It’s that time of year again – back to school and back to homework. And homework drama.
My kids are smart. They don’t struggle in school, we don’t have anything they need to work on to catch up to grade level. They’re good.
So why is homework such a chore? You’d think they’d breeze through it, get it done and move on to play, right?
Not the case.
My oldest and my middle have been known to spend twice as much time avoiding or complaining about homework as it would take to just sit down and do it already. Parenting through these would-be homework tantrums? Exhausting!
So, I rounded up 8 tips for reducing homework drama and after implementing them for the first half of the school year I can say they totally work! We’ve gone from whining and crying and pleading (ok, that was all me), to cooperative, happy and efficient.
What a change!
Top 8 Tips for Reducing Homework Drama
- Start out with something they are good at and enjoy to get their brain working.
- Take a snack break.
- Let them do whatever they feel good about on their own in a separate room and then come ask for help.
- Take an exercise break.
- PATIENCE – find it.
- Create a routine.
- Create a quite place for each child to do homework separately.
- If the drama gets too intense, put it aside until another day.
Homework Drama Solutions in More Depth
I reached out to Facebook for some tips on how to reduce homework drama and turn homework into a positive experience. Here are some of the great insights some of you shared – thank you!
I step back and say work on it for 15 more min and I will come back and look at the things you have questions on.
For my son (he’s 7) he has huge thoughts, but his spelling can’t keep up. So words that he wants to use, I spell for him and put in a notebook so he can use again next time.
I usually emphasize two points: I’m going to be right there with them – not to do it for them but to help them understand concepts; if it gets emotional, we can take a break to regroup. I maintain that approach until there’s a success so they get a boost of accomplishment. If that doesn’t work, teachers have great tips as well, and plus being with your kids most of the day they can see what other tactics work.
…remember that they are just learning what I already know. Losing patience and getting upset with them won’t help them learn or “get it” any faster. It actually causes them to shut down. I just keep going over it until they understand. Everyone learns differently. Some by hearing, some by seeing and some by both methods together. I have learned how each of my children learn and it has helped. We can’t control how fast we learn, understand or master a new task, idea or concept. Just keep cool and try different methods of helping them.
Start with something she likes or is good at. If that’s not in the homework give her 10 minutes to draw, write, do some brain teasers. Anything to help get her brain thinking. Pair it with a healthy snack – something that takes long to eat. We use different colored pens. I’d let her write on the iPad, type it out, use colors. Mine enjoy the change of pace. If you need to turn something in take a pic and email to the teacher. Chances are she may not understand the concept the way the teacher has explained it, try some other ways vs restating what’s written on the paper. If all else fails leave the room, say you are going to check on the laundry and will be back in a few minutes.
She was instructed to do all she could in her room and come out when she could do no more without help. She actually did much better in her room. She didn’t really need that much assistance and without the drama going on things went much faster.
If my boys are frustrated, we take a “brain break” to go outside and play, ride bike. Or we go to the library (which fortunately is just a couple of blocks away) for a change of scenery.
Talk to the teacher – in our school homework is not supposed to be frustrating, if it is we are supposed to contact the teacher so they can help the student understand the homework clearly.
Resist holding the pencil as you work through the problem/concept.
You could try have then do homework one at a time (might not be time for that) It’s supposed to encourage them to finish as they will see their siblings playing.
What tips do you have for reducing homework drama?
Please leave a comment with what works for your family!