Are you dreading homework battles? Here are some sure ways to get a happy homework routine. Kids will settle down and finish their work with these tips:
There’s nothing like picking up your beloved kids from school, seeing them smile at all their friends, wave goodbye, then get into the van and start complaining.
Fighting with their siblings.
Melting all the way down.
After school meltdowns are a Real Thing, mama friend.
What makes them worse? Having to get home and then… get them at the table to do homework. For goodness sake, mom life ain’t for the faint of heart. Here are some homework routine ideas that will help set your children up for success.
Set up a homework routine work area.
A friendly work area can go a long way…
Some kids are better at focusing and getting a job done than others. Some can read a 500 page chapter book in the middle of the floor with barking dogs, yelling kids, the TV on, etc.
On the other hand, some need a space and a place designated for their attention and motivation.
Follow this checklist until your tidy routines become second nature.
The second one is me. So, I get it when kids don’t want to settle down and do homework when there isn’t a “homework safe” place.
- Pick a spot that is designated to do their homework, or a spot that can easily change into their homework spot when necessary (barroom desk, dining room table, corner nook).
- Hang a calendar set up, a jar of pencils, and a pencil sharpener. It doesn’t have to be fancy (although it could be). A homework caddy like this one will make it fun!
- Address the kids when school starts. Say: “I know you’re going to have some homework, let’s make a good spot here so you can do a good job.”
- Keep this area ready for homework after school. Don’t pile it full of other things or push it aside when life gets busy.
Here’s a child approved tip: have a fun/healthy/favorite snack available. Snacks really help!
Eliminate distractions during the homework routine.
This is also a case-by-case situation, but most kids will achieve their homework better when they aren’t distracted.
Being “focused” during homework time is part of a good homework routine. This happens when a child decides that they are going to get their task done without worrying with other things.
Other things like:
- younger siblings demanding attention
- their electronic devices
- the TV
- what’s for dinner
- people coming & going out of the room
Follow my 3 step system to organize your mornings, afternoons, and evenings to minimize the chaos and micro-managing.Learn More
Work before play is the only way.
I talk about this as it relates to transitions. You know, when kids melt down because they have to go from something the love to something they don’t like.
Nobody wants to quit playing outside, put down their game, or come away from the TV to do homework. But, they would enjoy the fact that their homework is completed and now to the reward of ___________.
Flipping the script on “work before play.”
I would never say: “You don’t get to do anything you want until your homework is done.”
Instead, I would say: ” After you complete your homework, you get to go have fun.”
Flipping the “work before play” script into a positive drives motivation and helps avoid meltdowns.
If kids know that your boundary has been set (AKA I can play after I get my homework done), and you don’t waiver from this, things will go smoother.
Motivate and monitor, but don’t do it for them.
Doing your kids homework for them not only hinders their independence, but also makes them lazy. And yes, parents really do this…
On the other side, some parents struggle with finding the time to help their kids because evenings are so busy.
I recommend something in the middle. This goes back to finding a location for homework that works well with your lifestyle and is right for mom and kids.
- This homework location has to be somewhere where you can motivate your kids when needed. There will be times when they have to be reminded to stay on task, etc.
- It also has to be somewhere where you can swoop in and help if needed. For example, possibly at the kitchen bar while you are dong dinner prep.
Always be prepared to encourage when needed. Sometimes just a simple “I love how hard you are working” will do the trick.
Be in communications with their teacher.
Kids love to know that mom and the teacher are on the same page. I am quick to email, call, or message one of my kiddo’s teachers whenever I have a question or concern.
This goes for homework too. Whatever it is, I know that communication with their teachers makes their learning processes smoother.
Here’s the truth: when kids know that you can (and will) speak with their teacher, they will be more apt to keep a healthy homework routine.
Create an atmosphere where mistakes are acceptable and effort is praised.
You’re going to see home homework assignments (especially in the elementary age) that make no sense to you. Just go with it…
Foster a homework routine that strives for 100% effort, not 100% perfection.
Now, math may be the exception because you want math to be correct. But, on most things… homework is about training in accountability and getting that little extra practice. That’s it.
Plus, when you’re both striving for perfection things can get frustrating. When in reality, homework isn’t about that.
Get my cheat sheets (newborn up to elementary aged kids) and find your family’s groove.
Use them for:
- nap times
- meal times
- chore times
- play times
- AND more!
Aim for completion and participation, not perfection.
- Homework can be a bonding time when the stress of perfection is taken away.
- Your goal is to aim for happy camper participation.
- Get it done, go have some fun.