Lisa @ School Family writes: Wish there was one, right answer but it all depends on the individual child, the family schedule, and the day-to-day homework load. A couple of things to consider: Does your child need to get out and exercise before he can concentrate? Is he in the right amount of activities, i.e. not starting homework at 8pm? Is he revived after eating dinner, or has he lost steam? Ask your son when he thinks he does his best work. The key is to help your child develop solid homework habits and get the message across that homework cannot be an afterthought. Also, when your child is younger, it’s good to check in on a daily basis and ask them to estimate how long they think the homework will take. Even if they are wrong, they are beginning to learn the skill of time management—so as they get older they can make good decisions about the best time to do their homework. Interested in hearing from other community members on how they manage homework!
arlene writes: This is what works for me. When I pick up my son from school I ask him all the wonderful questions on the way home like how was your day, what was the best thing that happen today and did you have any problems, how did you fix them etc... Then I ask him do you have any homework and how much. In his mind its all about him however in my mind im trying to figure out how much time i need to give him for his homework and what time should i start. Keeping in mind of all of his extra stuff like drums class, martial arts and bible study. I normally give him a snack when we get home and shorthly after that (no more than 1 hour) thats when he starts on his homework and I start cooking dinner. This works best for me because he is in the dinning room and im in the kitchen. We can see each other the whole time and we are both working and if he needs help im right there. But far enough away to give him the space he needs to make it seem like he is doing it all by himself.
deafpenguin53 writes: Can I add a question to this? I'm going to anyway. :)
My 3rd grader's answer when I ask her how her day was is "It was terrible, I hate my teacher." So she always has a negative attitude when she gets home from school. She has a busy schedule mainly because she has therapy twice a week. She always hates doing homework. So if I ask her when she wants to start doing her work she will keep putting it off. She somehow got through last week without doing any Social Studies work. (makes me feel like I failed somehow) But how can I get her to realize that her homework is important for her to be successful in school. Her grades are low and when she gets into her tantrums she starts saying that she doesn't care. How can I turn this around to a more positive thing?
She says she hates her teacher because she's "evil" but her teacher is really just trying to keep her on task and succeed. Her teacher and I communicate a lot about her work and its hard to get my 3rd grader to understand that we all want her to succeed. Help. Please.
Advice from School Family and Our Experts
cmccarthy writes: Dear deafpenguin53
It sounds as if your 3rd grader is overwhelmed by the homework, and defeated before she even starts. Her "task avoidence" strategy could be masking her fear of doing the work. One solution might be to work with a timer. Set the timer for 10 minutes of work, with no interruption, then take a 5 minute break. Keep up the pattern until the homework is complete. By breaking it up into small parts you're helping her be successful, stay focused for a resonable amount of time, and giving her the confidence to complete a task.