Parent Tips on Ending Homework Hassle

Lemi-Ola Erinkitola
Author, Award-winning Educator
The Critical Thinking Child LLC
www.thecriticalthinkingchild.com
Average: 3.5 (17 votes)

I recommend taking the stress away from homework. As a parent, you fill the role of monitor and motivator with the 3 strategies below:

Blur the lines between learning and playing

So often young learners are restricted from “play time” until they successfully complete their homework. Essentially, they are told they are not allowed to have fun until they finish learning. It’s no wonder so many students are resistant!

Instead of holding fun over your child’s head as a motivator, reinforce the idea that learning is fun. Not only that, but it’s a part of everyday experiences. While homework may be a more formal version of learning, each game they play, every curiosity they satisfy, also teaches them.

Remind your child of this by integrating fun, learning activities into their routine and allowing homework to be a part of that.

 

Ask open-ended questions

It can be tempting to take on your child’s homework as your own burden, but it’s important to resist the urge. Instead of hovering over them, act as a facilitator. If they begin to struggle, ask open-ended questions that prompt them to think for themselves, instead of fishing for answers.

Questions such as, “How can you think about this in a different way?” or “What part of this problem is hard for you?” will teach your child to verbalize their difficulties while also approaching them from new angles. As an added bonus, when you monitor your child in this way you become less of a disciplinarian and more of a motivator. They can look to you for advice, but ultimately they are responsible for their own learning.

 

Incorporate breaks

Most young children have short attention spans, and when they become frustrated their ability to problem solve is greatly reduced.

Give your child 15 – 30 minutes to work on their homework in earnest, then break it up with an activity that requires some amount of movement or shift in thinking. Once they’ve had 10 – 20 minutes away from their assignment, encourage them to return to it. This will allow them to approach it with a fresh mind.

As your child gets older they may be able to work uninterrupted for longer periods of time. Be mindful of them as they work, and if they seem to be overly stressed or anxious, remind them to step back.

Comments

Nikkida Hart (not verified) | Tue, 01/30/2018 - 20:43 |
Very helpful

Very helpful

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Ruchi (not verified) | Wed, 01/31/2018 - 07:22 |
Excellent article with

Excellent article with strategies to keep learning fun

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Sid Singh (not verified) | Wed, 01/31/2018 - 07:25 |
Awesome ideas. Getting my 6

Awesome ideas. Getting my 6 year old to focus is hard and incorporating these ideas will keep my frustration level down, making it a better experience for all.

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Avni (not verified) | Wed, 01/31/2018 - 07:26 |
The article is spot on. These

The article is spot on. These have worked with my daughter. :)

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Kristal Scott-J... (not verified) | Wed, 01/31/2018 - 08:31 |
Thank you

Thank you Ms. Lemi for this article I will share it with other parents and educators, so they may share with their parents.

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