Our Top 5 Hassle-Free Homework Hacks
Let’s face it, kids receive homework assignments starting in kindergarten these days and after a long day at school (and your long day at work), the last thing anyone wants is a homework battle. Many parents dread their kids’ school homework as much, if not more than their kids do. It’s not easy to squeeze homework into schedules packed tight with after-school activities, family and work responsibilities, dinner and still get the kids to bed on time. Establishing homework routines as soon as your child begins school will help him or her develop the skills necessary to keep up with these important routines throughout high school and college. Here are some effective tips for a hassle-free and productive homework routine.
Our Top 5 Hassle-Free Homework Hacks
1. Develop a routine.
Find an after school routine that works for you and stick with it! The key to having hassle-free after school time is having a regular routine, for example:
1. Putting shoes, backpacks, and lunch supplies away.
2. Placing homework and papers at their spot on the table where you do homework.
3. Sit down for snack and start on homework.
4. Once homework is completed, prepare backpack for the next morning.
5. Have fun – outside play, after school activities, board games, etc.
It’s very important to make it a routine to tackle homework before the afternoon slips into late evening and leaves you with tired, cranky kids. If you wait to do it later, it’s easy for it to get lost in the shuffle of after-school activities, outside play, etc. and then ends up interfering with bedtime. Having it done and out of the way frees up the evening for family time, avoids meltdowns, and helps keep everyone on schedule. Once you fine-tune your routine, stick to it! Keep things the same and consistent so your children understand what’s expected!
2. Provide a healthy snack or meal.
Growing bodies and brains need fuel! It’s difficult for kids to do their best when they are hungry or filled with sugary, processed snacks. Make sure your child has a satisfying, healthy afternoon snack. You can involve your child and create a list of his/her favorite healthy snacks to keep on hand such as apple slices, cheese and crackers, grapes, or carrots and ranch dip.
3. Reduce distractions.
Televisions, iPads, texting, talking adults… all these are great at the right time, just not during homework. Electronics can interrupt and prolong the homework process. Kids benefit from learning the difference between when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play.
4. Set clear goals and expectations.
Before beginning homework, review what needs to be accomplished with your child and prioritize tasks; make sure he is aware of exactly what is expected. Also, be sure that he understands the consequences of homework assignments not being completed and be sure he understands the reward / incentive of completing homework the right way. When homework gets completed, lots of great things get to happen —time to play with friends, play a board game, watching a movie, extracurricular activities like Martial Arts classes and soccer games and, not to mention, the life long benefits, because the habits they develop as young students will contribute to their success throughout their school careers.
5. Review Time.
Because homework is a student’s chance to review what was learned in class, it is important kids understand their homework. Give your child a chance to do their homework on their own and after review it together. That gives you a chance to talk about what your child is learning and make sure he “gets” it before he gets behind. If there is anything your child misses, review and talk about it.
With a little practice and consistency, these strategies should help you on the right track for a successful, stress-free school year!