Maybe you’ve seen influencer parents whose children all tumble in the door and, with the aid of some gentle parenting, organize themselves in a row to complete their homework without a peep of complaint. What’s their trick?
They stop recording if the kids give any push back.
Real life can be organized and peaceful, but sometimes it’s a bit of an uphill journey getting to that point. The nice thing about an uphill journey is the view when you get there. If you’re struggling to figure out how to convince your students to develop a homework routine on their own, here are some tips about how you can help them.
When you’re at the point of needing to intervene with a homework routine, you don’t want to hop in and slam the pedal to the metal, declaring that you’re in charge now. Start out by giving your student some autonomy about the decision making.
They’re going to need a designated space to work. Letting them choose a distraction-free homework zone can be done pretty easily ahead of time. You know your child though. If you already know this is going to be a struggle, give them options to choose from with the concession that they can come up with their own idea as long as it’s distraction free.
Your student is also going to need to make a schedule that they stick to. If your child isn’t busy with a lot of activities, you can keep a consistent schedule and get that set up right away, but for busy high school students, you might need to have them set up their homework schedule each week based on their activities.
Scheduling with your teen will give you a healthy opportunity to see what their schedule is like for the week and make sure you’re both on the same page about transportation and responsibilities. It will also give you the chance to teach them how to stay organized during busy periods of life, how to use a calendar, and – if they don’t already know – how to set up reminders in their phone.
Give Positive Feedback Or Incentives
When you’re first starting a new habit that you really want to stick, it’s a universal truth that positive feedback feels great and helps you stay motivated. Your student is no different. Certainly, sending a balloon bouquet or singing telegram to your teenager’s school screeching, “Great job doing your homework this week!” might be a bit over the top and embarrassing for them. However, a post-it note on their pillow or the bathroom mirror is a lovely reminder for your teen that they are loved and you see the hard work they’re putting in.
You might have the type of student who doesn’t need incentives to do their work, but if your student is struggling to find the motivation to stick with a schedule, they might need some external motivation from you at the beginning when the habit is being formed. Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to cost money or be anything big. An incentive can be something simple like choosing what’s for dinner on Thursday night or something silly like you agreeing to stop picking them up from school with Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” blaring.
When it comes to helping your student with their homework, it’s important to only help rather than doing it for them. Providing guidance about how to reach out to their instructors or how to find a good video to support their learning is much better for your student in the long run that taking over. You want your child to be able to reach out for help when they need it as an adult, so showing them how to advocate for themselves a good step toward helping them gain that independence.
Stay In Touch
Until your child is in college, it’s a good idea to stay in touch with their teachers. Of course, you don’t want to email constantly since for most schools, you have access to online gradebooks, but keeping open communication with your student’s teachers is a good way to keep your child on their radar so that they don’t fall through the cracks. You can take a moment to say thank you to the teachers along with “How is my student doing?” once a quarter. Along with checking their grades each week, that will go a long way in staying up to date on your child’s progress.
Recognize When You Need Help
If you’re paying attention to how your child is behaving during homework time and you’re checking in on their grades online, then you’ll know when it’s time to reach out for help. Many students who are frustrated will try to avoid doing the work. Some grow defiant; others slip into depression.
By involving yourself in your student’s academics, you will be able to notice when you need to get a tutor or some other type of outside help before your child is suffering. Anxiety and frustration can tear a kid up inside, so it’s important that you know when it’s time to get the help your student needs. This is another opportunity to teach your child that asking for help is important and 100% something everyone needs to do sometimes.
About Train The Brain
If it’s time to get some extra help for your student, check out Train The Brain! Train The Brain is an innovative online homework help and tutoring service that you can access anywhere you have a solid internet connection. You no longer have to leave your home and sit around at a tutoring center. You can set up and attend tutoring or homework help sessions with our highly qualified content area experts in the comfort of your own home, the library, or even in a classroom at your school. If you want to learn more about TTB and the services we offer, feel free to check out our services and our blog. Additionally, you can reach out to our Train The Brain admins online. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.