School or summer school is done for the day, it’s 5 p.m. and Johnny needs to start his homework for the next day.
“It’s already done!”
“I’ll do it later!”
“Not now, Mom!”
Sound familiar? Many parents have homework battles with their son/daughter that occur on an everyday basis.
Let’s figure out how to make this STOP!
Here’s 4 ideas that you can try with your son/daughter.
1. Create a plan WITH your child
Talk with your child about the type of environment that they should be in when they’re completing their homework. You’ve probably heard them as you “can you do my homework for me?” on more than one occasion, so it’s important to tackle it head on. Make a list together of the rules that should take place and emphasize the importance of creating good habits that will last throughout their entire life. They will take these same rules for doing homework and studying and use them throughout their entire academic career, well into college, and even in the careers they choose. Some ideas include, NO electronics, sitting in a quiet environment with no distractions, focusing on one task at a time, and setting aside a specific amount of time. What’s the best amount of time for your child? A half hour? One hour? An hour and a half? Once you have the plan in place, make sure that YOU are consistent with it on a daily basis with your son/daughter.
2. Provide encouragement
It’s very easy to get in the habit of nagging and sometimes yelling at your child to do their homework. When this happens, most likely they’re not going to want to do it even more! Think back to when you were a child. Instead, try providing positive encouragement and reassurance. Take a couple minutes of your time to check in with them, and say to them at least 2 positive things. Here’s some ideas:
“Look how far you’ve gotten!”
“I can’t believe you just did 10 math problems!”
“Your writing is really improving.”
“What are you working on?”
“Tell me about this project. I’m so interested!”
Remember, you’re one of the biggest influences in their lives. You want to be the positive role model that instills good habits and you also want them to be able to open up to you and communicate their thoughts, concerns, ideas, and problems. Try doing this and see the difference that it makes.
3. Let them make their own choices, and deal with the consequences
There comes a certain point in a student’s academic career, that they need to take full control and responsibility for their homework, studying habits, and choices they make. The truth is, you can’t control everything they do. Sometimes it takes a bad grade for students to realize that they’re not making the best choices. Of course, you want to try to prevent that as much as possible, but you are not making their decisions. If this occurs, step in and ask them,
“What can I do to help you?”
“Do you like the performance/outcome you’re seeing?”
“Let me help you create a plan that’ll help you be successful.”
I know this is hard to go through as a parent, but you need to be their guide and not too controlling. Focus on ways to help improve their behavior.
4. Get outside help
Sometimes students need some assistance that you cannot necessarily provide. It might be beneficial for them to work with some friends, if they can be trusted to do that. Another great resource is for them to either go in early to school or stay after to get help from their teacher. Getting a tutor is a great option for students. We strongly believe here at iAchieve Learning that involving a third party can really benefit students, especially when the tutors are experts in their fields.