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Hi there and welcome to The Parenting Clubhouse Podcast! Today is part 4 of 4 of the Gearing Up for School Series. We’ve talked about morning routines. We’ve talked about bedtime routines. We’ve talked about after school routines. And today we are talking all about homework routines. I know this will be a big episode for many of you as homework time can be a real battle in many households. Let’s jump to it!
Like we talked about last week, homework is part of the after school routine. Talk about having a routine be a part of a routine. But that’s okay. It’s natural for your child to have a routine within their homework time.
And, as we also talked about, the after school routine may look differently for each child. Some children like to come home from school, have a snack, and then do their homework. Other children like to jump to their homework first thing. And other children like to have some relaxation time or playtime before they do their homework. So when you think about your child’s homework routine, where does the homework routine fall within that after school routine?
In the rest of the episode I want to share some really helpful tips for setting your child up for success during their homework routine.
It’s so important for us to first think about the environment in which our child does homework. Are there distractions present that will hurt our child more than help him? Think about the noise level around. Think about the people present and moving around. Think about physical objects that are present. Some children may be really distracted by a mess of papers or trash next to them on the kitchen table while they are trying to do their homework.
While some children can focus on homework with a little bit of background noise, other children may have a difficult time with it. During certain subjects or certain tasks we may need to help find our child a quieter place to do homework, like their bedroom.
Breaks can be really helpful for some children. They’ve gone to school all day long and their brain is tired; they may need a few breaks here and there.
You can set scheduled breaks for your child during homework (e.g., setting a short 2 minute break every 15 minutes). Or you can have breaks contingent on your child completing a task (e.g., once your child finished the worksheet, then he can have a break). But some kids don’t need breaks; they would rather get their work done.
I will always recommend using timers whenever possible. Timers can help signal your child’s homework breaks, how long they should spend studying their spelling words, or how long homework time will be. Remember, timers signal to your child what is to happen next so your child doesn’t have to worry about it.
Homework time can be REALLY difficult for some children, so it may be a good idea to add in rewards for homework completion. This will help motivate them to complete the work that they need to do.
Your child can earn a reward each night for finishing all of their homework. Maybe they get to choose the dessert for dinner or maybe they can have a special treat or watch their favorite TV show. If you use breaks with your child, maybe your child can earn enhanced breaks, which are breaks + something fun (like coloring, playing with a toy, bubbles, etc.). This enhanced break can be short (think 2-5 minutes) but can really motivate your child to complete their work in chunks.
Your child may have a lot of tasks to complete during homework time. Some children need to start with easy tasks so they build momentum to complete those more difficult tasks. Some children would rather start with the most difficult task to just get it over with and then to finish the easier task. This will depend on your child and your child’s needs.
Don’t forget about checking-in on your child during homework time! Frequently check in on them and provide them some praise for working diligently on their homework.
If you found all of these tips helpful, don’t forget to share with your friends! Lots of kids and parents really struggle with homework!! And don’t forget to leave a review and subscribe so you don’t miss out on future episodes.
Be sure to check out all of the resources I have for you at lauralynnlapointe.com!
As promised, here are the rest of the episodes from our Gearing Up for School Series:
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