It seems, at least here in Florida, that teachers are piling more homework on children and at earlier grades. Perhaps it’s because this state places such an emphasis on standardized testing (maybe it’s always been this way and I’m getting old).
In any case, homework is often more of a pain for parents than it is for children. The battle. The negotiations. The whining. The attitude. It seems like it never stops! Let alone they ask you a legitimate question about the material itself (I’m in the firm camp that only 5th graders are as smart as 5th graders).
However, arguing and screaming with your child doesn’t have to be the way. Here are a few things you can do in order to make completing homework a snap:
1) Make routine your friend.
In today’s go-go-go family having a set schedule between all the things that your family does is often hard enough. However, having at least a partial routine during the school week can do wonders for getting homework done relatively peacefully. When I was a kid, we did our homework before anything else. We knocked it out and then we went on to whatever else was next, be it chores or, more likely, tearing off across the back yard to play with my best friend E.J. People, especially children, derive comfort from structure because the know what’s expected and can develop a sense of security from it. When your child feels secure and comfortable in the routine and within the structure they’re calmer and more amenable to completing their homework quickly and without complaint.
2) Have a special homework spot.
Keeping in the same tone of routine and structure, have your child do his or her homework in the same place as much as possible. The dining room table is a good place because it makes it easy for your answer questions your son or daughter might have about the assignment (good luck!). Which leads me to my next point…
3) Reduce the number of distractions.
Getting your child to do her homework will be an all out fight if what’s going on around her is more interesting than the homework. And yes, that includes you. Try to limit your activity while homework’s going on, too. Wait until after to talk on the phone, watch some television, have a conversation with the neighbor. If your kids are like the kids I teach here at Sidekicks, they want to be where the action is and doing your homework isn’t there if homework isn’t given it’s due importance by everyone.
4) No video games, playing outside, Lego building, etc. before homework.
The very first item I talked about children loving routine. Well, at the same time, you have to guide the routine in order to create the behaviors you want. If you give a few minutes of play or video games before they get on homework, it’ll be very difficult to get this train on the road without complaint. They’ll perpetually want “five more minutes.” Even in the car, if you picked them up, avoid letting them play with DSs or watch a movie, because that orients their mind towards recreation instead of what they need to get done.
5) Enroll your child in martial arts training or a transported after-school martial arts program.
Come on, you probably guessed somewhere in here that I would talk about martial arts, right? This is a blog for a martial arts school, it only seems natural. However, beyond that fact, martial arts training can help reduce your headache worries because students gain a great deal of self-discipline and learn goal-achievement strategies that make a homework routine naturally occurring.
In addition, for those families that need a solid after-school program, many transported after-school martial arts programs have time set aside for students to get their homework done. So, when you pick them up, many times is already finished and all you have to do is check it over!
In conclusion, the key is to create a routine and structure as well as involve your child in activities that promote routine and structure and you’ll find the headache of getting homework done lessened. It’ll probably only go away completely when your son or daughter graduates from high school but at the very least there will be more harmony.
If we can assist you further in helping your family develop a winning homework strategy, please don’t hesitate to fill out the form in the sidebar or give us a call at 813-661-2224