Homework can provide a wonderful opportunity to teach students organizational, time management, and problem-solving skills. It can also teach them how to be responsible and to work autonomously. These are all excellent “skills 4 life.”

Even exceptional students who are well organized may have trouble juggling the demands of multiple classes, long-term projects, and extracurricular activities.

Tips to Help Your Child Get Their Homework Done:

  • Make sure your child is getting enough sleep. A good indicator of enough sleep is waking up without an alarm clock. Adequate sleep is essential for optimal functioning.
  • Ensure that there is enough time each day to do homework. Don’t over schedule!
  • Help your child establish a homework routine. If homework can’t be done at the same time each day, help your child make a weekly homework schedule around extracurricular activities. Take into account when your child is best able to complete assignments. Some kids are most effective getting homework done right after school while still in that school mode; others do best having a break between school and homework time.
  • Confirm that your child is using his or her planner effectively. This means recording assignments with adequate details to complete the task, referring to assignments in the planner while doing homework, and checking off completed tasks.
  • Have your child estimate how long each homework assignment will take. This will help develop time management and planning skills.
  • Use a timer. Limiting homework time to 20 to 30-minute intervals can help increase focus and productivity. Follow homework intervals with five-minute breaks. Repeat until homework gets done.
  • Offer to be a resource should your child need help. Rather than giving the answer, ask your child questions to help break down the problem into smaller steps and promote independent problem solving.
  • Encourage your child to proofread and edit his or her work. The capacity to self-monitor and correct work is a great habit to develop!
  • Show interest in your child’s homework and compliment him or her for successfully finishing each day’s assignments.
  • Develop a reward system if your child isn’t intrinsically motivated to complete homework for the sake of learning or getting a good grade.
  • Use the school’s website to check your child’s assignments and grades on a regular basis.
  • Schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher(s) if he or she is having ongoing difficulty with homework assignments.
  • Review graded homework to help your child learn from mistakes. Errors can provide wonderful learning opportunities!

 

Resources:
Dawson, Peg. Homework: A Guide for Parents. Nasponline.org. Retrieved Nov. 3, 2013, from http://www.nasponline.org
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs, Educational Partnerships and Family Involvement Unit, Homework Tips for Parents, Washington, D. C., 2003

About Skills 4 Life:

Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers a broad range of pediatric occupational therapy services to help your child master age-appropriate developmental skills, become more independent, increase academic success & develop confidence. The experts at Skills 4 Life specialize in handwriting, keyboarding & executive function coaching, but also work with children on social & emotional learning, motor skills, self-regulation strategies & activities of daily living. Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers your child a safe, compassionate environment to learn the critical skills they need to be successful. Learn more about our team & services at www.skills4lifeot.com, or you can contact our office by email at karina@skills4lifeot.com or by phone at 303.351.1828 for a free consultation.