Homework Headaches? 6 Tips for Parents of Young Children

Few children are predisposed to diving into homework with enthusiasm. Most have to be taught the discipline and sense of duty required to stay on task and get the often boring work done on time. Teachers can only do so much. When it comes to instilling good school habits at home, parents must play an active, hands-on role. Some children take to it better than others, but in any case, good parents stay informed of their children’s homework activities and provide whatever pressure is needed to make sure it gets done.

kelli parents Homework Headaches? 6 Tips for Parents of Young Children 1. Get organized: Create a system in your household for keeping track of all homework. There are a few ways to do this, but perhaps the best option is to have a homework notepad in a common area of your house such as the kitchen. When your child gets home from school, have him or her write all the day’s homework tasks. Later, cross them off when they’re completed. Or, if you think your child has the discipline, have him or her bring a special notepad to school to write down all homework assignments as they are given.

2. Use big-picture rewards: If you reward your child for every homework task completed or for each successful day of homework, this will send the message that homework is not a valuable activity in itself. So instead of giving many short-term rewards, reward your child for good grades at the end of the term.

3. Make it a family activity: Set a time every evening for each member of the household to settle down with some quiet, studious activity. (If one parent has other things to do, it is fine if only one parent is there.) Make sure the study area is without distractions, and settle down with a book or something of your own to study. Another benefit of this family study time is that you are immediately available if your child needs homework help.

4. Cultivate self-discipline: Early in your child’s homework life, you might have to take a heavier hand in getting him or her to sit down quietly and perform the work. As your child grows, however, try to back off a little bit. Instead of constantly reminding your child that homework time is approaching or that there are still homework tasks on the table, wait to see if he or she takes the initiative. If it does not seem like this is going to happen, then you can step in and exert parental authority.

5. Divide subjects: If you and your spouse are both available for homework help, divide up your child’s subjects. This way, you can each have your areas of expertise, and the help you provide will be better informed. If this is your strategy, make sure your child’s homework time occurs when both parents are usually available.

6. Know when to seek help: Parents cannot know everything, and there is a good chance you have forgotten much of what you learned during your own school days. If your child is struggling with a subject and you don’t feel you are qualified to provide the help he or she needs, be aware that there are plenty of options. Start by talking to your child’s teacher and school officials to see if there are any tutoring options available through the school. If not, you should be able to find many private tutoring services, plus many individuals willing to help. And you can always ask friends and family members who have expertise in relevant areas.


Guest article from Lisa Pecos who is a wife and well accomplished writer on natural remedies and natural approaches to family health. She’s written numerous articles for Natural Health Journals.com, Parenting Journals.com and Baby Care Journals.com.

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About Kelli Miller

My husband (Ricky) of 14 years, our three wild and wonderfully different little boys, one totally spoiled little dog named Annie, and I live in a small town on the coast of Southern Alabama.


  1. Thanks for the advice! We set up an after-school plan this year that was supposed to help our 3rd grader be more responsible for his homework (and chores) but today is the 4th day of school, and we were unimpressed with how he did on the 2nd and 3rd…so the plan needs work, and I’m glad to find these ideas.

    On #2, it seems to me you kind of switched gears: Instead of giving short-term rewards for HOMEWORK, you reward the child for good GRADES. Of course there’s a connection, but more goes into a grade than homework, which may be a very small fraction of the grade–and getting the grade is not the only reason to do homework, which also is good practice for keeping up with life’s responsibilities in general. My son has been getting good grades, but we feel he’s been too nonchalant about homework and just doing the bare minimum. We want him to feel a sense of personal responsibility. We are aiming for a daily routine in which he does homework and a few other tasks, without making a fuss or being nagged. But like you said, we are planning to reward weeks of compliance rather than every day.
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  2. This would be perfect to share with my MOPS friends. Pinned! If you have time, I’d love it if you would link this to Family Fun Friday – we have over 100 bloggers and 600 readers every week. :-) Thanks so much! Monica

  3. These are some great ideas for getting kids to do homework. if you start them right from the beginning it makes life easier. Plus so many times today parents are too busy to interact with their kids.
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  4. Our family has a rule that homework is done as soon as they come home from school, the longer they take the less time they have for their tablets, computers, or even TV. Chore we feel are to earn extra money and life lessons (how to) so they are not force just encouraged with the chore board and magnets. But, homework we have found is easiest if done as soon as possible and they know they are only hurting themselves if they play around or slack off while doing it.

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