Thursday, September 8, 2011

How to Survive Homework!

It’s that time of year again…homework time!

For some parents and students, homework is the dreaded task of the day.  It causes frustration, tears, and fights; but it is required and so important for growth and success at school and home.  How can you promote healthy participation and growth for your child?

First, always provide a routine for your child.  Children thrive on routine and knowing what is expected of them.  Not only is a homework routine important, but also a daily routine.  It may also help your child to provide a schedule or calendar for your child so that he/she has a visual image for the expectations. 

Secondly, provide your child with opportunities for movement before and after homework.  After sitting in class all day, it is hard to come home and sit down again for homework.  A 15 minute break will make all the difference.  For a fun way to participate in movement activities check out Fundanoodle’s Muscle Movers Gross Motor  Cards at

Finally, help your child succeed with the assignment given by the teacher:

·         Prioritize homework assignments, maybe start with the harder assignments which require more energy and finish with the simple worksheet.  Or if your child becomes frustrated with challenging tasks, start with the simple assignment so that he/she feels successful and is ready to tackle the harder one.

·         Provide a simple reward for completing an assignment: a sticker, a penny in the jar, or a M&M

·         Schedule your activities so that you have time to help your child with challenging activities

·         Plan ahead, for big projects, start early so your child has ample time to complete the project, succeed, and have fun without feeling stressed

And when the homework is done, have fun! Let your child feel the reward of completing his/her assignments. 

Amy Bumgarner, MS, OTR/L