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How do you keep your kids focused while doing homework?

Just looking for ways to keep my 9 yr old focused on doing his homework and wondering if anyone wanted to share any tips they have...

Right now he sits at the kitchen table (with house quiet), but I still catch him daydreaming, playing with his pencil, etc. UGH!


Asked by warrenfamily95 at 12:45 PM on Aug. 14, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (6)
  • mine have a quiet table to do theirs, maybe if he started with his hardest subject and could have a snack after or during it he could stay on task then the easy ones will go fast with less daydreaming ... mine have a time to help them move on, if they can complete the homework before their favorite show (Hanna Montana) they get to watch it otherwise the TV does not come on until they are done... sometimes just a quick run or swim also helps them feel better and ready to work...

    Answer by BlessingsBegin at 12:52 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • That's the best place for it. Kitchen table, house quiet. That's the way we do it and it works the best. And you know what, my boys still drift to daydream land. But I have found if I let them have a hearty snack and good glass of milk or juice right before, they seem to be more alert and less dreamy and fidgety. Oh and we always do homework right after getting home from school, that way after it's done, playtime can last the rest of the day until dinner.

    Answer by mom2BOYZnDad at 12:54 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Ugghhhh no what you mean. My teen is the same way so were my older kids. But older ones almost done with college!!!! There is an end mommy!!!!!!

    Give a break every 15 minutes for five minutes of down time at table. Also I found eating or snacking in break time was more helpful than eating while doing homework.

    Teachers told me to have kids read books with word paragraphs for homework or to review, OUTLOUD not to themselves. That lessens daydreaming and every three paragraphs a few minute breather can be taken>>

    good luck, oh yuck it's almost that time of year again. sigh. two years left for this last child of mine then homework is a choice. College is a gift in our house from schools loans and family help not a right. Bad grades don't keep any of them in college past a year of low grades.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:55 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • My son is 9 and he has the same problems. He goes to after-school care and I like for him to get his engery out there instead of doing homework. When he gets home he does it at the table. Many times I just sit with him until it is done. It is very time consuming but that is what we have found works.

    Answer by robinsi2000 at 1:22 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • The ideas for doing it with some nourishment, doing it soon after getting home, and taking breaks are good ones.

    I would like to underscore something important - homework is better done TOGETHER. Not that you solve the math problems, just that you sit down and ask what kind of math they are working on ... and "oh, how do you solve a problem like that?" etc. ... and settle together on the sofa and you look at the pages of the history book or the science text they are reading.

    If schoolwork is something you show you are interested in, that you want to take the time to share in, then you foster in them an interest in their schoolwork. They look up to you, so if you make it obvious that something is not worth YOUR time or interest, then they will disdain it, too.

    And don't EVER treat schoolwork as a chore; scolding, banishing them to isolation until they're done. Ugh !

    Answer by waldorfmom at 2:02 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • My 9 year old is the same way. I think it's just typical, although I have found that giving him a 30-45 minute "break" after he gets home from school to play bball or run around outside makes it easier for him to settle down for homework.
    As far as doing homework together - my kids teachers this year (3rd and 4th grade) told me NOT to do their homework with them, that it's something they should be able to figure out and do independently, just be available for questions.

    Answer by missanc at 3:06 PM on Aug. 14, 2009