How to Combat Homework Battles
Homework time can be a stressful time for many families. More often than not, battles over homework lead to vicious cycles of nagging by parents and avoidance or refusal by children, with no improvement in a child’s school performance — and certainly no progress toward what should be our ultimate goals helping children enjoy learning and develop age-appropriate discipline and independence with respect to their schoolwork.
Here are some strategies to help improve homework time.
1) Create a Homework Plan
2) Set aside a specified — and limited — time for homework.
3) During the homework hour, all electronics are turned off — for the entire family.
4) Work is done in a communal place, at the kitchen or dining room table.
5) Parents are present and available.
6) Begin with a reasonable — a doable — amount of time set aside for homework. Find out how much homework time is appropriate for your grade level.
7) Be positive and give frequent encouragement. Make note of every improvement, not every mistake.
8) Be generous with your praise. Praise their effort, not their innate ability.
9) Anticipate setbacks. After a difficult day, help them reset for the following day.
10) Give them time. A child’s difficulty completing homework begins as a problem of frustration and discouragement, but it is then complicated by defiant attitudes and feelings of unfairness. A homework plan will begin to reduce these defiant attitudes, but this will not happen overnight.
11) Most families have found these suggestions helpful, especially for elementary school children. Establishing a homework hour allows parents to move away from a language of threats (“If you don’t ... you won’t be able to ...”) to a language of opportunities (“When” or “As soon as” you have finished ... we’ll have a chance to ...”).
12) Communicate with your child’s teacher early on about homework. They can give you resources to help.