Attention, parents of students who'd rather do just about anything than homework! If homework time is making you want to pull your hair out, a) we feel your pain, and b) there's hope. Here we've compiled some handy tips that can make homework less of a battle in your household.
Winning the Homework Battle
While some students may do their homework each night without a fuss, the reality is that many of us have kids who do quite the opposite (mine included—bless his stubborn heart!). You know how it is: Children often come up with a million excuses for why they can't do their homework, complain the whole time they're doing it, give you an attitude…the list could go on.
Fortunately, there are some methods that can help you win the dreaded homework battle with your child. Let's take a look.
Devise a Plan With Your Child
As parents, we're often quick to lay down the homework law without putting much thought into it or truly considering our kids' needs or opinions. This may lead to kids feeling like homework is a punishment or something they have no say in, which can easily lead to a battle.
For this reason, you may want to consider devising a homework plan with your child, as it may make all the difference when it comes to his or her overall homework success. By working as a team to devise the best homework routine possible, your child will feel included and like he or she has some level of control over the situation.
When you sit down to create the plan with your child, discuss factors such as when and where homework will be done (preferably in an inviting space with minimal distractions) and rules. And keep in mind that the plan can always be adjusted if some aspect of it doesn't work out.
Take Advantage of Online Resources
Online resources can help you prevent a homework battle before it even begins. Not only can these resources make subject material more engaging and understandable, but also provide a fun, yet educational way for your child to take a break if he or she has multiple homework assignments to complete in a night.
For example, Study.com offers thousands of online courses in nearly all subjects, from the elementary to college level. These courses feature engaging videos that make concepts easy to understand and relevant to real life, which can be especially beneficial to students who need extra help in certain areas.
There are also many learning apps and games that your child can use when he or she needs a homework break. Since these resources are fun and interactive, your child may not even realize that he or she is doing something educational!
Network With Other Parents
Although it might take some effort on your part, another suggestion for winning the homework battle is to network with other battle-weary parents. For example, if you know any parents of the students in your child's class, reach out and see if they'd be interested in forming a homework club (or something along those lines), which may make the homework experience something class members can look forward to.
Other Tried and True Methods
Be a Cheerleader
Although it can be challenging at times, maintaining a cheerful, positive attitude can be essential to winning the homework battle with your child. Encourage and remind your child that you know he or she is capable of doing the work. Stay nearby to help with any questions that arise, but try not to breathe down his or her neck. Praise often, even if it involves one question at a time (hey, sometimes it's the little things!).
You can even offer small rewards, such as a fun-size candy bar or a 10-minute break outside in the sunshine. Basically, if there are certain methods of encouragement that help to keep your child engaged and motivated, then by all means, use them!
Keep Your Cool
Many of us have found ourselves in the middle of a homework battle where the situation has become especially tense. And let's be real: Yelling may even take place, which we hope the neighbors won't hear!
Although it can be easy to lose your patience during a heated homework moment, try your best to stay calm, cool, and collected. Losing it typically only makes things worse and may get your child more worked up.
Instead, take a 10-15 minute break so both of you can simmer down before going back to work. If there's a specific issue with a long-term homework assignment that needs clarification, reach out to the teacher before moving on so you don't end up on the same battlefield again.
Give It Time and Persevere
Since every household, child, and situation is different, keep in mind that winning the homework battle may not happen overnight. In other words, these tips can help you achieve victory, but it may take perseverance and time.
Could your household benefit from quality homework help resources? Be sure to check out Study.com's collection of homework help courses!