Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HELPFUL HOMEWORK ADVISE {stop the homework hassle}

This is part of an on-going series LBDDiaries and I are doing on keeping our Inner Aloha/Peaceful Life.  See my previous post at Organize with a Calendar {for the CEO of your houshold} for some more great tips!


Raising four Rugrats (aka. Children) I have learned that homework can be the cause of a lot of stress in a home.  I have also learned that EACH CHILD IS DIFFERENT. 

I have/have had Rugrats who come in the door from school and don't even have to have a word mentioned to them and boom they are doing their HOMEWORK WITHOUT ANY ISSUES.  I have also had Rugrats who I have to watch like a hawk and CONSISTENTLY REMIND THEM TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK... (and constantly check to make sure it is actually being done and/or check what homework they actually have.  This causes so much STRESS.

Because of this I am constantly looking for pointers and tips and ideas of new things to try.

I'm assuming I'm not the only one with this issue so I thought I'd share what I have learned and what seems to be working.........this week.


Typically younger children, for obvious reasons, can only do sooooo much time at the homework table.  A general rule of thumb is that children do 10 minutes of homework for each grade level. In other words, first graders should be expected to do about 10 minutes of homework, second graders 20 minutes, third graders 30 minutes, fourth graders 40 minutes, etc. If your child is spending more than 10 minutes per grade level on their homework each night, then you may want to talk with your child's teacher.

My 6th grade daughter Math teacher recommends that after any child in his class has worked 60 minutes on math that the parent sign the paper and the child can turn it in for full math credit.  They, of course, will be reviewing it in class to get a better grasp and hopefully become able to complete the entire assignment in the 60 minute time frame.


Something that has helped me a lot over the years is to have a time frame that homework is done.  Example: Come home from school, have a snack and start homework.  Also having a specific area of the home where homework is completed.

If your child doesn't feel seeing the good grades on his/her report card is a good enough reason to study and do homework you may want to consider a rewards program for them.



Just like with us adults and getting our housework done or our job out of the home routines help greatly.

The first thing you need to do is figure out where your child should do their homework each day.  Is it the a desk in their bedroom?  This location may be better for the child who doesn't need as much help with their homework AND who you can trust to do their homework without constant supervision.  OR maybe a desk in the main area of your home OR your kitchen table.  I find for my youngest Rugrat that she needs to be where I can see her at all times.  This is important to keep her on track.  My older Rugrat daughter and son do great in their rooms.  It really depends on the personality of your child.
One you have established where you want your child to do their homework each day make sure you have everything they will need in that location.  We have a desk in our home that is loaded with all the supplies they will need. It is located right next to my home/office desk.  If you need your child to work from your dining room table obviously having all the supplies located on your table isn't doable.  I would suggest getting a plastic tub or a large basket that you can keep all the items in and pull it out at homework time.  This way everything is still together and easy to grab at homework time but it will allow for easy clean up when it comes time to set the table and eat..

Even on a post about homework hassles it's still all about the food!  HA HA

Sorry, it's how I roll....

Ya, I could easily keep going with the "roll" comment but I'll get back to the post....


 Is it directly after school?  Is it after they come home and have a snack?  Directly after dinner?  What works best for YOUR schedule as well as your child's?  In our home our children come home, have a snack and start their homework.  This is what works best for us.  OBVIOUSLY once sports start this changes.

Be flexible with the new seasons and having to change your routine occasionally BUT try to stay as consistent as possible.  Learning a good homework habit early on will help them when they begin college and you aren't there to remind them.  You may need to play with it a bit with the schedule at first to see what works best for you, but then try to stick to it the best you can.


A daily homework planner is a good good good thing!  Your child should write down homework for each class/subject in their planner each day.  On occasion you will find that your child will not write down all of their assignments, as to get out of doing homework.  SHOCK AND AWE MOMENT I KNOW!  I have had this happen on numerous occasions.  Sooooooooooo if you too have a Rugrat who is a homework hassle King/Queen may I suggest requiring your child write their homework assignments IN INK in their planner AND have their teacher initial next to the homework list THAT IS WRITTEN IN INK (so they can't erase any assignments AFTER the teacher initials it......Not that they would ever dream of doing something like this).....  I only have on child who has to do the INK written assignments with signature but it is proving to be most helpful.  (smile)

*Be sure to check with your child's school for online resources.  Many teachers use "Schoolnotes(dot)com" OR they use another online grading/homework system that parents can go on to view both grades and homework assignments.


