Tips to help eliminate homework hassles | Parent Pointers

Peter Youngs and daughter, Annaliese.  - Contributed
Peter Youngs and daughter, Annaliese.
— image credit: Contributed

Do your children consistently make excuses for not doing their homework? Is your peaceful family time cut short by a homework tug-of-war? If so, you are not alone.

Many parents often lack the skills to effectively deal with this conflict and motivate their children to do their homework. Fortunately, these skills are not difficult to learn.

According to Dr. Mary Mokris, education specialist at Kumon Math and Reading Centers, there are seven motivation skills that parents can learn that will make homework time easier:

1. Set up a proper study area: a place that is quiet, well lit and free from distractions.

2. Institute a daily homework time, preferably at the same time each day — if possible, before or right after dinner. Children need a solid eight to nine hours of sleep daily.

3. Encourage children to do homework on their own. Read directions together, provide examples and help organize — but help with the assignment only after the child attempts it on his or her own.

4. Praise, praise, praise your child. Praise effort, not perfection. Tell your children the things you like about what they are doing, or have done. For children to succeed, parents must send a message that they have confidence in them.

5. Choose an incentive that the child will appreciate, such as stickers, a certificate, a special treat or one-on-one time with parents.

6. Communicate assertively and tell your children that you expect them to do their homework. Repeat your expectations in a clear, firm voice. Let them know there are consequences — including failing grades — for not completing homework. Consider taking away privileges like television or computer time if they do not comply.

7. Form a partnership between parent and teacher with open communication between home and school.

Through setting goals, positive parenting and effective communication, parents can help motivate their children to take homework seriously, develop skills, and benefit from the discipline that homework provides, such as hard work, perseverance and the confidence to overcome challenges.

Peter Youngs is an instructor for Kumon of Kirkland, located at 385 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland. For more information, visit www.kumon.com or call 206-380-1663.


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