How to Help Your Child Establish a Successful Homework Schedule


Homework—Now that school is back in session, our focus has shifted from bridging the summer learning gap to helping our kids complete their school assignments with success.

However, this year has been more difficult than most. Our 8-year-old son is struggling with math. His "I suck at math" attitude has made homework an unpleasant experience for everyone in our family.

10 Tips to Help Your Kids Establish a Successful Homework Routine

Here are 10 things that have made all the difference in helping us establish a homework routine:

  1. Schedule a regular time each day to do homework.
  2. Before homework starts, give your kids time to get a snack, decompress, and get exercise. This will help increase their focus.
  3. Create a comfortable study space free of clutter.
  4. Eliminate distractions like TV, noise, clutter, phone calls, video games, etc.
  5. Create family homework time, where everyone does their version of homework at the same time. Our family has family reading time, for example, where everyone sits in the same room and reads for 30 minutes. We then share a brief summary of what we read.
  6. Teach your kids to check their work and do their best. Only when they've done that, step in and give them feedback and assist them. Don't do the work for them!
  7. Give them time limits to finish their homework. If a child is having a particularly difficult time finishing an assignment, extend the time frame or step in and help. But, don't let your child, either out of perfectionism or frustration, continue on and on with one single assignment.
  8. Plan assignments in advance with a planner, calendar, or school bulletin board in your home. Go over the homework plan for the month at the beginning of each month. For bigger assignments like reports, break the requirements (if they already haven't been broken down by the teacher) into bite-sized chunks of work so your children don't get overwhelmed.
  9. Reward your children for good grades, good behavior, and for their effort. Getting an A for effort is a thing of the past, but it shouldn't be in our homes. Not every child is going to get an A, but their effort in sticking to a homework routine and doing their very best is worthy of a reward.
  10. If your child struggles and homework time is simply unbearable for the both of you, first talk to the teacher to see how he or she is performing in class. If the subject is very difficult for him or her, create a plan to increase knowledge or to get caught up. If homework time becomes so negative that it starts to impact school attendance (if a child stops wanting to attend school, for example), consider Online tutoring options, getting an offline tutor, or working out an arrangement with the school to have some in-school help.

What is your homework routine? What rewards and incentives do you use to encourage your children? How do you help a child who is struggling with a particular subject?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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