1. Establish a routine
One of the best things you can do to help homework go more smoothly is to establish a predictable daily homework routine. Pick a time of day that generally works best for your family’s schedule and your child’s individual needs.
Try to plan ahead for events that may interfere with your regular schedule such as doctor appointments, family gatherings, sports practice, etc. Some children prefer to start homework immediately after school while still in the “school mode.” For most others, it is best to re-energize first by taking a short break (15 to 30 minutes or so) or having a snack before starting homework. Think about who will be present to help answer questions during homework sessions if your child needs this type of support.
schedule is, keep in mind that the later in the evening it is, the more
tired your child will be. A tired child is often irritable and less able
to focus and remember information, causing the homework session to be
longer and more difficult.
2. Designate a homework place
Find a designated homework place that will work for your family. Involve your child in this process. Generally speaking, it’s best to find a place that is quiet and free from distractions, as much as possible, to allow for better concentration. Television, music and even other siblings can be distracting.
Consider whether your child works
best alone, or whether your child needs others, such as an older sibling
or an adult nearby for support. If help is needed, many families find
the kitchen table to be the best place so an adult can offer occasional
support or reminders to stay on-task, all while getting dinner ready or
doing other chores. Be sure that whatever workspace you choose has good
3. Make homework supplies easily accessible
We know that children can waste a lot of time tracking down needed materials for homework, so have homework supplies ready in advance. Try putting the most commonly used supplies in a handy homework bin or box that can be stored near their workspace or easily brought to the workspace. Such supplies might include extra paper, pencils, a dictionary, highlighters, a calculator, a ruler, scissors, or a stapler. Some parents even equip their child’s workspace with a set of earplugs to help reduce distracting noises. Many children enjoy helping to prepare this “homework supply kit.”
4. Create a game plan
At the start of each homework session, come up with a game plan:
- Have your child refer to their assignment calendar or homework packet to see what needs to be done.
- Figure out what books and supplies are needed.
and pick the order of the assignments. It may be helpful to begin and
end with easier assignments, and sandwich difficult assignments in the
- Build in short breaks (5-10 minutes) if the homework
session is expected to be lengthy or you know your child has difficulty