Homework Survival Guide

Homework is a normal part of the school year; and will occur every year beginning in kindergarten. If used correctly, it teaches children task initiation, responsibility, accountability, and personal pride (all qualities needed to be a successful adult).

Helping your child to develop a good attitude towards their homework will go a long ways towards school success. Here are your two golden rules:

1. Find a routine that works for your child

2. Be consistent in implementation

Without good study habits, it can be a nightmare! Here’s how to attack the monster.

Homework at School

Some students benefit from doing their assignments at school before coming home. This works well for the K-3 grades, but by fourth, the work load increases. Home can be their sanctuary from school where they can relax and play. You need to check with your school to see if this plan is acceptable to them.

Many schools offer an after school club where kids meet and get thier work done. Once again, check with your local school district.

Working Parents

For parents that work, many schools offer an after school program where students are supervised until that parent picks them up. They are pretty good about getting assignments done, but you should still get in the habit of checking their backpacks each night for unfinished work or notes.

Transition Time

Some children need time to transition from school to home. At our house, we call it decompression time. Your child would get 10-20 minutes to relax, have a snack, swing or play before starting on their work.

This time should NOT include television watching or using anything that requires batteries or electricity!

When using transition time, it’s important to establish your routine and do it the same way every day. Fair warning, giving them too much time may result in giving them their second wind for a fight!

What About the Evening?

In all of my interviews, I have not found waiting until the evening to work. What usually happens if they forget, have sports practice, meetings, or get wrapped up in a new project.

Help, I Can’t Find My Homework!

In our house, all papers are done as soon as we get home at the kitchen bar. As soon as it’s done, it goes back into the backpack, and is put by the door for morning. In theory it works.


If someone in our house doesn’t follow the procedure, homework gets lost . Think of it as an opportunity for your child to practice organization and learn about consequences in a natural way.

Allowing them to experience the consequences will teach them to remember their papers. Bringing forgotten items to school only teaches them that mom will rescue me. Do you want a child who expects to be rescued or solves problems?

Homework may never be something your child wants to do. Cleaning the kitchen is never something I want to do! So I clean it every night as quickly as possible to get it out of my way!

Establishing routines and procedures early on is a great proactive strategy you can use to build good study habits.