good homework habits
Photo: D Sharon Pruitt

Homework adds a whole new element to a family’s evening routine. If it’s put your evenings into a bit of a tailspin, you might want to try out these helpful techniques for helping your children develop good homework habits. It’s not too late to start.

  1. Determine the best time for homework and stick to it. Make it whatever works best for your family – immediately after school, before or after dinner, or before bed. For most,  it’s best to tackle it after school, once kids have had a snack and a few minutes of chill time, but before they dive into activities, outside play or TV. Having it done and out of the way frees up the evening for other activities and family time.
  2. Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Make it a place that’s free of interruptions or temptations, and is well lit. Have tools and materials,  such as sharpened pencils, markers, and a dictionary handy.
  3. Make sure you set aside ample time. Young children may only need a few minutes to copy spelling words or trace letters and you can likely read a Bob book together pretty darn quickly, but if possible, turn off the rush.  It also helps to give older kids time to work through tougher homework without the added stress of squeezing it into the schedule.
  4. Be available to offer assistance, clarify directions, and review the finished product, but don’t do the homework for your child. Don’t forget to offer praise for a job well done.
  5. If your child is continually struggling with the work, it may be time to consider a tutor. It might be the solution that takes the stress off both your child and you. Talk to your child’s teacher first.

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