It’s big, bad, and ugly. It lurks in backpacks and weighs heavy on everyone’s shoulders. It tears families apart. Despite all this, dogs love it (or at least we think they do). Can you guess what it is?
We’re talking about homework. Sometimes, the mere mention of this eight-letter word is enough to cause a conflict. Although it’s assigned to children, homework can quickly become a family activity with all the frustration of Monopoly and none of the fun.
If you’re tired of fighting the homework battle, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our top tips to maintain strong relationships with your kids while helping them get their homework done.
Check out our comprehensive homework checklist to keep you and the kids on top of homework!
Join the Circus!
We’ve seen an influx of parents in tears because of homework this past year. If that includes you, you’re not alone. We know how stressful it can be trying to juggle all your parenting responsibilities while balancing your own work and your child’s homework. It feels like one elaborate circus act—but before you go swinging on that trapeze, allow us to put a safety net under you.
When we say ‘join the circus’, we want you to make sure the circus (homework time) visits your house every night. It sounds simple, but scheduling a dedicated time for homework can relieve all kinds of anxiety. Students in middle school and high school often have some sort of homework every night, so it’s important to carve out a time slot for it. This is the most important part of our homework checklist!
If you make homework a routine, it won’t pile up and become the evil creature you know it to be. As little as one hour a day is enough to build good habits and keep the homework monstrosity at bay. Having a hard time including homework in the schedule? Check out these three easy ways to make time for homework.
Even if your kids don’t have homework, make sure they stick to the routine. Skipping one day leads to skipping other days, and then it’s no longer a routine. Homework time is a great opportunity to review notes or study ahead, so stay with it. If your kids know when it’s homework time, they can’t fight back when you ask them to do their homework. This is a huge part of maintaining a healthy relationship.
Getting homework done during the week frees up time for leisure activities on the weekend, and that makes everyone happy. If everyone’s happy, you won’t get on each other’s nerves, and that keeps everyone from running away to join the circus. It all starts with homework!
Let Your Kids Do Their Homework
We all want the best for our kids, and it can be tough to keep our hands out of what they’re doing. If your child is stressing over their homework, completing it for them can be tempting. Don’t feel guilty if that sounds familiar—we’ve all been there!
As a parent, it’s your job to be a parent. That can mean a ton of different things, but it shouldn’t mean homework-doer. You’ve already been to school, and you don’t have to go through it again.
It’s important to offer your child support with their homework, but it shouldn’t become a personal battle between you and the homework. If it does, you risk creating a battle between you and your kid. Nobody wants that!
Even if you know exactly how to complete the homework, take a step back and let your kid do it themselves. Finishing your child’s homework will help them get a good grade on that assignment, but it will hurt them in the long run. They might become overdependent on you or develop a lack of confidence when it comes to more difficult tasks in the future.
We encourage you to offer emotional support and guidance whenever you can, but getting directly involved with homework can be a bad thing. Let your child know you’re always there for them, and give them the strength to tackle their homework themselves. They’ll thank you for it later!
Homework and Fighting are Two Different Things… Let’s Keep it that Way!
Welcome to Wednesday Night Homework Brawl! Fighting out of the blue corner, with a record of zero wins, five losses, and three crying fits, we have Mom and Dad! And, fighting out of the red corner, with a record of zero wins, five losses, and a week without video games, it’s the homework-hater!
All jokes aside, homework is capable of instigating many family conflicts. Some kids simply refuse to do it, and this can leave parents at a loss. So, what’s the best way to handle a kid who’s unwilling to do their homework?
Be Your Child’s Personal Cheerleader
If a student is avoiding their homework, it’s often because they don’t see the point of doing it. They might fail to understand how it could help them, so they decide it’s a waste of time.
If your child has motivation issues, this is a great time to flex your parenting muscles. Take the spotlight away from the homework itself, and focus on your child. Have discussions about what they’re interested in, and help them discover what they truly want to do in the future. Get them excited about success, and guide them on the path toward following their dreams.
Once they have an end goal in mind, it’ll be easier to introduce the concept of homework. If they can see the direct correlation between completing their homework and becoming a mechanic/biologist/musician/journalist/video game designer, they’ll have no reason to see homework as a cause for war.
Helping your child find their passion will give your relationship a massive boost as well. When you take an interest in what your kid is interested in, they’ll become more willing to open up and share what’s happening in their life.
When You Check for Monsters Under the Bed, Check for Homework Too
Homework can be downright intimidating. School isn’t easy, and students are bound to struggle at one point or another. Some kids ignore their homework because they don’t know how to do it, and others hide it or pretend it doesn’t exist for fear of doing it wrong.
While fear can make homework seem impossible, it can be overcome. If your child is avoiding their homework, have a chat to find out why. Not every kid is comfortable having this talk, so here are the five things kids want you to know about homework. They might feel like they’re missing something or weren’t taught the skills required to do the work. If this is the case, it’s time to contact the teacher.
Your child’s teacher can provide a list of what was covered in class and what is needed to complete the homework. If your child is missing anything, this can help them get caught up. Many teachers also offer extra time for in-school support, so it’s worth inquiring to see if your kid could take advantage of that time.
When you help your child overcome their fear of homework, you’re constructing a relationship based on trust. Your child will have faith that they can rely on your support, and they’ll be more comfortable building on your relationship. That means less fighting and more loving.
When All Else Fails, Call the Professionals
You’ve tried everything—the big guns, the little guns, bribery, persuasion, coercion—but homework is still a war you can’t win. In this case, it’s time to call in reinforcements.
Tutoring is the best way to ensure you’ll win the homework battle once and for all. When your child works with a tutor, they’ll gain the confidence they need to tackle their homework with authority. It’ll no longer feel like a chore, and you won’t have to nag them to get it done.
Hiring a tutor allows you to step out of the teacher role and focus on being a parent. A parent-child relationship and a teacher-student relationship are two different things, and blending the two is sometimes enough to get the homework battle started. Your tutor will put the homework battle to an end by giving you the opportunity to be the best parent you can be.
Once you’re off the front lines in the fight against homework, you’ll have all kinds of free time to do the things you love to do. When it’s tutoring time, you could go for a walk, take a bath, work on a hobby, catch up with your friends, or just enjoy the peace and quiet. A tutor can save your sanity!
We’re always here for you, and we have an enthusiastic team of twisted tutors who would love to work with your child. The homework battle can be won—don’t be afraid to use us as your secret weapon! If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, feel free to contact us. You’ll be glad you did!