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Tips to Try When Homework is a Struggle

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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
Replies (51-57):
by on Nov. 7, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Good for her. That's a tough one. My seventeen year old had a hard time for a couple of months when he went into middle school.

Quoting Miranda1127:

 Mine don't generally struggle. DD has been struggling w/the middle school transition and scheduling time for everything, but she has picked up a good routine that is working pretty well now.

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by on Nov. 7, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Always a good thing to get! Especially with MATH! lol

Quoting Sisteract:


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by on Nov. 13, 2013 at 7:37 PM

I have found that having a fun visual aid can make a big difference. 

by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I agree with much, but my girls, twins, need math tutor. I honestly don't understand this new math or maybe forgot (I got straight A's in math all through college) but sometimes best help is from outside. Strain for kids re parents, and on parents. Clubs, tutors, etc, really helps.  Something worth mentioning is kids often will compare themselves to others (say someone who is whizzing through a class) and get defeatist.. there is really nothing you can say until they work out they are also good. Give them the tools. rest follows.

by on Nov. 15, 2013 at 2:46 PM
1 mom liked this

I have one of mine in this this year. The other doesn't need it.

Quoting goddess99:

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

by on Nov. 15, 2013 at 5:19 PM

 good ideas to use when home schooling :)

by on Mar. 20, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Just what I needed today. My DS7 hates homework and every night is a battle. He has gotten rude and defiant. I know it's because he wants to play video games but no homework no games. Believe it or not he does love playing school at home so I think we'll start playing school and we'll do his homework during that time. Do you think that's a good idea?

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