Children and adults respond well to consistency and structure. We all feel secure when we know what to expect. Setting a firm and consistent homework schedule can eliminate one of the most common battles in the homework wars- arguing about when and where to do it. Setting a consistent schedule ensures that homework will get done by a reasonable hour.
If your child does their homework without constant reminding, allow them to set their own schedule with occasional monitoring from you. Use the following as guidelines as you work to get your child’s homework sessions successfully scheduled:
1. Most children need some time to unwind after school and before settling in to do their homework, but they should not wait until it is so late that they are too tired to complete the work effectively.
2. Children have trouble concentrating when they are hungry. If homework must be done before dinner, offer a snack and a drink to give them energy for thinking.
3. Younger students have a harder time sitting still for extended periods of time. Try short study sessions. For example, practice for two 10-minute sessions rather than one 20-minute session.
4. Each family has its own schedules. Although it will almost certainly be a challenge, try to fit homework in when it will be least disruptive to your family time.
Homework should be a priority and be taken seriously. There is no one best place to fit it in, but once you set a schedule and stick to it, it does get easier. As you become comfortable with this schedule, you can afford to be flexible as the need arises.
Sample Homework Schedule:
3:00-4:00 After school snack and relaxing time
4:00-5:00 Start homework- always start with what is most difficult for the child.
5:00-6:30 Dinner and clean up time
6:30-7:00 Finish leftover homework
7:00-8:00 Free time (play or TV)
8:00-9:00 Winding down and bedtime