When it comes to kids and homework, parents frequently complain that they have to be bilingual: fluent in both English and Nag. If youre tired of hectic evenings and homework hassles, three simple strategies can make school nights more peaceful and productive.
1. Have a family meeting and set an evening routine. When family members know what to expect, chaos evaporates. Our routine involves eating dinner as a family and working together to clean up the kitchen before the kids do homework. If they want to watch a special program on television, we tape it for viewing later.
We try to keep afternoons open for playtime, ball practices, and errands. But if their study load is heavy, or grades start falling, they start homework immediately after school.
Whatever routine suits your family, schedule a time every eveningeven if its just 10 minutesto do something fun. Play a hand of cards, take the dog for a walk, or work on a jigsaw puzzle.
2. Teach your child that school is his or her career and is just as important as yours. When children know their work is as valuable as Mom and Dads, their attitude changes dramatically. Suddenly they see their work as significant. Studying for a big test or researching a term paper is just as important as preparing for a big sales convention.
When you view your childrens schooling as their career, youll see they are learning more than math and grammar; theyre also developing important habits and skillssuch as time management, responsibility, and self-disciplinethat will help them succeed in every future endeavor.
3. Create a homework-friendly environment. Its important that everyone realizes that sound travels. This means when a teenager turns on his CD player, he considers his younger brother next door who is studying for a geography test. It also means that when Mom and Dad watch television, they realize the noise can be distracting to a student trying to work math problems.
Each child needs personal workspace to work efficiently. If your child doesnt have a desk, set aside a specific area for him, even if its the dining room table. Make handy the necessary paper, pens, and other supplies. A designated homework area and time will give your child a sense of space and routineand will cut down on arguments about when and where to do homework.