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Health and Fitness News

Stop Dreading Homework

Steps parents can take to help homework time go smoothly.

How many evenings do you spend coaxing and prodding your kids to get their homework done? What could be a simple assignment turns into hours of whining, distractions, and sometimes tears. When this happens, it’s not just the kids who hate homework, but the parents do, too.

Homework plays an important role in your children’s education—teaching them responsibility outside of the classroom, assuring the teacher that the students understand the material, and preparing kids for a future that includes hard work and discipline. So frustrating as it may seem, taking it seriously gives your kids a serious leg up on life.

Take these steps to help your kids get their homework done quickly and efficiently.

Time Management

Kids function best when they know what’s expected of them and when. This is easier said then done for busy families, but if you can, make a set time for homework. Find a time that works for your family and stick to it. This might be at 4 o’clock in the afternoon as soon as the kids get home from school or right after dinner in the evening.

Burn Some Energy

Kids are worn out after a long day at school and may be better able to get their homework done after a short break. Let them play outside or relax indoors for at least half an hour before requiring homework to be done. Other kids focus more clearly when they’re already in school-mode. In this case, plan to do homework right after school.

Like you, your kids probably have a better attitude and more energy when they have a fully belly. When kids are running on empty, it’s more difficult to focus. To avoid hunger-induced breakdowns, make sure your kids eat a healthy snack or meal prior to digging into the books.

Create Space

When the television is on, phones are out, and family members are walking in and out, it’s no wonder homework time is a battle. Create a homework environment that has as few distractions as possible. This may be a desk in the child’s bedroom. If all the toys in your child’s room are too much of a distraction, the dining room table may be a better choice. Whatever space you choose, keep all homework supplies nearby. Screens should be turned off and the rest of the family should stay out of the room until the homework is done.

Reward Effort

It helps for kids to have something to look forward to when working on a difficult task. Set small rewards for when your youngsters finish homework with a good attitude. When there’s fussing and complaining while doing the homework, the reward gets taken away. Examples of rewards might be 20 minutes of screen time or a favorite treat. Some kids may find that good grades are a big enough reward to focus on schoolwork. Use a reward that works for your child.

Set Limits

Instead of letting homework time drag on until bedtime, set time limits. At the beginning of the school year, your child’s teacher may have told parents how long they should expect homework to take each evening. Whatever that time was, perhaps half an hour or an hour, stick to it. After your child stays focused on their work for the allotted amount of time, call it quits.

In some cases, parents may have to set time limits for children prone to distraction. Give these children an hour to finish an assignment or study for a test. Then praise them when they’ve studied hard and the hour is over.
Take these small steps and you’ll take a giant leap toward a stress-free homework experience!

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