Parents often ask, "How can I make homework less of a chore?"
As young children start Kindergarten or First Grade it’s the first time they have real homework. Very often the children are excited about homework because it makes them feel "grown-up."
Completing homework however, can sometimes cause a family struggle. Your child may not want to do the assigned work, or you may be unsure how to help.
Here are three simple tips to ease homework struggles for young children:
- Create a specific homework "place." It could be a small desk in your child’s room or a table where family is together.
- Make the homework place free of distractions. (No TV’s, loud music, video games, etc.) Make sure there is good light.
- Work with a timer. Initially set the timer for five minutes then take a five minute break. Gradually increase homework time to ten minutes, with a five minute break. Make it a game. Young children love to "beat the clock." (Typical total time for Kindergarten homework should be approximately 10 minutes, for First Grade 15.)
If your child refuses to do their homework, don’t do it for them! Often this is an attempt for more attention from you, or possibly a power struggle. Just calmly say "OK, but you will have to tell your teacher, Mrs. Smith, that you didn’t do your homework," then move on. Let your child face the consequences of dealing with class policy regarding incomplete homework.
The bottom line: Homework is your child’s responsibility, not yours!