Behavior & Environment

Make Homework Time More Effective and Less Stressful

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We often neglect the importance of environment and routines for our kids, even school aged ones.  If you’ve been struggling to get your kids to do their homework timely, follow these tips to make homework time more effective and less stressful:

1. Make sure their basic needs are met before you start. Before kids can sit down and actually do their homework, they need to be in the right physical, mental and emotional state. Make sure they’ve had a healthy snack if they’re hungry, they’ve had time to emotionally decompress from the stresses of the school day, they’ve had a chance to physically move and get their excess energy out, and if they’re exhausted, they’ve had a short nap to reboot. While all of that probably sounds incredibly hard to get done in the short time you have, especially if you have a busy afternoon schedule, ignoring a child’s needs is bad for the child overall and is asking for challenging behaviors to constantly pop up during homework time.

2. Have a dedicated homework space. Even in the smallest of rooms, you can designate a section of the room for homework. It may be a temporary set-up that you pull out every afternoon, but the important thing is the space has some sort of boundary like a room screen or cardboard divider on the dining room table. A simple google search for creating homework space within a room will turn up some great ideas!

3. Create a way for kids to let you know when they need help. You don’t need to be sitting right next to a child to offer real support and guidance. One tool for silent communication is a hand-made stop light where kids can velcro on the green light meaning everything is good, the yellow light meaning I have a quick question, or the red light meaning I need you here next to me to help me figure this out. This keeps you from having to constantly check in while ensuring when you are needed, you’ll be right there.