Four Things To Getting Kids to Do Homework

So your child’s back in school and soon the homework will be coming home.  Many parents struggle with getting their kids to do their homework and some even end up doing it for them.  The first thing to keep in mind is that your child owns the homework, not you.  So what do YOU own? Here are four things that the parent owns in regards to a child’s homework.

THE SUPPLIES
Work with your child in coming up with a list of the supplies he feels he’ll need.  Allow him to carry the hand basket and make the supplies selection in the store, with your guidance of course.  Help give him even more ownership by allowing him to carry the money and make the final purchase at the register.

THE LOCATION
Allow your child to help you determine where the homework will be done on a daily basis and have her help you set up this special location.  You want to be sure that the lighting is appropriate, seating is comfortable, and distractions are minimal.  Don’t be afraid to mark it officially with a banner or sign that reads, “The Homework Center.”  This adds to the reverence of the space.

THE SCHEDULE
Work with your child on when it will begin and for how long.  Sometimes allowing a 30 – 60 minute play or snack period before the homework allows them to wind down and get in the frame of mind for learning.  Take the time to set up consequences together on what will happen if she doesn’t stick to the schedule.

LIMITING DISTRACTIONS
Establish a house rule that bans the use of iPods, computers, televisions, cell phones, and video games during the time window set aside for homework… even if there is no homework that day.  That’s right… you read the previous sentence correctly.  Even if there is no homework, there should not be any entertainment electronics during the window established for homework, Monday through Thursday.  If you don’t create this limitation, what’s to stop a child from declaring he has no homework because the assignment is difficult and that new video game is calling him to come play?  Have you ever had the experience of your child suddenly announcing a late night homework assignment that she mysteriously forgot she had?

Remember, our children’s homework belongs to them, not us.  If you want your child or teen to do well in school, then start out the year right by helping them OWN their homework. Our job is to create an environment that is conducive for them to get it done and to provide guidance or help when necessary.  It's similar to good leadership. A good leader doesn't punish the average employee or do the work for them. Instead, they help them by clearing barriers that keep them from getting the work done.

As you implement this new process, you might encounter some difficulty. Email me at bill@cooperativekids.com so I can assist you. I want to hear from you and thanks for reading.

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