Back-to-school: 4 tips for tackling homework

How is homework handled in your house?  I remember going to my room after dinner, and sitting at my desk and working away efficiently until it was done.  For the most part, it came pretty easily to me and I enjoyed it, after all, schoolwork was something I was good at.  It’s easy to be drawn to things you are rewarded for.

So I didn’t quite understand my kids’ reluctance to get at homework, and the often inevitable entire evenings devoted to it.  I’m determined this year will be different!

If you’re looking for a more heavenly homework hour, consider these task friendly tips:


 Create a routine

Allow about 30 minutes time to rest and refuel after returning home from school. Setting a time limit avoids relaxing so much that it’s hard to get going again.


 Set up a homework zone

Understanding how your child responds to their environment and their attitude towards homework will help determine where you locate a homework zone.  In our home, with two children not-so-committed to homework to support, we have one work at the kitchen table and the other next door in the dining room.  It can help to have younger children close at hand so you can answer their questions and keep them encouraged.  Easily accessible storage for school supplies, work-in-progress, stationery and books will be helpful.


If your child is self-motivated, a desk in their room can work well.  If using computers, parents may wish to install parental controls or keep kids in line of sight to make sure internet use is appropriate.

 Keep ergonomics in mind  

When outfitting a workstation, keyboards, mice, keyboard trays, adjustable chairs, appropriate lighting, wrist rests, and footrests should all be considered for anyone using a computer at length.  Pencil and pen grips can also be used to make writing more comfortable for kids and grown-ups alike.


 Take breaks

Kids and adults alike can normally focus well for between 30-60 minutes. After that, efficiency may be boosted by taking a break. Walking around, engaging with others, drinking water, looking out a window or stretching are all good mini-breaks while doing homework.  If you want make homework look even better, try a break of chopping vegetables for dinner!

Clare Kumar is the founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company. Clare works with business owners and employees to drive greater productivity and peace of mind through better organization at work and at home. An industry expert, Clare also creates new products to help people remove the ‘bumps’ from their day. If there’s something you do every day that’s slowing you down, she wants to hear from you.

By Adam

September 18, 2012