HKQ Kids

Getting Ready for Homework

After a few months of all day fun, getting back into a routine of school and homework can be a difficult task for kids. A few positive words of encouragement and the right surroundings can make a big difference.

1. Choose a quiet spot in your home for your kids to study. If you have a few kids, they should each have their own location to avoid arguments and distraction. Get those areas prepared ahead of time.
2. Set a specific time every day when homework will be completed. Have your kids be part of the planning for this.
3. Set “no-texting or social media” rules while doing homework. Make it a technology-free time, except when an assignment calls for it – such as typing a paper, or researching a subject.
4. Make sure your kids have all the necessary materials such as pencils, pens, paper, calculators, etc. Keep them in a box that they can pack back up when they are done for the day.
5. Allow your kids to take a break between assignments if necessary. A ten-minute break can help them to find a new perspective on a problem. Allow them to get up and move around for their break, but make sure they go back to finish their work.
6. Establish clear expectations – such as, everything gets turned in on time, and grades. Set boundaries, and make sure that you are consistent.
7. Use praise. Nothing feels better than being told that you’ve done a great job, no matter what your age is. Intrinsic motivation is about doing things because they make you feel proud, rather than an external reward. Praise them with a reason, such as, you are proud of them for being so organized, timely, proactive, etc.
8. Don’t use bribes. Associating homework with an allowance or a new gift will teach your kids to do something for material gain, rather than internal understanding and gratification.
9. Don’t give attention to poor behavior. If your kids get upset and don’t want to do their homework, simply remind them of what you both agreed upon. Stay calm.
10. Homework is your kids’ responsibility. Of course, a parent wants to help if kids are struggling. Use guidance, but don’t take over the task.
11. Encourage your kids to ask for help while they are in school as well. Don’t assume they will automatically ask their teachers when they have questions.
11. Do your own “homework” at the same time. If you have reading to catch up on, bills to pay, or work you have brought home, do it while your kids are working on their assignments. Model the behavior you’d like to see from your children.

Above all, try to keep the idea and the activity of homework as positive as possible. Positive behavior and a little praise will go a very long way in developing good, strong study habits.