The dreaded homework meltdown. Do they ever happen at your house? They did at mine.
My daughter is in first grade and her homework currently consists of reading time and 2-3 worksheets; usually one reading and two math (one of these two is optional). These meltdowns had become a recurring theme when it came time to doing homework. My daughter would get upset for one reason or another, tears would fall, the excuses started and I became a huge stress ball which only made things worse!
It can be a struggle trying to juggle everything that happens in a day and when you add a homework meltdown into the mix, it can send everything crashing around you in the blink of an eye. We needed to make some adjustments to homework routine and they needed to be realistic changes that worked for our family. So I was determined to find simple ways to make homework time more manageable and meltdown free.
Here are the 4 quick and simple tips that we implemented in our home to help prevent homework meltdowns. We’ve focused on these tips and for the past several months and homework time has been so much happier – for the WHOLE family!
4 Quick Tips to Prevent a Homework Meltdown
Start with the easiest assignment first
Starting with the easiest assignment first can really help set the tone of homework time. Go through your child’s assignments with them and put them in an order to be completed. Start with the assignment that is thought of as the easiest or most enjoyable to complete. This strategy can set the whole tone of homework time and start your child off on the right foot. It also gives them an immediate sense of accomplish and puts them in a better state of mind to tackle the more challenging assignments or questions.
Remember to take breaks
Sometimes a break is just want’s needed to help prevent a homework meltdown. If you notice that a particular question or part of the homework assignment is leading to frustration, stop and take a five minute break. A change of scenery does wonders for the mind, even if just for a few minutes. Let your child get up and move, play with the dog, anything to take the focus off the point of frustration. This helps parents too. Then when you both come back to the table, you can tackle the problem with a fresh start.
Don’t wait until the evening
Days are busy and long, so waiting to do homework after all your activities can be a recipe for a homework meltdown. A great way to avoid these meltdowns is to create a homework hour in your home. Set your homework time after your child has had some time to unwind from their school day. I know, it can be a struggle to have a set homework time when you are juggling activities like practice, lessons and recitals; but in the long run, knocking out homework earlier in the day will save you all from a lot of tears. We have found that doing homework while I make dinner work best for our family. This setup gives my daughter some time to unwind and play a bit after school before having to dive back into some work again. She sits are the kitchen table while I cook which keeps me in close range to help field any questions or other issues. I love when I can pull off a little multi-tasking!
Keep a cool head
This one is for the parents! One of the most important parts of preventing your child’s homework meltdown is that YOU don’t lose it. It isn’t easy to do especially in the heat of the moment. Try and remember that our kids feed off of our reactions and if we lose our cool, it can only compound the stress and anxiety they might be feeling. This is why taking short homework breaks is so important and one of the biggest things you can do to keep homework time less stressful.
If you can start applying these 4 simple tips on a regular basis, you’ll likely find fewer tears and a happier homework time. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it’s definitely doable!
Do you have any homework tips for share? I’d love to hear what works for your family!
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