The Three Laws of Homework PLUS tips get children to do their homework and manage the homework flow through the school year.
The Laws of Homework plus the homework tips come straight from parenting expert Chick Moorman. I originally posted these tips and laws back in 2008 and wanted to update them because (finally) my own children are now old enough for me to use these tips – it was all peaches and cream when they were in elementary school! I certainly appreciate the advice as it has helped with my families’ homework management style!
The Three Laws of Homework
Law Number One – Kids Do Not Like Homework – Kids do not enjoy sitting and studying, at least not after having spent a long school day comprised mostly of sitting and studying. So give up your desire to have your child like it. Focus on getting him or her to do it.
Law Number Two – You Can’t Make Your Child Do Their Homework – You cannot make your child learn. You cannot make your child hold a certain attitude. You cannot make your child move his or her pencil. While you cannot insist, you can assist. Concentrate on assisting by sending positive invitations. Invite and encourage your child using the ideas that follow.
Law Number Three – Homework is Your Child’s Problem – The parent’s job is to provide structure, to create the system. They child’s job is to use the system.
Tips to Get Children To Do Their Homework
Eliminate the Word “Homework” – Replace it with the word “study.” Have “study” time instead of “homework” time. Have a “study” table instead of a “homework” table. This word change alone will go a long way toward eliminating the problem of your child saying “I don’t have any homework.” Study time is about studying, even if your child doesn’t have any homework.
Establish a Study Routine – This needs to be the same time every day. Let your child have some input on when study time occurs. Once the time is set, stick to that schedule. Kids thrive on structure even as they protest. By having a regular study time, you are demonstrating that you value education.
Keep Routine Simple – One possibility includes a five-minute warning that study time is approaching, bringing your child’s current activity to an end, clearing the study table, emptying the backpack of books and supplies and then beginning.
Allow Choices for the Routine – He or she can choose to do study time before or after dinner or immediately after getting home. Let them pick the location. One choice your child does not have is whether to study or not to study.
Help Without Over-functioning – Help only if your child asks for it. Do not do problems or assignments for your child. When your child says, “I can’t do it, “ say “Act as if you can.” Tell your child to pretend that he or she knows what to do and to see what happens. Then leave the immediate area, and let your child see if he or she can handle it from there.
Help Them Organize – Disorganization is a problem for many school-age children. If you want your child to be organized, you have to invest the time to help your child learn an organizational system.
Stop the Bribery – Replace monetary and external rewards with encouraging verbal responses. End the practice of paying for grades or rewarding with a special trip for ice cream. This style of bribery has only short-term gains and does little to encourage children to develop a lifelong love of learning.
Use THEIR Homework Time for YOU – Use study time to get some of your own responsibilities handled. Do the dishes, fold laundry, etc. Keep the TV off! If you engage in fun or noisy activities during that time, your child will naturally be distracted. Study time is a family commitment. If you won’t commit to it, don’t expect your child to do so.
Tips to Get Children To Do Their Homework – by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of “The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose” and “Couple Talk: How to Talk Your Way to a Great Relationship” (available from Personal Power Press at (toll-free) 877-360-1477). They also publish FREE email newsletters, one for parents and one for couples. Visit www.thomashaller.com for more info.
For more tips to get children to do their homework, visit www.thomashaller.com.