The school year hits like a thunderstorm, and that means more activities, more commitments, more chaos, and more dreaded homework. If your family doesn’t have time for homework or if the Homework Battle is a common phenomenon in your household, you’re not alone.
Kids have all sorts of excuses for not handing in homework, but parents have excuses too. While we’re too sophisticated to blame the dog, there are numerous adult excuses we use to explain why our kids aren’t getting their homework done:
- “Homework is a constant battle in our household.”
- “I’m just too tired to do homework.”
- “Our schedule is too busy to fit homework in.”
- “Every time we do homework, our relationship suffers.”
- “I can’t help because I don’t know how to do math.”
- “I wasn’t good at this so my child isn’t either.”
- “As long as the grades are okay, homework doesn’t matter.”
- “I didn’t know there was homework.”
Do any of those statements sound like you? If you have said or thought any of those statements above, we need to talk…
Listen, we get it. Finding the time, energy, and willpower to complete homework is a challenge. It can be harder on the parents than it is on the kids! But our current school system relies on homework to help teach and reinforce lessons. Kids who are skipping homework are missing the opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills.
To make things worse, our school system builds new lessons based on previous lessons. This is particularly true in subjects like Math, English, and high school Sciences, where missing the skills from one lesson can make it near impossible to understand future lessons.
That means it’s our job, as parents, to ensure the homework lessons are getting done. We need to find the time to support and encourage our kids with their homework and help them develop the skills needed to succeed in life.
Fortunately, we can help you find the time to take on homework. Let’s talk about 3 ways families can find the time needed to tackle homework once and for all.
1. Add Homework Into Your Daily Routine
One of the easiest and most effective ways to find time for homework is to schedule it in. Put the exact time into your calendar every day and then follow through with it. Once you block the time off in your calendar, don’t accommodate other plans or modify the schedule.
Many families find that the first hour after school or work makes the most sense for homework because nobody is too tired yet. But if there’s another time that works better for your family, choose that instead.
It’s important to keep this scheduled homework time no matter what. Doing so ensures your family can build up a routine that includes daily homework. If your kid doesn’t have homework that day, the hour is used to review and study instead.
The ultimate goal is to schedule the time for homework so that it’s the priority during that time. No dinner, no TV, no extracurriculars. Just focused homework. When you make something a priority, you create the time for it.
2. Learn About Homework Help Options
Did you know that most teachers provide time for homework help? The vast majority of kids don’t take advantage of it because it’s usually scheduled during lunchtime or after school, once or twice a week. This resource becomes invaluable if your kid is struggling with a particular lesson and needs one-on-one guidance.
Unfortunately, most kids won’t take the initiative to go themselves unless they are encouraged to do so. That’s where a three-step strategy comes into play:
Step 1: Find Out About Homework Help Options
The first step is to find out what homework help options are available for each subject your kid is participating in. Find out the exact time, days, and location. In some cases, several teachers will work together and take turns offering help one day per week. If your kid doesn’t know the options or says there aren’t any, email or phone the teacher to confirm.
Step 2: Don’t Double-book the Time
The next step is to ensure your kid is available during that time. Keep your schedule open during the time for homework help, and make sure your kid is able to attend. Mark it on the calendar so it doesn’t get scheduled over.
Step 3: Encourage Attendance
As soon as your kid starts to struggle, you initiate the final step. Step three is getting your kid to attend that homework help session and ask for the help they need. You may need to try a few different strategies to make this work. Some kids are internally motivated and will want to go on there own. Some kids need external motivation in the form of a reward. As incentive to attend homework help, you can experiment with small gifts, an ice cream treat, or extra video game time. Do what you need to do to get your kid to participate!
3. Hire a Tutor to Free Up Your Time
You might have seen this one coming from us, but it’s for a good reason! One of the top reasons parents work with Tutoring…With A Twist* is to support their kids with homework when they don’t have the time, energy, or knowledge to do so themselves.
When you hire one of our tutors, you can leave your kid in our hands and then do something else during the session time. Many parents use this time to get groceries, run errands, or otherwise shorten their “to do” list. If they’re all caught up on those activities, parents can take time for themselves to read a book in a quiet corner, grab a well-deserved a coffee, or go for a peaceful walk.
By hiring a tutor, parents help ensure their kids have the knowledge they need to complete their homework without sacrificing much time. Tutoring reduces the time you need to spend on homework and eases the burden of learning and teaching subjects you don’t know well. As a result, tutoring also makes the scheduled homework time from tip #1 a lot easier on everyone!
At the end of the day, homework is important. But it’s also hard! Hiring a tutor to make homework a lot easier is a smart way to take care of your kid’s needs without sacrificing too much of your own time.
*Services provided by With a Twist Education Ltd.