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What are some ways to decrease conflicts over homework?

It's a struggle to get my child to sit down and do their homework. I need help!

Heather | Expert


I remember as a child that homework was painful. I would rather play, read, and do crafts than do homework.

I wanted them to love school and I wanted to make sure that homework was more of a positive thing in my children's lives then when I had to do it.

There are so many distractions these days and children have more pressure from school then we had when we were kids. Math is taught differently than the way we learned it, so it becomes difficult for us to help them. If you can find a reward that motivates your child and keeps him or her interested, then it might be helpful.

When they were younger I tried to instill a strong work ethic with homework by introducing activity sheets and workbooks. When they started kindergarten homework became natural to them.

Now that they are a bit older (8 and 10) it has become more challenging. I always love positive reinforcement and rewards to work towards when something is difficult to get through. We have set rules in place so that when they get their chores done after school, finish homework, and practice their instruments, they can then play a video game, read a book, play with friends, or play outside as their rewards.

Video games are limited to one hour on school nights. There have been many times that they have had friends come over wanting to play with them and we run down the list. Do they have their chores done, do they have their rooms cleaned and beds made, do they have their homework done, do they have their instruments practiced? If there is a "no" response, they are not allowed to play with their friends.

They get pretty motivated when friends come into the picture. Sometimes, though, they don't care because it seems like a huge mountain to climb. We then make a list of what needs to be done and break it down. We will write math, English, spelling, reading, and so on. If they check off the list it doesn't seem so overwhelming.

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