For a student’s academic success with homework completion and a struggle free homework session for you and your child, it is suggested to build a structured and clear routine when it comes to homework.  Here is a list of 5 things to do at home with your elementary aged child. 

  1. Location, location, location.  Find a location at home where homework can be done.  This needs to be a space with no distractions. I know at my house this can be a struggle, especially with younger siblings, but the quiet space can help with a student’s focus on their homework tasks. A space that is their own, with minimal distractions, and a place where they can leave study guides, notes, and handouts for future study sessions is ideal. Bedrooms and playrooms are not idyllic due to the number of distractions that may be available to children.  Also, this space should be close to parents who can be available in case help is needed. Happy hunting!
  2. Organized work space. Make sure that your child has all the materials and supplies they need to be successful in their designated area.  If this is a shared area, then have the supplies your child uses for homework in a bin or container. The Dollar Store is a cheap way to organize a work space. A calendar or bulletin board can also help organize a work space.  If you don’t have the space for this or it doesn’t fit the décor of the room, a binder is a perfect way to hold important documents.
  3. Establish a work time and schedule. This may vary depending on your child.  Some children do better when they work immediately after coming home from school.  Their mind is still focused, and they are more successful when completing their assignments.  Some children need a break. Give them 30 minutes of play and a healthy snack time. An hour may be too long to get your child focused back on school work. Keep this schedule daily.  It is best to set a routine to make homework a positive and smooth (as possible) process. Allow breaks as your child needs, but keep the time minimal. A 10 minute break is best to avoid resistance from your child to get them back to their work. However, set boundaries as some children use the break to lose their focus and get distracted. Who can blame them? As a parent, time is very vital in trying to accomplish a long list of to do’s, but depending on the assignment, your child may need assistance.  It is best to be close to their work space to be able to offer assistance if needed. Regularly checking in on your child to offer feedback and positive praise of their hard work will encourage your child’s initiatives.
  4. Positive incentives. Some children need a positive incentive plan in place to accomplish their homework and other housework responsibilities. First, rules and expectations need to be in place. Children need reminders of their daily expectations. This is a great way to incorporate expectations of the classroom and increase the communication between school and home. Positive incentives can be a simple sticker chart, tickets for fun things to do as a family, or Class Dojo.  This cell phone application now offers a home incentive program, similar to what teachers use in the classroom. Goals should be clear. Goals can be daily or weekly, depending on your child and the incentives they would like to earn. If a child struggles with weekly goals, then start with daily goals and progress to weekly goals and incentives while building homework routines.
  5. Place God in the home. Every child is a child of God.  Each child was made with a purpose and God has a plan for every child by providing them with varying gifts and talents.  Every child requires different learning tools and techniques. Homework should not be a struggle, but a way for a child to practice the skills taught throughout the school day and a way to bring communication of what a child is learning at school to the home.  While setting up homework routines pray as a family asking God for patience and guidance for a new routine that will bring the family peace and a positive homework routine. Pray in the beginning of each homework session for God’s will over your child to have a focused heart and a love for school.

I hope that these suggestions help as you begin our homework routines in the beginning of this school year.  God’s richest blessings!