"My Child Won't Do Homework!" - Expert Roundup

Does your child give you trouble at homework time?

Homework avoidance, tantrums, procrastination, headaches, stomach aches, and various other tactics are all too familiar to parents. These may indicate a deeper problem.

We've polled top experts for their solutions. Click the stars to rate your favorites.

Have your own tip you'd like to share? Post it here.


If your child is rebelling at homework time take this online analysis and find out why.


Tips From The Experts - Rate Your Favorites!


Displaying 1 - 35 of 35

Contributor: LaTishia L. Jordan

Company: Stepping Stones Tutoring Center

One of the main reasons why kids throw tantrums at home when it is time to do homework is because they have a hard time focusing while at home. When kids are in school they have a very structured schedule that they must follow however at home they are not only in a comfortable more relaxed environment, one that they do not view as a place to do homework. So how do you prevent the resistance to homework or deal with it when it happens? First, the home must be made into a place conducive to learning and studying.

 

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Contributor: Crystal Henry

As a parent, I think one of the biggest challenges with school, in general, is to keep our focus on the long game. Why is it important that they do their homework in the grand scheme of their lives? We know in the short term they need to do it because they need to keep their grades up. But the biggest thing that helped me keep my patience when faced with homework resistance was to realize that their homework isn’t about me.

 

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Contributor: Dr. Colleen Carroll

Company: Innovative Reading

Much of the time homework tantrums stem from kids wanting to be on screens rather than doing homework. Plus screen time causes lack of focus and shortened attention span needed to accomplish homework tasks. 

 

 

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Contributor: Erica M. Wollerman, PsyD

Contributor title: Psychologist

Company: Erica Wollerman, PsyD

My name is Dr. Erica Wollerman and I am a licensed psychologist in San Diego, CA. I work quite often with children and teens who struggle with homework completion. Often I give the following strategies and tips to their parents:

 

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Contributor: Dr. Emily Levy

Company: EBL Coaching

A new school year has officially started and with it comes many fresh starts: new classrooms, new teachers, new books, and perhaps even new friends. Some students, however, carry with them old habits of losing papers, forgetting important books, and neglecting to turn in their work. Help your child create a stronger back-to-school routine and avoid these organizational woes with the ideas detailed below.

 

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Contributor: Jim Flannery

Company: Flantascience

I would suggest being supportive of and encouraging of your child's wishes to not do homework rather than re-enforcing the coercive maneuvering of their school system to force them to do things they don't want.  With regards to homework specifically, researcher Alfie Kohn has shown that there's never been a single study performed proving the effectiveness of homework in improving learning.  We've simply assumed it's good for the child and we are forcing them.

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Contributor: Shane Warren

Some of the secrets I encourage with this issue are:

1. Make it a habit, so yes this is about building a routine, but if you create a family habit around when homework is done you will take some of the angst and emotion out of the situation because well it will just happen (to some extent).

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Contributor: Maria Cardenas

Company: Fusion Academy Miami

Homework can be very stressful for both parents and students. The stress of having additional school work after the school day has come to an end can hinder a child’s abilities, disabling them from fully enjoying their academic life. At Fusion Academy, it is vital for us to create a relaxing, stress-free atmosphere where students can complete assignments with teacher assistance. We believe that homework should say in school, improving the quality of family time and as a result, nurture a love for education in each student.

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Contributor: Alina Adams

Company: NYC School Secrets

When my son was in 3rd grade, homework was a nightmare. Assignments that were supposed to take 20 minutes took up to three hours, as he complained that it was too hard, he didn't understand it, he couldn't do it, it made no sense, and on and on... He raged, he threw books, he crumpled up his blank papers and cried.

 

 

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Contributor: Holly Klaassen

These are some I’ve used with my own kids (11 and 14) and that I recommend to other parents:

 

Some kids are simply too tired and out of resources by the end of the day; especially very young kids. In these cases - especially if you have an early riser - try moving homework time to the morning. You’ll likely experience much less resistance since your child will have lots of emotional and physical resources to rely on.

