Homework Time Tips for Parents

Homework time seems to drag on for hours these days including nagging, numerous bathroom breaks, eventual yelling and possibly some tears.  The key to efficiency is focus.  Getting your child to focus on the task and get the job done.  Many parents feel their child is getting hours and hours of homework, but the truth may be that reasonable assignments are taking way too long due to a lack of focus.  The following tips can help students become more efficient.

1.  Establish a routine.

Begin the school year by choosing a quiet, visible space for your child to complete his homework.  Then determine a time that’s best to begin homework.  Some kids need a break after school others are much better off diving in and getting it done.  This truly depends on the child.  If your child needs a break after school, set a time for homework to begin and stick to it. 

2.  Break down tasks.

Help your child break down tasks into manageable chunks.  Get the quick and easy assignments done first, and encourage your child to check off assignments as they are completed.

3.  Use a timer.

Set a goal for completing assignments—even individual assignments.  “How long do you think it will take you to do those math problems?”  Using a timer will help your child see that taking fewer breaks and staying on task will save lots of precious time.

4.  Load up on supplies.

Have a spot in the house where you keep extra pencils, highlighters, sticky notes, and loose leaf.  Leaving them out may be more of a distraction; just let your child know that you have whatever he needs.  No need to waste time searching in a bedroom drawer for a ruler—you’ve got one.

5.  Limit distractions. 

Turn the tv off; take away the phone/tablet/laptop or set it on do not disturb; be quiet.

6.  Use the school website to help manage assignments

Find out if your child’s teacher posts assignments on an online calendar.  Check if your child is aware of and completing assignments and help him plan for larger assignments.  At Ss. Peter and Paul School all assignments, tests and quizzes are posted on the school website, and teachers maintain web pages with lots of information such as downloadable study guides, links to online textbooks and reading assignments, and rubrics. 

If you find that your child is struggling to complete all his homework on a nightly basis, then it’s time to have a conversation with the teacher.  Teachers need this feedback to help gauge the length of assignments and appropriateness of the student course sectioning.  At Ss. Peter and Paul School students receive 10 minutes of homework per grade level.  Students whose homework time far exceeds this formula are assisted with getting organized and establishing an effective routine at home.

For more articles on homework and homework time try : Homework Battles, 12 Tips for Developing Organizational Skills


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