Here are a couple of tips for making homework a bit less stressful.
• Setting- Use consistent time and places for homework. Places? Yes, have two or three spots where homework can be done. I use the countertop in the kitchen for a standing desk, the dining room table, and actual desks as places. Homework in my house is done right away, with a snack, after school. Your child may need a break before starting. That is OK, but have this be a routine. T.V. or screens of any type is not an effective break. Snack, a walk outside, dancing, meditation, snuggling or reading with the dog, yoga, etc. Notice that I am suggesting both physically active breaks as well as calming. Do what works for your child. Also, consider scents, and sounds. Light a nice smelling candle, use essential oils, etc. Some children need absolute silence, while others may like some music. Experiment and see what works.
• Break it down – Look at what needs to be done. You alone, or with your child can break homework into smaller chunks. Create a little checklist for each chunk so that the child will feel a sense of accomplishment during the process. Celebrate each step done; a special high five, dance, sticker, whatever works!
• Stay organized. One example of this is using the homework folder. Have everything that needs to be done on one side, then move it to the other side when it is done. This also helps keep everything out of sight so that your child is just focused on the task at hand. When everything is done, put it right in the backpack.
• Other ideas; I also do work while my kids are doing homework; pay bills, answer emails, etc. (I make sure it is a task that can be interrupted) This way we are all in the same mode, and I can help them and keep them company.
• Some kids have homework, while others don’t? I still have everyone do something that is quiet and focused. Even if it is just reading, drawing, etc. This way an active or especially fun activity will not distract the other child. We are a family after all and support each other.
• If you feel your child has an unreasonable amount of homework? Talk to the teachers. Find out the reasons why, and ask that less be given.
• Other ways to help your child? Don’t do the work for your child, but you can definitely help alleviate the stress. Here are some ideas; read the text to your child, help with note taking by discussing what may be important, scribe or type for when appropriate, practice de-stressing strategies before and during homework time, and help organize thoughts before writing. Contact me through my website for other ideas .