Useful Rules for Successful Parents: Getting Kids to Do Their Homework

useful homework rules for successful parentsHomework has several important purposes. It shows a teacher that a student has mastered the skills taught in class, or at least is able to practice the skills independently, it prepares the student for future lessons and it helps build life skills in the student like responsibility, time management and feelings of accomplishment or confidence. Here are some tips on getting your kids to do their homework and getting it done well.

Put a homework routine in place for your kids to follow. If you set this up for your children, doing their homework will become a good habit. Routines help people get tasks done as they take away the stresses of remembering to do the tasks or organizing the tasks. Your kids will benefit from knowing what they need to do – the assignments – and knowing when they need to do it – a daily time should be set as part of their routine. Parents find when they set a homework routine there is also less whining about doing homework and their children don’t try to get out of doing their work as much.

Understand the expectations your child’s teacher has and help your child strive to meet them. When your child learns to meet their teacher’s expectations, it becomes a clear message and they know what to do with their schoolwork in and out of the classroom. They become reliable independent workers and are able to do so with minimum stress. Also, in meeting their teacher’s expectations, your child will get praised by their teacher and this will build their confidence at school and in their abilities, boosting self-esteem. And of course, by doing their homework to their teacher’s expectation level, your child will learn the lesson that is being taught.

Create a space for homework. When your child knows where to do their homework, they know to start their homework and do their homework in that space. If you allow your child to do homework anywhere in the house there will be times that they try to do it in front of the television or in their rooms while talking on their cell phones. This is not acceptable, this will not help them to succeed in school. It is also much easier to check their homework or help them when they are in a place that is accessible to you. The space itself can consist of the kitchen table when working on projects and the family computer desk when needed. It does not have to be one spot for all things. Parents should let their child know where the acceptable areas are.

Have the supplies your child needs for their homework on hand. Homework is impossible to do if you do not have a pencil or graph paper. Stock up during the back-to-school sales and keep a drawer of supplies ready, taking into account what classes your child has in the upcoming year. Keep an eye out for papers about special projects and think through what your child is going to need to complete them. Then, make sure it’s in the house when they are ready to begin. In this way, you allow your child to independently do the project because they will have everything they need.

Talk to your child and make it clear to your child that homework is not an option. Explain to your child when you have a school assignment, you need to do it. Just like in life, we all have jobs that need to be done. Not getting your homework done is never an option. You’ll also want to be clear about the quality of work you expect from them. Allow your child to do their work on their own with you checking it after it is completed. Help your child fix any mistakes you find using encouraging words. If you feel your child may have rushed through their homework and it is sloppy, ask them to fix that by encouraging them to do their best this time around. Try not to get frustrated and don’t praise work that is not done to their best ability.

Help your child learn organizational skills by taking a few minutes every day and planning out their homework schedule. Look ahead in their planner or create a calendar of when tests are happening and projects are due. This will help your child plan the work they need to do during their homework time. It is an excellent time management skill to learn and can be done by children as young as first grade. It will help your child do their homework and prepare for future homework.

Set consequences. Use them when your child does not do their homework at the homework time or should you find your child is not completing the homework assigned by their teacher. These consequences should be clear and set beforehand so they are not seen as just a reaction by a frustrated parent. It is best to have a parenting contract – especially with older children – that makes the homework rules and consequences clear to both parent and child.

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