Back to School means back to homework. My children are already back in school and already bringing home homework to complete every night. Today’s Tuesday Ten list are ideas to make your life easier and to get homework done with no fuss.
Last week’s Tuesday Ten list focused on keeping your sanity and large part of keeping your sanity is having routines (you can the post read it here). With homework, these 10 ideas are a homework routine too (they will also help you keep your sanity).
10 Ways to Get Homework Done with No Fuss
- Have a set place to complete homework every day. With elementary age children, you need a table (the dining room table works great) or a desk you can access and provide assistance when needed. Older children may use a desk in their room or a home office/school area, but may still need help or supervision to stay on task.
- Limit distractions. Try not to work in a room with a TV, Xbox or other electronic devices. If you allow your child to work on their homework in their own room, be sure they don’t have an iTouch, iPad or other hand-held device to play with or homework may take all night. My son will hide the iTouch, this is one of the reasons I make all the children do their homework in a room where I can see them and help them stay focused.
- Use incentives. If you complete your homework in 30 minutes, you can go outside and play with your friends, or if you don’t complete your homework you will not have time for … [insert favorite activity]. I also require that homework be completed before attending special activities on the weekend (birthday parties, picnics, etc…). If you child really wants to go, they will get their homework done and you will not be stressed when you get home because you have limited time to complete the work and a tired/cranky child.
- Homework stations are useful. A portable homework station is a place (a bucket, a carry box, a supply bag ) where you can place basic school/homework supplies like pencils, pens, erasers, glue, crayons, and scissors that you will likely need for homework. If you have everything in one place, you won’t waste time looking for missing items when they are needed.
- Take a break after school. If you do homework right after school, allow your children a short break (30-45 minutes) to slow down from the day and share with you what happened during the day before starting homework. My children always need a snack after school too (but don’t allow them to spoil dinner).
- Same time, same place every day. Help your child know what to expect. Complete homework at the same time every day. (Remember those routines.) We usually do homework after dinner at our house. My children know if they have homework to complete, we will sit down after dinner and finish it.
- Focus on one child at a time. I have 3 children. All 3 have homework this year. I find that working with one child at a time takes less time than trying to have all 3 of them sit down and work together. Working with one child at a time, also allows you to focus and provide your full attention to that one child.
- If you have a fidgety child (or one that just cannot sit still), have them focus and work on the assignment for 20-25 minutes (or an appropriate amount of time for their age) and allow a short break (3-5 minutes). During the break, get the wiggles out. Do exercise, talk, take the dog outside a walk, be creative. After the break is over, get focused and back to work.
- Do the hard and most challenging work first. Most nights your child has already been in school all day. So they are already mentally and physically tired. Get the hardest, most challenging homework done first, and then finish the easier homework (i.e. copying spelling words). If you save the hardest to last, your child will be tired and it may take even longer to finish.
- Sometimes, it’s better to finish in the morning. My oldest child will sometimes get behind on his homework (because I did not know he skipped assignments). Then he has to make them up. These corrections take time, he will delay as long as he can. I have found rather than staying up late, I just get him up early like 5:30 am or 6:00 am to finish his homework.
This ideas keep homework organized and a process at our house.
How do you complete homework at your house? Do you have any additional ideas to help get homework done with no fussing?