Posted ByLiz Alton
Get learning and study tips from the real experts -- tutors.
Are you struggling with how to get your kids to do their homework? Or perhaps your kids are having a difficult time with a specific subject and you're working to help them thrive? Whatever homework challenges you're currently facing, the good news is that there are tips and strategies that can help you quickly get a handle on homework time.
We went right to the experts: tutors. After all, who knows more about how to help kids get their homework done and successfully tackle difficult subject areas than professional tutors?
Here are their tips for approaching homework each day.
For more advice, check out these 9 Solutions for Homework Challenges.
- Offer a Place to Work Where It's Easy to Focus
Create a study zone for your child. Make sure you have comfortable seating and all the materials your child needs to complete their homework. Remove distractions and set up an environment that makes it easy for kids to succeed.
~ Quinn Jones, K-6 reading and math tutor, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Track and Show Student Success Over Time
This gives kids a chance to see their progress and take pride in their accomplishments. What brings homework success is success at something meaningful. If homework isn't aimed at improving a child’s abilities and it isn't aimed at giving that child measurable success, then homework becomes a useless chore. If each child has a graph of improvement, then each child becomes aware of their needs and the way to improve their skills.
~ Martin Marszal, general education tutor, Australia
- Make the Learning Process like a Game
My best tip for motivating students to do homework is to make a game of it. We call it "hide the homework." We have the parent or caregiver take the homework and hide it around the house. Science in the bathtub. Math under the kitchen table. Wherever they find it, they need to do it. It creates energy around the mundane. Research shows the more you move around, the better you focus and retain information.
~ Leslie Josel, organizational tutor, New York City
- Help Develop the Skills to Tackle Problems
Don't just focus on the homework assignment; understand the challenges behind it. When children balk at doing their homework, it is often because they are avoiding the pain of struggling through the material. Give them the skills and homework becomes a fun challenge.
~ Eugenia Francis, retired teacher and English, science and math tutor, author of Teach Your Child the Multiplication Tables, Fast, Fun & Easy, Irvine, California
- Set a Reasonable Schedule
Your child's homework schedule should include plenty of breaks. Allow them some time to play and decompress after school and before starting homework. Let them take a snack break or short walk between assignments. This can help tremendously.
~ Hunane Mohammed, science tutor, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Break Bigger Projects into Bite Sized Pieces
Kids do their homework when they know exactly what they have to do and when they have to do it. If teachers are unclear about how to accomplish things piece-by-piece, tutors or parents should help kids break down assignments.
~ Dan Weinstein, mathematics tutor, Los Angeles
- Teach Kids to Use Free Time Wisely
If homework time is a struggle, teach kids to make the most of study periods and commuting. I always encourage students to use every bit of free time wisely. If you finish an assignment in class early, start your homework (if it's okay with the teacher). They get their work done and get a kick out of "getting away with" doing their homework in class.
~ Alexis Browsh, K-12 tutor, Philadelphia
- Use Technology to Stay Organized
Optimize scheduling programs or homework applications to help kids keep track of specific assignments, teacher's recommendations and resources that they need. Just improving organization makes a big difference in terms of how kids perform.
~ Danny Roberts, history and social studies tutor, Manchester, New Hampshire
- Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
The most important thing I tell parents is: don't be afraid to ask for help. Hire a tutor or get some part-time assistance to help kids focus during homework time. Talk to teachers and see what resources the school has available. If your kid is really struggling, pay attention to the idea that "it takes a village" can help you solve the problem.
~ Rose Begay, cultural studies and spanish tutor, Phoenix, Arizona
Getting homework done doesn't have to be stressful for parents, caretakers, or kids. Our experts' advice will soon have you on your way to productive, engaging and stress-free homework sessions.
Liz Alton is a freelance writer specializing in digital marketing, business and technology.