How to Make the Homework Battle Tolerable

posted: 03/30/17
by: Katie Morton
Homework help
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Learning to calculate, high five success

If you have a school-aged child, you may find yourself dreading the daily afterschool homework grind. The good news is that the family homework hours don't need to be fraught with stress. Here are six tips on how to make those homework sessions (relatively) stress-free for both you and your budding scholar.

1. Set Up a Dedicated Homework Space

While there's nothing wrong with working at the kitchen table, setting up a dedicated homework workspace for your child can help them focus and complete their work quicker. Set up this space to be a colorful, organized, creative oasis, so that it's a place your child wants to spend time in.

For elementary-aged kids, primary colors and fun school supplies will help peak their creative energies. For middle schoolers or older kids, a dedicated space for their computer, printer, and an assignment wall calendar can help keep them on task.

No matter what age your child is, make sure that their workspace contains all the school materials they need to complete their assignments within arm's reach. Nothing pulls focus like having to get up to search the junk drawer for a working pen or paper clip!

2. Rock Out to Some Tunes

There's no rule that kids have to do their homework in stark silence. Recent studies have even found a correlation between music and enhanced brain function. Some kids find that they study better when they have tunes on in the background. Put on their favorite playlist while they're working to motivate them and keep the mood upbeat.

3. Nosh Down

Many kids come home from long days at school with rumbling stomachs. As you know, it can be hard to focus on anything when you're hangry (hungry + angry).

Prepare your child for a productive study session with some high-quality brain food. Protein plus a complex carb can keep them satiated and their blood sugar levels balanced. Combos like a hard-boiled egg with whole-wheat crackers, wholegrain bread and hummus, or dried fruit and mixed nuts are all brain-boosting snack choices.

4. Don't Chain Your Kids to Their Desks

When a lengthy assignment or project requires long hours of work, don't try to slog through without a break. Studies show that exercise improves memory--so encourage daily movement and you may even see a boost in your child's grades!

Break up homework time into increments. Allow your kid time to stretch their legs and get their blood pumping. If they can get outside and take a walk around the block or shoot some hoops, the sun and fresh air will help energize them for the next phase of their work.

5. Work Side By Side

Many of us have busy careers that require us to check email or wrap up assignments in the evening. If you have afterhours work to do, use this chance to work side by side with your child. Your presence can help keep them focused on their tasks. Also, you're right there to help answer questions if they get stuck.

6. Seek Outside Help if Necessary

If your child struggles every night to complete their assignments, then it may be time to talk to their teacher. Your student's teacher can give you tips on how to master the material at home. If it turns out that your child is struggling to keep up with the material in the classroom, then you may consider a tutor to help out. For many of us, it's been many years since we've had to learn algebra, so a quality tutor may lift the burden off both you and your student.

If a regular tutor is cost prohibitive, then many educators recommend the Kahn Academy to help struggling students. The Kahn Academy is a free, comprehensive online learning portal covering math, humanities, computing, and much more. Kahn Academy even offers SAT Prep and test taking tips for students.


Nightly homework doesn't need to be a headache. With a few simple tips, you can make the homework process easier on your whole family. In no time, your student should be on the right path to studying at home.