Yup, we’re back in the swing of things with school…and homework.
Since my kids are in year-round school, we’ve been doing homework since July. We’re pros by now (just kidding).
But seriously, in my new book with Dr. Gary Chapman Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, we give you ways to help your children finish homework (without of course finishing it for them).
Here are 5 ways to get started:
1. Use games or charts for rewards. You can make a sticker chart where your child can place a sticker on each day that homework is done. Offer rewards for a completed week or month of homework. You can also create games to reward homework that is finished. For instance, if your child finishes homework all week, he can earn points. After fifty points, he can choose a small prize from the store.
2. Have a homework supply box. What does your child need to complete his homework – pencils, eraser, pens, ruler, stapler, glue, tape, and scissors? Have these supplies kept in one place so they are easy to find. If anything is taken out of the box, remember to replace it.
3. Know the best time for homework. Some kids like to start homework immediately after school so they can have the pleasure of playing afterwards. Others need to run around for an hour after sitting at a desk for most of the day. Adjust your homework routine to what works best with your child.
4. Schedule out bigger projects. When your child comes home with a large or long-term project, create a calendar to help them break up the project into doable time chunks. Tell him a story about an assignment you procrastinated on to illustrate the value of doing a little bit at a time.
5. Work with a timer. If your child can complete his homework within half an hour, set a timer for 30 minutes and encourage him to finish before the timer beeps. If your child needs a longer time for homework, you can still set the timer for 30 minutes. When it beeps, take a five minute break, and then resume the homework. Reset the timer for an appropriate time.
That last tip helps our kids to stay on task. They have homework on the computer and without the timer, they could be staring at the screen for hours. We stick with 20 minutes a day for computer homework which is what the teacher is asking for right now.
You’ll find more tips on staying on task for homework and much more in Growing Up Social.