I have started giving out "Good Time Tickets" to my Rugrats.  I don't JUST use them for homework I also use them for other things I catch them doing right in our home.  (For instance yesterday they unloaded some items I had purchased out of the back of my car WITHOUT my asking them to do it......)  If the planner comes home with the assignments written in it, they earn a ticket.  When they complete their homework if it is done NEATLY and they didn't dilly dally around making me repeatedly tell them to get back on task they earn a ticket.  These tickets can be redeemed for several "Good Times"  from picking what we are having for dinner to a trip to the coast for a weekend.  It all depends on how many tickets they save up.  There are also things that can get your tickets taken away.  Lying about what homework you have.  Picking any answer on multiple choice questions just to be done with the homework page "IMAGINE IT"...I don't have to imagine it..... I've lived it.....

You have to adjust here and there and I'm still learning, even after 20 years of these Rugrats.  You will find one thing works well with one child and something entirely different will work well for another.

Hope these tips were helpful!

What do you in your home that has been helpful?

Please share...we must stick together or these Rugrats will eat us alive....besides....together we can lower the stress level in many homes....

Or just open a bottle of wine...... KIDDING....

sort of...... tee hee

Ciao Bellas~


  1. Before I took over, mom did the homework thing with Alpha Son; they'd do the after school snack, he'd sit at the kitchen table and could only go play afterwards, so he was super motivated. When he was in private school, they had 2 hours of homework 4 nights a week at - ready? 1st grade level. We both hated it. We moved here, I put him in small town public school and he excelled. He was a dawdler (sp) so we had to stay on top of him - reward system worked pretty good, too! I DO NOT MISS THIS AGE, FOR SURE!!

  2. I love your ideas. I can't wait to try and implement some into what we already have going. :)

  3. Nan- Love how you SHOUT that you don't miss this age. I tell you what I will not miss the homework hassle this I can be sure of. I do miss them being toddlers from time to time. It goes by soooooooo quickly. AS YOU WELL KNOW.. (smile)

  4. Tickled Red- Thank you! Great news. I hope they help enhance what you already have going on there at your casa!

    Thanks for stopping by! I really enjoyed your blog and I appreciate the visit and comment on mine. Yay!

  5. Kudos to you girl. As a retired educator most parents take the "just kill me now" approach. You've nailed it to the wall, all kiddos are different, what works for one child may not work for another. Even in the same family. My kiddos always needed just a little 'down' time before hittin' the books again. This time was used to change clothes, grab a snack, etc. Homework came next...with no distractions, then chores.

    Now, this Ozark farm knows that food is very important when it comes to concentration. Poor youngen can't study when he's famished.

    I just wanted to thank you for poppin' over yesterday with your sweet comment. Please visit often, the door of the Ponderosa is always open.

    God bless you day sweetie!!!

  6. Nezzy- Thanks for visiting AND leaving a comment. Raising 4 children it has become very obvious that they are all different and respond differently. NOT just in regards to homework but EVERYTHING.

    One you look at funny and she'll cry the other is giving me the bird when I turn around (not really but her eyes sometimes says she wants to!)

  7. I only have two grown children but was amazed they came from the same parents and were raised in the same environment. Day and night they are. They have blessed me with eight grandkiddos rangin' from 15yr.-1yr. My heart is full.

    I just wanted to pop back in and that ya for hoppin' my blog, I sure hope ya'll enjoy the ride.

    God bless and in the words of that silly old Granny Clampett, "Ya'll come back now ya hear!!!" :o)

  8. Nezzy-

    WOW, EIGHT GRANDCHILDREN! How blessed are you??

    I hope I can say that one day. (That I have lots of grandchildren).....

    By the way.... I love old Granny Clampett and I will be comin' back!