Most likely, your child has suffered from homework overload at one point or another in their school career. Regardless of how you feel about homework in general, dealing with homework overload is never fun. Here are some tips that you can follow to help deal with your child’s homework when you think it has gotten out of hand.
Talk to your child’s teacher or teachers at the beginning of the school year. Find out from the teachers how much time they expect your child to spend working on homework each night; this will help you get a handle of how much time needs to be set aside each night. Monitor how much time your child is spending on homework each night; if they are consistently spending more than what the teacher originally had in mind you need to go talk to the teacher again. This time you will need to talk to the teacher about possible solutions to help your child reduce the amount of time spent on homework. For example, getting a tutor if your child needs additional help with the subject or requesting that your child sit in the front of the class so that they can focus better in class.
Put your multitasking skills to work. For example when your child is doing homework, have them sit at the kitchen table so that you can help them when they need help, even if you are cooking dinner. Having them in the same room will also help show them that you are interested in what kind of work they are doing and that you are willing to do what it takes to support them. If you have more than one child you will need to decide if having them all in the same room is going to work well or if you will need to split them up throughout the house.
Develop a homework routine for your child to follow. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the homework area for your child should have a positive atmosphere, but it should also be free of clutter and distractions, which includes the television. Not to mention that having a set homework routine will also help reduce the complaining and late night rushes that you face. It can even help lessen the amount of procrastination you face with your child. What you need to do is pick a time that works best for you and your child and then stick to it. Keep in mind that some after-school programs offer supervised homework time. If this is the case for your child, set up a schedule that allows you to review their homework with them at home.
Give your child a calendar to use to help them organize when their assignments are going to be due. Have them mark on the calendar when the project is due, so that they can see how long they have to work on it before it must be finished. Teach them about managing their time so that they are not doing the entire project at the last minute. Have them create an outline that will cover what will be done each night for their project until it is due.
No matter how tempting it is to do the assignment for them, you need to resist that temptation. If you do the work for them, you are only sending them the message that they are not capable enough to do it or that it is o.k. for other people to do the work while you claim the credit. Instead, help them pick out topics for their assignments that they are interested in, such as a report on skateboarding or how movies are made.
Teach them to maximize their schoolwork time, so that they can have less work to do at home later. For kids this means that they get to spend more time playing with friends because they are done with their work. However, it also teaches them that if they goof off during the school day they won’t get to play with friends because they will be using that time to do their homework. Once their homework is complete, give them a reward, which will teach them that work is first and then playtime comes.