Success in School: Focus on Homework

Many parents wrestle with their children about how to manage homework. How can you help your child focus to make this task less stressful for everyone?

Homework is an extension of classroom learning. It also helps children develop important character traits like persistence, consistency and self-discipline, all of which are critical to sound study habits.

Children’s responsibilities include:

  • Caring about their homework. Tensions can build when parents care more than they do.
  • Keeping a daily calendar or assignment sheet.
  • Completing assigned work on time and to the best of their ability.
  • Making up work missed due to absence.
  • Agreeing on ground rules for neatness, thoroughness, organization and consistency.
  • Talking to parents if there is a problem at school.

Parents can help by doing the following:

  • Work with your children to establish the appropriate time and an organized area stocked with what they need to complete homework.
  • Avoid scheduling extra-curricular activities during set homework times.
  • Set an example by limiting your own distractions (cell phone, radio, TV). Working nearby on tasks like paying bills, preparing dinner or folding laundry lets you provide support as needed.
  • Acknowledge your child’s persistence and accomplishments.
  • Let your children experience the natural consequences of incomplete homework.

Stress and homework need not be synonymous. Understanding responsibilities and establishing boundaries can help both parent and child set—and meet—realistic expectations.