Homework has huge potential to be a sore spot within families. Before it becomes a hassle in your house, check out these easy-to-remember tips for avoiding homework battles with your grade-schooler.
1. Make yourself available.
Your grade-schooler may not be ready to do homework unsupervised. But it could create too much pressure for your child if you’re right at the table. Stay nearby so you remain available to help while showing that you have confidence in the job your child can do.
2. Take breaks.
All kids, not just kids who learn and think differently, can feel overwhelmed at the idea of a long homework session. Encourage short breaks between subjects. Your child can build in a snack break or get up and move around to avoid feeling restless. Taking a little time to reset can make homework time more productive.
3. Keep things consistent — and calm.
A consistent routine can help keep homework time calm for you and your child. Set up a homework station to help ease the chaos of trying to find a place for your child to work each day. (It can even be portable.) Having a set time for your child to do homework or a deadline also makes it easier for you to be on hand if your child needs your help.
4. Detect the reasons for your child’s complaining.
For the most part, homework battles don’t appear out of nowhere. Kids generally have a good reason when they get upset and complain about doing homework. Being able to detect the reason for your child’s complaining can help you avoid battles before they begin.
To figure out what’s upsetting your child, it helps to have a good sense of what the trouble spots are. Then you can address each problem, one by one. If writing is a challenge and there’s a lot of writing homework, help your child create a plan of attack. If your child struggles with reading, consider reading together.
5. Encourage your child.
Grade-schoolers are just learning how to do homework. They can feel discouraged when it’s hard. Encouraging kids means more than just offering praise for work well done. It also includes letting them talk through their frustrations and providing them with something to look forward to at the end of a homework session, like an hour of playing video games.
Tell us what interests you
About the author
About the author
Amanda Morin is the director of thought leadership at Understood and author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.” She worked as a classroom teacher and early intervention specialist for more than a decade.
Ginny Osewalt is a dually certified elementary and special education teacher with more than 15 years of experience in general education, inclusion, resource room, and self-contained settings.