 

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Contributor: Dr. Fran Walfish

Too many parents are trapped in a war with their youngsters over doing homework.  Below are the 5 tips for parents to get kids to do their homework.  If these do not do the trick, it’s best to hire a Homework Helper, a high school or college age young adult with good energy who can sit with your child and support him through homework rather than you.  There are so many tasks parents need to enforce that create an environment ripe for battle.  Let’s pull Mom and Dad out of the homework equation. 

 

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Contributor: Nancy K Gretzinger, EdD

Company: Healthy ON

Homework needs to be a routine and considered an extension of school learning.

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Contributor: JoAnn Crohn

Contributor title: CEO, Whimsicle

Use these 10 strategies to stop the homework hassle.  

 

AGREE ON THE TERMS

 

Kids crave routine and are able to better manage their emotions when they can easily predict the next activity.  Same with homework. In addition to your usual back to school routine, ask your child the following questions and come to a mutual agreement.

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Contributor: Katya Seberson

Company: EXECUTIVEMIND

 

Here is what I can say about reducing resistance to homework.

It's important to realize that kids and adults resist homework, not because they are "bad" people and don't have a strong character, but because homework is hard. Kids don't often acknowledge it, and instead, they may say that "I hate homework!" or " Homeworking is boring!" or "School S*cks!"

 

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Contributor: Robin Glassey

Company: Robin Glassey author

There are a few things I’ve learned to take into consideration when it comes to homework time and why the tantrum is happening. 

 

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Contributor: Dr. Claudia Luiz

WHY IS YOUR CHILD MAKING THIS DIFFICULT?

Johnny was a good boy, but would rather be outside playing than doing homework.  He would push the limits as far as he could, sometimes winning when his mother didn’t have the energy to re-direct him.  But that’s exactly what he needed: guidance, boundaries and a re-direct.

 

 

Justin though, would up the ante as far as he could when it came to homework, throwing major tantrums at every opportunity.  The more his parents tried to guide and direct him, the worse he got.  This is because he was in fight-or-flight.

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Contributor: Dr. Kimberly Williams

Homework avoidance occurs for numerous reasons. When working with parents, I first take the detailed history to understand the multiple and overlapping reasons for the difficulties.

 

Often the primary reason for homework struggles is an underlying learning disability. I need to know if the child's learning disability has been identified, acknowledged, understood and addressed by school team and parents. A learning disability will make a difference in how you provide homework help.

 

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Contributor: Johnna A. Ithier

Company: JohnnaIthierSpeakLife

Good morning, I am a special education teacher and parent of two and have dealt with homework avoidance both at home and at a school. As a parent:

 

1.Find a time that works best for your child. My daughter will come home with her homework, and then have the rest of the night for herself. My, son needs a break 1st.

 

2. Set a routine and recognize it may take a while for routines to be set.

 

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Contributor: Kathy Fray

My personal philosophy is that 4-6-year-olds should never have homework - hell no, I abhor it! I just wanted my kids to be KIDS, with plenty of time to muck around and completely waste time ... going to the creek, skateboarding, riding their bike, dancing, sport, music - any physical activity is better than Homework at that age, I believe.

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Contributor: Lisa Bahar, LMFT, LPCC

Company: Lisa Bahar Marriage and Family Therapy, Inc

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist and a licensed professional clinical counselor on self-motivation and willingness.  

The first part is to identify the willfulness to resist doing the homework.  This is important since you cannot change something you are unable to observe.  

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Contributor: Zoie Hoffman

Company: Zoie Hoffman Tutoring

When a child or adult has homework resistance I would suggest the following things:

 

1. Avoiding homework can be a sign that there is a bigger issue. If you see your child struggling and/or avoiding homework you may want to consider getting them tested for a learning disability.

 

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Contributor: Kanesha Baynard

Company: Bold Living Today (Kanesha Baynard Coaching, LLC)

1.  Set up an inviting homework space/station in your home. It doesn't have to be permanent station if your home is small. Be creative and have a table/desk, cushion/beanbag, and all homework supplies available.

