How to Finish Homework without Stress
The Teacher Perspective
Homework can be a necessary evil or it can be a quick refreshed. As a teacher for 10 years I come from the mindset that I never assigned homework for the sake of assigning homework. Homework should always have a purpose and a reason. In my theory it should take 10 minutes or less a majority of the time. Longer term project should be assigned with a due date that would be able to meet this timeline. I taught math and while I wanted my students to practice their skills and new found knowledge it wasn't the place or time to expand their knowledge or introduce new material. That in mind not all teacher follow these simple ideas causing tears and frustration for the paents and students at home.
Create a Space for Homework
The first thing to create less stress is to have a designated space to do homework. This shouldn't be in front of the TV or on a bed. I know many students I have had and probably even myself as a student did their homework "without a problem" in front of the TV. Whatever I am working on gets a fraction of my attention while I am attempting to do something or being distracted by something else.
For instance as I am writing this article (in the living room) I am finding myself being distracted my a climbing 4 year old who think I am his jungle gym and a 5year old who keeps "accidentally" shooting nerf darts at me. If I moved myself to my office I would be writing more consistently and have better focus from the distractions. I am having to edit more as I type and am continually making spelling errors I will have to correct. Although it provides a great example.
Create Resources for Homework
To keep homework time less stress and more about accomplishing the homework create a means to do the homework. Put together all the materials that could be needed. There are many things we keep in our homework bin.
- Colored Pencils
- Glue Sticks
I put all of these items into a pencil box and we keep it in the same location everyday. My kids know where to get their school supplies and there is no worried about if we have all of the things they need.
Create Time for Homework
My kids are over booked and I know they aren't alone. It is important to create time to have the homework completed. My son gets weekly homework which means it is assigned on Monday and due on Friday. Mondays and Wednesday are super busy days between sports and other activities. I try to make sure my son completed his homework on Tuesdays and Thursdays when we have extra time in our schedule. As he gets older and as his homework patterns change we will have to work out a schedule that allows him to get his homework done before bedtime and without pushing bedtime back.
Does your child have a set time and place to complete their homework
Give Your Child a Voice
This is one that I frequently tell parents about. Your child needs to be able to communicate their needs. If you butt heads with your child during homework time than try having the other parent take over homework time. I know I am a great teacher but I also know that teaching my own children is completely different than teacher other people's kids. If they needs more help than you can provide look for other resources and people that can help.
remember even though it is good to give your child a voice this doesn't mean you turn it into a child centered event. You are still in charge and the homework still needs to be completed.
Don't Down Talk
This is important! Listen! EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!
Do not talk down about your child's teacher or the work they have been assigned. It is important that your child think you are partners with their teacher and not against them. If your child thinks you don't like their teacher they will adopt the same perspective. Creating a downward spiral of the situation by allowing your child to dislike their teacher will only lead to more problems.
Even if the homework does suck, and believe me sometimes the homework I assigned did suck. We all make mistakes. Don't allow your child to have a negative attitude about it. Privately email the teacher and discuss your concerns without attacking their professionalism.