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Getting Kids To Do Their Homework

Updated on March 8, 2013
Get a routine going to ease the stress and tension. Knowing what to expect is wonderful for getting children on board.
Get a routine going to ease the stress and tension. Knowing what to expect is wonderful for getting children on board. | Source

connect with your children through their school work assignments

Lots of kids hear the word homework and get a knot in the pit of their tummies. They simply do not enjoy the task. Regardless of their position or rank at the top or bottom of their class, having a portion of their school work go home for completion is something they do not enjoy. Getting kids to do their homework is more easily said than done.

There are exceptions to the rule. A couple of students cannot wait to jump right on it after class, but for parents who happen to have the rule with their children rather than the exception, there are some things to do as a parent to make the time spent together more valuable, more positive and easier for everyone involved.

Most children no matter how good they are will go through the phrase when homework is something they simply do not want to do. You can threaten, bribe or even negotiate getting it done, but it seems as if nothing is effective. Laboring to get it accomplished each evening is something neither no one looks forward to. In fact, as the afternoon or evening approaches they will put off doing it off as long as possible and hope parents will forget about it all together.

Parents will put it off as long as possible because of the push and pull of wills involved with making children go through the motions of getting their pens, paper, books and other supplies out and ready and putting their minds in gear to complete the project. Then there is the chore of making them participate with actually doing it.

Kids feel as if they do enough school work during school hours. Shouldn’t time spent after class be for things other than school work? If you ask any child they will tell you, yes it should.

No one actually delights in it. Whether you happen to be a fourth grader or high school senior, the duty is nothing to look forward to. It’s similar to keeping an appointment to see your dentist. You do not want to go to your dentist’s office, but do because you have to. After everything is said and done you are happy because you did. This is regardless of whether you had a great check up with no further dental work needed or got a painful tooth fixed. It is over and done with and you are in better health because of it. Though, getting it done is a daunting task.

A parent’s responsibility

Parents that discover a fight on their hands each minute spent getting school work done at home are looking for an easier alternative.

There are more than a few ways to help kids get this chore done. The most beneficial is to have them combat the chore themselves. For many parents, this is a difficult task. For a variety of reasons there are a large number of children that dread the idea of doing it and are tortured by the time spent on the undertaking. Though, your input is sometimes needed and important the weight of this work is their responsibility.

Our offspring are smarter than you think and if they can get away with you doing the majority of the work for them, they will. In reality it is useful with learning and understanding lessons presented in the classroom and future work to be completed. Additionally, it teaches responsibility and accountability. Accountability is found in more ways than one. Having the work done and ready to hand in on time is one form while not having it completed and late is another. One has a positive outcome while the alternative is a negative outcome.

If it doesn’t require a tutor and can be performed by your child, there are several things you can do to make certain it gets finished valuable knowledge is gained from any project sent home by a teacher to be completed. Additionally, starting good habits early will carry on later and this type of supervision will no longer be needed, but the job will get done. Try these different methods of attack for the problem at hand.

a) Set up in a positive environment

Get a positive environment ready to get it done. This means everything your child needs is at hand. Do they have pencils and pens or need several sheets of colored paper? Do they need poster board or a dictionary? Having everything on hand to make the job as easy and stress free as possible makes it go faster and smoother. Less anxiety for you and them is important with making the experience as positive as possible.

It is wonderful to have a small personal desk or space available. When this is not possible try to create one. If they are comfortable in the easy chair with a reading lamp in a quiet area of the family room with everything they need on hand, this is great. A kitchen table with good lighting and room to spread out paper and books has been the ideal workspace for generations and is still terrific to this day.

b) Get rid of distractions

Distractions include anything detracting their young mind from this responsibility. Turn off the television and Xbox 360. Put the dog in the kennel or in another room. If little brother is arguing over who ate the last cookie is an interruption, put him in another room for now as well. Any unnecessary interference means the mind is occupied elsewhere and not where it should be.

If you have more than one child working at once, have everyone start at the same time. They may end at different intervals, depending on their grade and educational levels, but everyone beginning their focus at the same time is a good place to start and helps with focus.

c) Set up a scheduled time

Scheduling a routine time is terrific for children. Routine is wonderful and lets them know what to expect and when. Having a scheduled time slot will reduce tension or anxiety. It also prepares them mentally and physically to get the mission accomplished as quickly as possible.

Teachers typically tell mom and dad what type of homework will be assigned on which nights of the week and when it is expected to be returned. This helps with scheduling how much time is needed to complete it. This is especially important for schedules with extracurricular activities to work around as well.

