Creating a homework-friendly home is a great way to sidestep some of the big obstacles you and your and children face with homework. Whatever subject they're working on, it's important to make sure that your child is relaxed and has had the opportunity to unwind after a full school day before jumping into taking care of their schoolwork.
Whether they take the time to play, read independently or together with you for a read-aloud, giving your child the time they need before they sit down to practice their skills will benefit them in the long run and teach them to strike a balance.
Here are a few tips to get started:
Feed your child's tummy and brain. Food is fuel, and a full belly is crucial for effective learning.
Allow lots of fresh air and play time first, but without screens. After a long day at school, many children need time to unwind. One of the best ways to do that is by letting their imaginations run wild. Whether they choose to create art projects, build with blocks, journal, play pretend, or anything in between, play gives your child the opportunity to practice world building and helps build their creativity.
Have a designated place for all school things. No need for it to be fancy, the same spot by the door is perfect. Your child needs to be able to find the homework that needs to be done easily when it's time to get to work, and it gives them a sense of accomplishment to have an organized spot for their school supplies.
Have a designated place for doing homework. Create a spot that your child uses every day. Have everything they might need within arm's reach so that when they're ready to sit down and do homework, they won't start wandering about and getting distracted by everything else that is not homework-related.
Clear your schedule if possible. Be available when they are doing their homework. You may need to be right there next to your child helping — or nearby in case an issue pops up— but try your best not to be unavailable to help if they need it.
Stay calm so your child will too. If your child has hit a roadblock, address the issue together as a team calmly and with eagerness to solve the problem in a fun, educational way they'll enjoy unraveling with you. While allowing them to express their frustration is also necessary, staying cool and collected will give your child space to express themselves and then calm their emotions to be able to look at the problem from a different perspective. Homework is something many children have every day, and keeping the experience as pleasant as possible will help make this daily activity smooth sailing.
Make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Cranky kids are often tired or hungry. If you have given your child a healthy snack and they are still cranky, the next step is to take a good look their sleep schedule and pattern. One of the best ways to get your child to unwind for bedtime is with a good read-aloud story, no matter their age.
Get ready for your child to go back to school with our guide — it's full of recommended books, teacher tips, homework help, and more resources for a successful school year.
Shop more books perfect for unwinding below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store, where you can get free shipping on book-only orders over $25.