In this post I want to talk about some additional tips that can help with getting your child to do homework consistently. The Homework Chart and Homework Planner in the last post are two quick, easy ways to encourage children of different ages to do their homework. By using the charts consistently and following the advice in this post, hopefully homework time will be more bearable and not an all out war like it can sometimes be.
First, as with all other parenting and discipline tools, consistency is key. The chart and planner mentioned in the last post will only work if they are being used consistently. If any parenting technique has a chance of working, it must be done consistently to teach the child that mom and dad are not going to give in, no matter how much begging, pleading, or crying the child puts them through.
Additionally, children do best with routines. With after school activities and other parent responsibilities, it is sometimes hard to make time for a regular homework time. Often an assignment may get put off until right before bed or even until during breakfast the next morning. This lack of routine when it comes to doing homework only adds to the frustration and stress levels of both parents and children. A good recommendation for homework time is to pick a time that seems to work on most days. Obviously all parents have things that come up that cannot be avoided. But in general it is best to pick a time that works on a day to day basis and designate this as your child's "homework time." It is also good to allow the child to engage in some type of physical activity before they sit down to do their homework. Immediately after school may seem like a good choice but actually may not be the best for continued success. Allow the child to get outside and play for a while before sitting down to do their work.
Picking a certain place for children to do their work is also a smart choice. Using a designated place for homework adds to the consistency mentioned above and in earlier posts. A spot that is quiet and free from distractions is best. For example, having the child sit down in the living room with the television on to do their work is a set up for failure. Too many distractions (other children playing, mom or dad talking on the phone, television going, etc.) make it almost impossible for the child to pay attention to a task that he or she may already be trying to avoid.
Hopefully this and the previous post will give parents some ideas to make homework time a more pleasant experience. I welcome any comments, questions, and even tips that parents want to share!