Homework Solutions

What to Do when your Child...

Constantly forgets or loses track of assignments

  • Encourage the use of a homework pad or journal for writing down the assignments.
  • Remind child to review the pad or journal before leaving school to be sure all necessary texts, materials, etc., are taken home.
  • Check daily to determine if the assignments are remembered. As remembering improves, check less often.
  • If the problem persists, meet with the teacher and devise a plan for working together.

Daydreams and wastes time

  • Periodically check homework to see how things are going.
  • As often as possible, stay nearby and give words of encouragement.
  • Encourage the use of a timer to signal when to start and stop homework.
  • Set a deadline for the completion of homework.
  • Allow privileges when homework is completed on time; deny privileges when it is not.

Refuses to do homework

  • Explore the reasons why homework is not being done:
  • Is it understanding?
  • Is it peer pressure?
  • Is it lack of time?
  • Is it misplaced priorities?
  • Other?
  • Have a long discussion with your child, not an argument.
  • Explain that you often do not like to go to work, make supper, or pay bills, but they are your responsibilities.
  • Explain that when you meet your responsibilities, you feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • Acknowledge that living up to responsibilities can sometimes be hard to accomplish.
  • Emphasize that homework is a job that is expected of students and that they, too, will feel a sense of accomplishment when it is completed.
  • Remind them that their teachers, friends, and loved ones expect them to try.
  • Consider using incentives from time to time to reward the acceptance of responsibility.
  • Emphasize that if homework is not finished, you will not protect them from the consequences.

Waits until the last minute

  • A weekly calendar could be used to schedule all activities and events such as soccer, oboe lessons, family functions, etc. Homework time can then be scheduled, making particular note of things due later in the week. A weekly organizer helps children plan ahead and learn time management skills.
  • For middle and high school-aged children, a monthly calendar may be used along with the weekly calendar. This helps make scheduling even more manageable.
  • If a project is due at the end of a month, the "due date" can be placed on the calendar and a time line can be constructed.
  • The time line can note things such as library time, outline completion, materials collection, rough draft, a model, completion, final project completion, and due date.