 

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Contributor: Steve Sonntag

Contributor title: Semi-retired Teacher and a Semi-retired Tutor

Here are some strategies, that can be used to overcome the avoidance and emotional issues when it comes to homework. First and foremost, parents need to listen to their young adults. By doing so, parents can determine what is going on. In turn, if parents know the material, that is a bonus that can help their young adults. The parents can determine what their young adults do understand and what they need help with.

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Contributor: Lemi-Ola Erinkitola

Contributor title: Author, Award-winning Educator

Company: The Critical Thinking Child LLC

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

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Contributor: Carole Lieberman M.D.

Contributor title: America’s Psychiatrist

Company: Dr. Carole

The most common way that children (and adults) resist doing homework is by watching television, fiddling on the computer or playing video games. These can all be addicting once you get started. The trick is not to start. This may mean unplugging or hiding these time-wasters before the child gets home.

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Contributor: Jennifer Cooper, Ph.D.

Company: Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia

For students who struggle, homework can be a daunting task for child and parent alike. Few of us like to engage in tasks that are extremely difficult for long periods or have the tenacity to do so, but for a child who has a learning disability, that can be exactly what homework requires. There are strategies to make the process of homework a more positive experience.

 

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Contributor: Ari S. Yares, Ph.D., NCSP

Company: DC Public Schools

With homework tantrums, you must try to see if the problem with the homework is the match of the assignment to the child's ability and skills. Often times, a child is frustrated with the assignment because they don't fully understand the directions. The child should often be instructed to have them repeat back what they think they are supposed to do and the instructions must read through with them. If the assignment is within their reach, but they've still got some resistance to it, there should be a modification to the assignment at home (e.g.

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Contributor: Christian Schomaker

I have found two unique techniques useful.

 

The first is respect. When stressing the importance of homework, parents often communicate in a manner that lacks respect.

 

The other technique is to communicate in a manner that makes an emotional validation of the student's position.

 

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Contributor: Julia Cook

Below are some tips to put strategies to work to AVOID AVOIDANCE and PROCRASTINATION. 

 

1.     Prioritize work before play.

 

2.     Develop a priority hierarchy.

 

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Contributor: Michael Levitt

Contributor title: Chief Executive Officer

Company: BreakfastLeadership.com

Too often, parents sit down with their children after dinner, to assist with the homework needs.  After a big (or not-so-big) meal, our bodies are using energy to break down our meal, so using our brains to work on school tasks is a tough ask.

 

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Contributor: Bethany Todd

Company: e.Merging Education Consulting

Research suggests that homework might not be as beneficial as we once thought, especially for struggling learners. For them, homework time can affect their confidence and cause more problems than help. Meeting with a child's teacher is the best place to start. Consider asking the teacher about the purpose of the homework, discuss your child's behavior at home during homework time, and advocate for differentiated work.

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Contributor: Hasan Ali

Company: Air Tutors

One way a parent can help ameliorate homework anxiety is by bringing a tutor to help the student. I have about 12 years of tutoring experience and I find that a parent can talk to the student regarding homework completion, but the student will have a completely adverse reaction which increases the stress in the family. However, if I say the same exact thing the parent said to the student, the student will be far more receptive towards completing the homework assignment and academia in general.

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Contributor: AJ Saleem

Contributor title: Academic Director

Company: Suprex Tutors Houston

The best strategy I have is something called positive reinforcement. Every time they do homework, you award them with a small treat. This allows you to encourage them to work on homework without resistance and treat it as something good.

 

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Contributor: Brooke Fallek

Contributor title: Assistant Account Executive

Company: ASTRSK PR

I wanted to introduce you to a new suite of French apps launching today in the U.S., U.K., and Canada called Xooloo. Xooloo was created to help parents teach their kids about every age responsibility with tech while still empowering them to be STEM stars of the future!

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Contributor: Roger J. Willard

Company: Willard Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a great tool to help students succeed. Resistance is many times caused by a poor performance which makes them just want to give up. There are several approaches to this with hypnosis.

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