Getting Through Homework : 6 Tips

6 Tips For Getting Through Homework*

The last few months had been hell in our house. There was only one cause of it and all four of us could give it a name. Yet, day after day, it just seemed to get worse. We had to come up with a way of getting through homework.

Our school is a late start school, which means the kids don’t get done for the day until almost four o’clock. With two super involved athletes, we are back and forth between some kind of practice or four at least once a day. Most all of their practices begin at 5:30p.m., which does not leave a lot of time for snacks, changing clothes and of course, getting through homework.

I scoured the Internet and talked to several other mom friends and tried several different tactics. These are the six that I used in some form or fashion, often on a rotating basis.

Put It Off

This one actually worked for us for a few days.  With one of my kids, routine gets boring and I often have to mix things up. I allowed the kids to put off homework for the first thirty minutes they were home. While they would grab a snack, relax or change clothes, I would go through their notebooks and figure out what hell  homework laid before us for the evening.

I would also have my hyperactive eight year old go outside and exert some physical activity. Whether it was as simple as running up and down the driveway, if there was is some energy exerted up front, the more focused he was when it came time to getting through homework.

I will go back to using this one again, just not regularly. Often when we chose to put off getting things done, it made it harder not easier to return. Like everything else with kids, proceed with caution and know your children.

Offer A Swap

If there is something that your child is wanting or an activity they love to do, swap out getting through homework for that thing or activity. For my kids it is their electronics. I set pretty strict screen time regulations for each of them, varying by their ages.

If we are struggling to finish a project or power through a math lesson, gaining more or losing all access to electronics has turned out to be a great motivator. The teen never wants to be without her phone and the 8yr old is obsessed with his new wireless headphones.

There are nights I will offer to make a deal with them that if they read for an additional ten or twenty minutes, that same amount of time will be added to their screen time.

Write Out A Schedule

One of my kids is a stickler for the rules. The more detailed I can be about what is expected, the better this particular child responds. On very busy weeks, keeping a family calendar posted on the fridge, lets all of  us know where and what time we need to be somewhere.

Something easy and quick, like this is just fine & gets us through each month.

Set a Timer

There are days that homework can take us over an hour or more. This leaves both me and my kid(s) exhausted, cranky and ready to throw everything against the wall. I found that setting a timer in increments of fifteen minutes or less was a great way to let the kids take a break. For every 15minutes, a five minute break would follow.

During their break, they could run around, get a drink or just rest their eyes. This made focusing more manageable in order to power through math especially. This is also great for helping teach them about time when they are getting to set the timer themselves.

Break It Up Into Bits

There is no greater despair than opening up the homework folder to a stack of papers. I found that on nights where there were large chunks of homework in different subjects, breaking it up worked best for us.

One of my kids is a visual learner, so stacking the piles of homework in separate piles, allowed them to tackle one pile at a time. As each piece of homework was completed, it would be placed back into the homework folder, so they could see the gradual progression of the piles getting smaller.

Give Rewards

When it comes to saving time and not fighting most of the evening, I am not above bribery. Whether it is extra candy, dessert or other fun treats, this one works well, but only sparingly. I only use this one when nothing else seems to be working. I don’t want to set the precedent that doing what is required allows for extra treats, but if you get desperate to fight through third grade math, dump some sugar on the table!

How Are You Getting Through Homework?

Do you have a parenting hack that works for your family? Let me know, because I would love to know how everyone else is getting through homework too!


You may also enjoy:

Making Your Kids Your Hobby

Why Parents Should Stop Telling Themselves To Do Better

A Letter to My Daughter About Her Bad Life Choices

*This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive slight compensation if you buys something, which it comes at no extra expense to you.

Lindsey Andrews
About me

Attorney & Author. Always in search for daily joy.


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