. Place each assignment in an individual container. As your child completes each activity, he should then put it back in the container. This helps visually breakdown his tasks, and makes homework time less overwhelming. You can even place something fun in the last container, so that he is more motivated.

Also, try placing his homework in a two-pocket folder. Write start on one pocket and finish on the other pocket. As he completes each assignment, he should place the completed homework in the finished pocket.

Make sure that he is comfortable and sitting at a table void of distractions. The chair and table should be appropriate for his size. His feet should be touching the ground, and his legs should be at a 90-degree angle in his chair. You can even place a pillow in his chair to make it more comfortable.

Using a timer is a great way to help your child know how long homework time lasts. The only downfall with a timer is it may cause additional stress; do not use the timer if this is the case.

Last but not least, reward your child with lots of praise as he is completing his assignments. Provide him with something fun and exciting when he is finished, so he has something to look forward to.

If you find that homework time is more stressful than successful, and your child is overwhelmed and having a truly difficult time, be sure to talk with his teacher about this. Request less assignments, or you can even call an IEP meeting to discuss accommodations. If you feel that you are teaching new skills during homework time, rather than reinforcing skills that he learned in school, be sure to let the teacher know. Work together with the teacher to promote success.

What is homework time like in your home? Please leave a message below.

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3 Comments
  • Kerry Smith
    Posted at 15:37h, 22 April Reply

    I have to sit down with my son to supervise. I don’t do his work for him, but I have to coach him on a plan. We map things out by writing down 3-4 steps. When he’s finished with those, I check. Then we do 3-4 more. It takes forever, but that’s how we do it. I also have to review written instructions with him. We highlight key points.

  • Montrece
    Posted at 15:25h, 23 April Reply

    Homework is so stress. This article. Is great. !!

  • Nora Shine
    Posted at 15:16h, 27 April Reply

    Usually homework does more harm than good, especially at the elementary school level I encourage eliminating, or at least greatly reducing, homework. The Case Against Homework has good support for eliminating homework for all children, and especially important for children who are putting forth great effort during the school day.

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