You are not alone if you have a child or teenager in your household who balks at doing homework. Here are a couple of simple remedies:

  1. Ask your child to find a sports cap (or purchase a new one together) that is to be worn only when doing homework. It’s like a business suit; wearing the cap means it is time to get down to the business of homework. A sports cap also suggests teamwork, doing one’s best, and meeting a goal. The cap’s visor also may help some individuals who are sensitive to glare caused by lighting. Sunglasses could help, too–only if they don’t distract!
  2. Look at your household’s weekly schedule. Together, block out the times—5 days a week—when homework is to be done and phones are off. Be reasonable with the amount of time allotted, beginning with 15-20 minutes for young children.
  3. Require that school-related work be done during the allotted time. If teachers have not assigned homework, your child should work on math facts, write a poem, or read a library book, etc.–not weasel out of doing any academic work that day.
  4. Set a timer at the beginning of each homework session. This lets you, the parent, off the hook for regulating minutes spent working; it’s all up to the timer!
  5. Offer a small reward for following the homework schedule at the end of the week. (I’ll be suggesting appropriate rewards in a future blog.) After all, we all like to be paid for a job well done.


Image © Susan Young Hoffman 2017