Helping Your Family Manage the Homework Blues 

Homework can sometimes feel like a 2nd job for your kids…and for you too. Nobody likes bringing work home, your kids included.

Managing the Homework Blues 

First, try and be intentional with your family’s time. Your kids need downtime to relax and decompress after school. We understand that this is not always possible with after-school sports, clubs, dance, etc., but having dedicated time for your child to process their day can ease some of the stress of homework time. 

Next, have an open conversation with your child about homework. What is important to your family about completing homework? This can be an excellent teaching opportunity to help your young student understand responsibility and accountability. Make sure you understand and discuss the school’s and the teacher’s expectations as well. Teachers are likely to focus on learning, practice, repetition, and mastery in terms of homework expectations. 

Take Off Your Teacher Hat 

You do not have to grade, correct, or even watch over your child while they are doing their homework. Let your child take ownership and make mistakes. Remember FAIL is just a first attempt in learning. The point of homework is not for the teacher to know what YOU know, but to assess what the student knows. You can support your child of course, and provide help when needed, but correcting them can create tension and conflict that is unhelpful. And doing the work for them doesn’t help them learn the content or responsibility. 

Try to incorporate fun and play when appropriate and remember your child needs time to be a child and just play. If your evenings are overwhelmed by too much homework, check-in with your child’s teacher and let them know it is too much and problem-solve a plan together to reduce the amount of time your child has to do homework.

Handling Frustration and Refusal to do Homework 

Sometimes children are just overwhelmed. School isn’t just about learning, your child is dealing with friends, other commitments, and strong emotions as they grow up. It’s a lot! So, it’s no wonder sometimes homework can bring on strong emotions even some tears. 

If your child is not wanting to do their homework, instead of getting drawn into a power struggle, connect your child with another activity, then get curious about what is really going on. There is likely an unmet need the child has and if you can meet that need, you get more cooperation. 

Have your child do something active before you start, eat a snack, and let them choose the best time for them. Do you want to do it before or after dinner?

Make it fun and doable. If your child has a lot of homework, chunk it out, and give lots of breaks with fun rewards like playing a game or going outside. 

Homework can cause lots of frustrations, power struggles, and stress within your family. Knowing how to help your child manage that stress can take the pain out of homework time and return some sense of sanity to your busy evening routines.