Does any of this sound familiar at your house?  “I don’t want to do my homework.”  “It’s so boring.”  “I hate homework!”

Well, you’re not alone. This is a common scenario across millions of  households in America.  I get it… homework can be very challenging for a number of reasons, whether it’s difficult content to learn or time constraints in the schedule.  So how do you help your child maximize productivity with the least amount of resistance?  How can we help our kids develop healthy homework habits that will translate into other traits needed to be successful adults?

Even if the actual content of homework is not your child’s favorite, the habits surrounding getting organized, planning and buckling down and focusing, are habits that will serve them well in the future. Here are some homework tips to make study sessions a little less painful for all…

  1. Excel Ergonomically: The ideal chair height is with feet flat on the floor and knees at 90 degrees.  The tabletop should be about 8 inches above the chair seat to promote good posture.  Comfort= Contentment & Concentration!
  2. Provide Structure and a Schedule: Establish a homework routine and review expectations. “Let’s do 2 pages then we’ll take a break.”  Use a visual timer.
  3. Get the Wiggles Out: Do some physical activity prior to coming to the table.  Heavy work has a calming effect; try animal walks down the hall, tossing a weighted ball, chair push-ups or wall push-ups.
  4. Use Sensory Tools Support a Calm body and Mind. Work facing away from distractions.  Chew gum to warm up the brain. Move and learn by reviewing information while standing, walking or sitting on an exercise ball.
  5. Thinking Strategies for Self-Regulation:  Take deep breaths for clear thinking. Take a break if you or your child is frustrated, then revisit the task when feeling calmer.
  6. Use Positive Reinforcement:  Ignore unwanted behaviors, use empathy and encourage positive self-talk.  Tie homework goals in with earning privileges or something fun to look forward to.
  7. Collaborate:  Connect with your child’s teacher, a tutor or psychologist to gain a better understanding of your child’s academic strengths and learning profile.