Become familiar with the assignments and set up enough time each week to complete it. For an example, if spelling tests are done on Fridays, set aside enough time on Thursday evening for practicing spelling words. If math is due on Tuesday morning and math is not a strong subject for your child, save some additional time on Monday night to review the work and the problems to be solved. Another option is dividing it between two nights instead of one for extra help on subjects that seem to be a struggle.

d) Have down time away from the mission

Leave the weekend for fun if possible. If you do not necessarily have to do any on Friday, Saturday or Sundays, then don’t. Leave the weekend for fun and having three days off in a row is a good thing. For holiday time off from school, leave it open as well.

If you are saddled with it over Spring Break, get it done as soon as possible and leave the rest of the break for your family vacation or amusement. This does not mean it is not fun, but there are activities a lot more entertaining to do outside of taking care of this chore. A long car ride could possibly be the exception.

e) Stick to it

After you get started on a project, finishing it will work out. Getting started is usually the hardest part. Delaying the inevitable is not a good thing. If you promise to have it done after dinner, do it after dinner. Putting it off or procrastinating is not a habit you want to form for children. They will carry this into adulthood if you are not careful.

Gather your thoughts as well as your supplies to the table ready to get started. If you discover you are on a good roll or rhythm, continue through to the next assignment if you have it available. This leaves one less thing to do later or frees up another night of your week.

f) Do a backpack checkout

For smaller ones carrying a backpack every day, everything needed about the assignment is usually found in the backpack. This includes instructions, details and characteristically anything else needed to make a successful endeavor with the mission.

Verifying what information the teacher sends home with the student routinely. Most of it done at home outside of the classroom is on a schedule set by the teacher that you will become familiar with. You can email your teacher or make a phone call with any questions or concerns.

Making a habit of checking the back pack assures nothing is forgotten, misunderstood or missed while you conquer the task. Additionally, you will not fail to notice deadlines, target dates or goals. Failing to catch a cutoff date of the 20th instead of the 25th could mean the difference between a grade of an A in a subject and an F.

You can also catch other important letters or info sent home like picture day, conference times and possibly another note that should have your attention sent home via the back pack. Younger ones are more notorious for forgetting than actually being up to no good with deception in avoiding it. Give them the benefit of the doubt. After a routine of checking is established a habit will soon be formed and checks no longer needed.

g) Make sure your child understands the assignment

Make certain your child understands their assignment. This means you need to understand it as well. Read the instructions out loud together and ask if there are any questions. Any misunderstandings you could also discuss. Themes related to holidays or special days of significance could lead into other conversations which could make the atmosphere more relaxed and provide an opportunity to bond together.

h) Make certain your child understands the importance of the obligation

The significance of doing school assignments at home and the impact it can have overall on education should be discussed. The value and worth to your child and their future should be talked about. Talk about what taking care of the responsibility they have been given and what they gain from it.

Talk about the worth of it outside of the time set aside for doing this duty. Do not turn the time that should be spent on studying into another argument about obligations surrounding doing it or a lecture. Avoid long speeches or turning the dialect into something about you. This is about them and their commitments.

i) What it does for the parent

As a parent knowing what is taking place inside of the classroom when you are not around is gained by paying attention to what the teacher is sending home. A glimpse of this is found in parent/teacher conference time, but some is also gained through here as well. Additionally, times have certainly changed with every generation entering the classroom and knowing what is going on with the current generation is constructive for both you and the kids.

You will come to understand how they think and feel with discussions around it along with new teaching methods and procedures. Technology also plays an enormous role with it this current day and age. Homework really reflects this.

Looking over what is being sent home gives you an insight into what your child’s teacher and teaching methods are about. Remember, this person spends quite a bit of time with your child each day and knowing what they are discussing and teaching them is important and should be of concern to you.

In conclusion

Home work is an extension of your child’s education at home. Whether your child is in first grade or tenth grade, as a parent you encounter teachers that send assignments home to be completed. Take the initiative to get involved in your kid’s education.

After a couple of weeks of a routine, parents and children will both know what to expect. They become familiar with the amount of time spent on it and which nights of the week are best to complete it. Additionally, stress and anxiety associated with it should be reduced and both parties will be able to move on to more enjoyable or leisure time activities with the job of doing schoolwork at home completed until the next meet up. Overall it is an activity which could bring you closer to your offspring and improve their school work and grades overall. This should be a win/win situation for both you and them.

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    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 5 years ago from all over the web

      this is an ongoing lesson and battle of wills for kids and their parents that will continue. good habits that start at a young age is a good thing.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Your suggestions are very useful.