Being a parent in today’s world is challenging enough, let alone the nightly tug-of-war over homework that many parents experience. Cell phones, video games, texting, and social media are all vying for your child’s attention, and many of those distractions seem much more attractive to your children than homework assignments.
We all know that homework, however, is extremely beneficial to your child’s educational success. In addition to teaching your child about time management and developing good study habits, homework gives your child another opportunity to master skills by practicing what was covered in class. When students work independently to successfully complete homework assignments, they will learn the value of taking responsibility for their own work.
1. Take care of homework assignments early.
Encouraging children to get started with homework assignments earlier rather than later is a must. As a best practice, establish a timeframe with your child for when homework time will start. Ideally, this will be before 5pm as you don’t want your child to be too exhausted to complete the assignments.
2. Establish a homework call list.
Sometimes your child may forget what the homework assignments are, so it’s a good idea to create a homework call list of 3 or 4 classmates to call for reminders. This list can also serve well if your child has a question about a homework assignment.
3. Build confidence.
When children become frustrated with homework assignments, it’s easy for them to shut down. Make yourself available to help them through the problem and give them praise for sticking with it.
4. Mix up the scenery.
If your child is having a difficult time focusing on homework assignments, consider mixing up the scenery to provide some added motivation. For example, you could offer for your child to complete homework assignments in your home office versus the kitchen table.
5. Keep the positive feedback coming.
You want homework time to be a positive experience for your child, so your attitude will need to be this way too. Be sure to emphasize a job well done when merited. By praising specific improvements that your child made to assignments, he or she will be more likely to do a good job on assignments the first time around.
6. Leave the room.
If your child is whining about having to do homework, leave the room. Often your child is whining for your attention, and by leaving the room, you’ll help your child avoid this distraction.
7. Race against time.
One of the best parenting tips is to set a timer for a specified period of time (5 minutes, for example) and have your child work as hard as he or she can until the timer goes off. You can then give your child the option to take a break or keep going, and surprisingly, you’ll find that your child is likely to keep working. A timer can be a great motivational tool.
What are your favorite parenting tips for helping your child to develop strong homework habits?
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