For school children and their parents, a constant source of unease is Homework – How to finish in time? How to retain better? How to make it routine rather than regret?

Your child’s undone homework might be a source of frustration for you every night at 11, but instead of despairing, there are some methods suggested by the US Department of Education that one may adopt to make the experience enjoyable, easy and informational.

Working in tandem with your child is of the utmost importance, and being on the same page when it comes to matters relating to education is preferable.

1. Guide Your Child—Don’t Try to Control Him
When it comes to homework, the first step is to gently nudge, not push. Helping them with their homework, setting a reward – however small, might also help. Control your anger when the child is adamant, and take regular breaks between sessions. Homework gets tiring and frustrating for you as well as your child.

2. Locate
Allotting one stationary place to homework completion helps your child focus and work consistently, instead of getting distracted or bothered by noise and other daily activities that go on in the house. As homework coincides with artistic abilities, this will also allow your child to store all craft items and stationary in one place.

3. Organize
We have so many subjects to keep track of, and homework does not discriminate – all subjects have equal and equally taxing homework loads. If you help your child organize his homework, it will be easier and faster to finish. How can you organize?

You can use color coded tags for different subjects, which will help in segregating different sheets and assignments. If you cultivate this habit from a very young age, the color differentiation will help with cognitive abilities as well, helping create an organized mind.

Making a homework schedule also helps in organizing and time management, which will eventually help your child later in life – whether in examinations or applications.

You can also use checklists and separate the finished homework from the pending homework to help prioritize and ensure that all the homework it tackled.

4. Motivate
Children seek constant support and motivation from you, as an elder. You can do this by supporting them, helping them when they are out of their depths, using everyday examples to make them comprehend difficult concepts, etc. Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.

5. Set the necessary structures in place
Set limits around homework time. Here are a few possibilities that have been deemed effective by Debbie Pincus (MS LHMC), on her blog “Empowering Parents”:

  • Homework is done at the same time each night.
  • Homework is done in a public area of your house.
  • If grades are failing or falling, take away screen time so your child can focus and have more time to concentrate on his work.
  • Make it the rule that weekend activities don’t happen until work is completed. Homework comes first.

As James Lehman says, “The weekend doesn’t begin until homework is done.”