Tips for dealing with homework hassles

Summer break is coming to a close for better or for worse.  As we prepare to enter the school year, I have been reflecting on what areas were challenging last year, as well as what worked well for us during the school week.  In our home, we have challenges with the common transition times: morning routine, time between walking in the door and dinner, tending to home work, as well as bed time routine.  

My mama friends tell me that the amount of homework increases greatly in third grade, and I am preparing now to avoid the meltdowns of last year.  If you can predict a behavior then you can changes things up to prevent it!

Here are some ideas on how to get organized around homework hassles before they start:

Visual Cues: Get a big calendar and hang it in a prominent place.  We use a write-on-wipe-off board with small cork board section, that we fill in the dates for each month.  It is located above the breakfast counter where my son can read it each morning and be informed about activities and due dates.  I also pin permission slips and such to this board, to keep them on my own radar.

Teach/Model Organization: When your child comes home from school have your child write the assignments and due dates on the big calendar.  Have a designated place store homework, as well as a space to do homework. 

Reduce Overwhelm: Break down projects into bite size pieces and put the smaller “to do’s” on the calendar, or at least spend  a few minutes identifying a reasonable task to complete in the time allotted.  Book report due in two weeks?  What are the steps, and what part will you do today?

Be Available but Occupied: Have children do homework in the same room as you. The kitchen table is a perfect place.  While your child is doing homework, sit with your child, and pay bills, read or plan your own projects.

Establish an end point:  Set a timer for homework completion. If you know that 2 handouts should take 30 minutes,set the timer for thirty minutes. This will motivate your child to complete the assignment.

Always reward with something positive.

Remember, the best rewards are time with YOU!!

Here is to a happy low stress start to the school year!


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