Every afternoon after school it’s the same “tragedy”: homework time. It’s nothing like the image they project in commercials. No, it’s usually full of conflict. Most of the time kids don’t want to do their homework, and you have to use all your patience to just get them to sit down, concentrate, and do it.
They stamp their feet and they say no. They have tantrums, all of it to try to get out of something they really don’t like. Then moms and dads lose their patience and get angry.
So we have a question: is there anything you can do to make this situation easier? There’s no magic spell, but there are some tricks you can use to make it all much more manageable… Keep on reading!
Where do they do their homework?
The first step you can take to get your kids to get into the routine of doing their homework is to pick a place in the house where they’ll do it. This might not seem like it’s so important. But the truth is that kids will get into the habit more easily if they always do it in the same place.
So what’s the best room in the house for them to get to work? That depends on the kid. But we can still say that in general a calm space is best. That might be their room or the living room. The choice will basically just depend on one thing: what could distract your child in those places.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some kids like to work alone, while others like for their parents to be there and need them around in case they have questions. That’s why it’s important for parents and children to come to an agreement on this. Consider this when you’re choosing their room or the living room as their study spot.
What is the homework spot like?
But you don’t just need to think about where your kids do their homework. You also need to think about what that place is like. If you want to help them get into their homework routine, they need a table they can sit at comfortably while they study.
You also want to have all the materials they might need to do their homework. If it’s a common space, one useful idea is to have a portable box where they can put all the pencils, pens, rulers, and papers they have to use for their homework every day.
If they have a desk in their room and they work well there, they can put all those things into the drawers. And one thing that can help motivate them is to give them some freedom when it comes to decorating their study space.
But we’ve mentioned distractions, and it’s important to make sure these places don’t have too much stimuli that will draw their attention away from the homework.
When do they do their homework?
Nowadays, it’s normal for kids to have extracurricular activities multiple days of the week. Therefore some days they might sit down to do their homework at a later time. So remember that the later they start, the more tired they’ll be, and the harder it will be for them to start.
So get going as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean they have to do it right when they get out of school, though. There are some kids who like that better, but of course there are other kids who need to rest and have a snack before they start. What really matters is that they try to keep a consistent schedule.
When they sit down, a good way to start is for them to think about what they have to do and how long it’s going to take them. That way you can see if your child knows what they have to do, and if they have everything they need to do it. It’s also helpful to set breaks up before they start, too.
Lastly, don’t forget about one technique that will help you get your kids settle into the habit more quickly: support. This could mean setting a time to play together after they finish. Or it could even mean creating a token system where the rewards are bigger but given out later. The point is that hard work has its rewards, and that’s the message you want to send to your kids.
Images courtesy of Aaron Burden, Andrew Neel, and Angelina Litvin.