How to Make Homework Time more Fun & Efficient

By: Allison Salk & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.                                                                                                                                                                            BLOG PDF

Homework may be a source of anxiety for both children and for their parents. Oftentimes, parents wonder how to be involved and make sure work gets done while still allowing their child autonomy and independenc­e. We offer the following tips for parents to help them find the appropriate balance for them and their child:

Create a homework space. With the assistance of your child, choose a specific area of the house for homework, away from telephones and televisions. Remove distractions, but allow your child to decorate the area and choose appropriate supplies to make the study space more pleasant.

Set a daily homework time. Agree on a daily time for homework and studying that takes into consideration outside activities and family time. Having a regular time for homework helps children to both start and finish assignments in more a timely and productive manner.

Set homework expectations. At the beginning of each new cycle of classes, sit down with your child and talk about realistic expectations for his or her classes. Develop goals with the help of your child, and let your child take as much responsibility as he or she is comfortable with. Write down these expectations so that your child is reminded of them throughout the coming months.

Create a daily routine beginning with a review of assignments. Start each homework session with a review of both long and short-term assignments. It often helps children to write a list of assignments on a separate sheet of paper, and then decide what should be worked on that day.

Allow breaks. Encourage your child to take breaks when tasks get accomplished instead of after a certain amount of time. This increases productivity and may get your child more motivated to complete assignments.

Create timelines for long-term projects or exams. Get a large calendar for your child’s homework area, and write down short-term goals for larger projects. Celebrate with your child when each milestone is met.

End the homework routine with a backpack. Help your child to create the habit of putting finished homework in his or her backpack. This ensures that the homework will get back to school, and it is recommended to include this at the end of the homework session so that your child does not forget or feel rushed in the morning before school.

Give praise. Children of all ages respond to praise, and this often helps a child to stay motivated and develop positive homework habits. It is encouraging for children to hear that they’ve done a good job, so be sure to let your child know when they have done so.

Sunfield Center Psychologists are available to help assess children’s academic challenges as well as develop and implement an action plan to help children be more successful at home and at school. For more information or to schedule an appointment please visit our website or call us at 734-222-9277.