Tutor Doctor’s Top Strategies to Avoid the Homework Battle
Homework is a constant struggle in many families, causing stress for everyone.
Children resist homework for a variety of reasons. They may simply be tired and unmotivated after a long day at school, or they could be struggling to understand the work.
Whatever the reason for the homework battles in your house, these strategies can help bring harmony.
Consider Personality Traits
Temperament plays a big part in how kids approach homework. When you understand this, you can come up with strategies to help.
Some common traits and behaviours are:
Procrastination. Children with this behaviour will try to delay starting homework for as long as possible. They will bring up every excuse in the book to put off doing their work.
The best way to deal with this issue is by setting rules. No television, gaming or social media until homework is completed. This gives procrastinators plenty of motivation to get homework done.
Introversion. These children are drained by the social interaction at school and need time to recharge before starting homework. They want to relax for a while first before getting stuck into their work.
If you try to force them to do homework before they’re ready, they may resist. It’s best to let these students choose when they want to do homework, as long as they stick to a schedule once it’s in place.
Perfectionism. Students with this trait avoid homework out of fear that it won’t be good enough. They worry about failing or being exposed as less than perfect, and this can be paralysing.
These students need reassurance that the process is more important than the result. Giving them time limits to complete tasks can help them get started.
Rebelliousness. Most kids will go through a rebellious stage at some point, but some children are more oppositional by nature than others. These students tend to be very vocal about doing work outside school. They don’t see the point of it and are angry at the imposition.
To motivate rebellious students, it’s important to acknowledge their feelings and point out the valuable skills such as self-discipline and initiative that homework helps them develop. Ask them to think about what they want to do when they grow up and discuss why they’ll need these skills in their future career.
Carelessness. These students see homework as a chore which needs to be completed as quickly as possible so they can move on to other things. They might want to do their homework as soon as they get home, but the problem is they rush through it, making careless mistakes and not learning much.
An excellent strategy for managing this trait is to set a fixed time for homework each day. If kids finish early, they can do revision. Also take a few minutes to look through their completed work as this will give them incentive to do a good job.
Identify Learning issues
Sometimes kids resist homework because of learning issues. If your child is struggling, they may feel reluctant to talk about it, but parents are well-placed to observe how kids are coping with homework. Does your child have trouble understanding questions and need a lot of assistance? Do they have difficulty keeping track of tasks and staying organised?
If this is the case, they may need some extra help. A tutor can identify where students are struggling and come up with a personalised plan to address any issues.
Follow these strategies to avoid the homework battle in your household.