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Strategies For Keeping Your Sanity With Homework

Welcome back to the new school year! Now that we are a few days in, your students are probably already starting to come home with homework.  For some parents, homework can be a nightmare so here are a few tips to help make homework time more efficient and less stressful for you, as well as more productive for your child(ren)!

  1. Identify a space in your house for homework completion.  This might be the kitchen table, the student’s room or an office space.  All spaces have advantages and disadvantages and it’s really up to you and your child to identify the best space.  If your child is easily distracted, it might be the best space is his room or an office area.  If your child needs more supervision, a kitchen table might be a better space.
  2. Keep a schedule for homework and maintain it. For many families coming home right after school and completing homework is the best plan for them.  For example, your child might come home and have a snack from 3:45-4:00 and then have “Homework Hour” from 4:00-5:00 every day.  Choose a time that works for your child and family.  Even if your child says they don’t have homework, keep the schedule.  This is a great time for students to do some personal reading if there is no homework!

*A good rule of thumb is for every grade they should have 10 minutes of “homework time” after school.  So first grade = 10 minutes and their “homework hour” is only 10 minutes long.  Second grade =20 minutes so their “homework hour” is 20 minutes long, and so on.

  1. Pre-correct for obstacles in getting homework done. For example, if your child is disorganized and will “forget” pencils and paper, have them ready to go.  If your child will “forget” their reading book have a book or magazines for them to read stored in your homework space.  If your child puts everything off until the end of the day and THEN remembers he or she has homework, schedule your homework time for right after school and not in the evening.  You could even make a rule that there is no free time, video games or time with friends until homework hour has been completed.

If this is something new you are trying for the first time, don’t be surprised if your child tries to ignore, argue or escape from this new routine.  But be persistent!  This is not only helps them get homework done and reduces your stress, it also teaches them good study habits for whatever is next for them, Intermediate school, Junior high, High School and post-high school education.

Finally, if you ever need any help, I’m here to provide it.  Call me or email me anytime!

Jill Timmons, Ph.D. NCSP
School Psychologist
Fairbury Public Schools