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Tips to Try When Homework is a Struggle

Posted by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 57 Replies
6 moms liked this

Although Kiddo is only in first grade, she has a bit of homework, along with a certain amount of reading to do every night. I'm pretty lucky, as she seems to enjoy it. Knock wood for me everyone, that this keeps up. I know as kids get older, and the homework load increase, sometimes, there can be homework battles. Maybe they are tired after a long day, perhaps they are frustrated when something doesn't come super-easy, who knows why or when a kid may slip into a homework funk...which can then slide into a constant evening struggle. Don't let those woes last for too long - jump in and turn it around with these stellar homework hints.

Look at your own attitude - Maybe you didn't care much for homework when you were in school, but be mindful that this is not about's about your child's relationship with homework. If your child senses you don't place high value on homework, she probably won't either. Try to avoid comments like, "I could never do math, and I turned out fine." or "I always hated book reports." They make more of an impact than you may realize. 

Become a team - Sit down with your kiddo and talk about how to tackle approaching homework (preferably not when she has homework to do). Let her know you are there for her -- not to do the homework for her, but to help her figure out best ways to get into a good groove with those assignments outside of class.

Create a good homework space - A quiet space where she can concentrate is essential, especially when homework woes are creeping up. Have a big calendar where she can keep track of when spelling quizzes occur (every Friday?) and when larger projects are due. Being organized with homework is often a good trick to help her feel less overwhelmed.

Have a routine - It's hard to make time for homework when kids are involved in lots of activities and also want to "chill out." Find a routine that works for your child and agree on it. Enforce it, make it a habit, get into a rhythm. If it becomes a habit, many struggles and excuses about homework can be avoided. Write it on a piece of paper to hang on the fridge so everyone knows what is expected and when.

Remind her of good strategies - Instead of prompting her with a "Oh, you can do it! Try again!!" when she's frustrated, remind her of what worked in the past. Perhaps nudge her with a "When you slowed down, and broke it out step-by-step, you were able to figure it out." or "What did you do last time you were stuck?" 

Hang it up -- List out those homework strategies and mantras ("Look over your work!" or "Plan ahead for projects.") on a dry erase board by her homework area to help when she's in the middle of that reading journal or those math word problems.

Praise efforts, not results - If your child gets an A or a B, that's great, but use language that enforces the hard work and effort she put in. "I'm so proud of you for planning ahead and using your time wisely to get that science project done!" goes a lot farther to solidifying good homework - and life -- skills than "I'm so happy you got an A."

Do your kids struggle with homework? How do you help them through it?


by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 7:34 AM

They do at times.  I just try to work it out with them while not giving them the answers.

by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 8:06 AM

I send my dd to the after school homework/tutor club.

by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 8:25 AM

No, but she's only in 1st grade.

by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Most of the time we don't have any issues. Every once in awhile my son procrastinated with getting it done. I find that having a routine helps.

by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 8:37 AM
Dear son is a senior. He is on a roll. He usually does his during lunch.
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by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

We had one who struggled, and it was horrible. I felt so bad. The teacher he had for 2nd grade wanted it done, no exceptions, despite the homework should take no more than 10 min. per grade rule. 

The rest of the kids are pretty good. My 14 yr old likes to drag his feet. He wants to go play and whatever, they do his homework. Which is a pain! I mean it was one thing during soccer season, but now that that has ended it is a different ball game.  

by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM
My son has only gotten upset once this year so far. But usually he does it either right after school or after karate
by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:58 AM
Ds is in pre-k so no big issues. Although I notice if I wait too long to start his mind wanders.
by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 10:42 AM

So far we haven't had any struggles. Fingers crossed that it continues! :)

by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Yes my son does.The #1 thing we were told was to give him a break a small 15 minute break between papers.It helps and having quiet.

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