Creating a Successful Homework Routine

As we move into October, most students have fallen into the steady rhythm of academic activity. But there is one element that many learners and parents continue to struggle with throughout the school year:

Homework.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

“I just spent all day at school! Why do I have to do more work?”

“Homework takes forever!”

“This homework is so boring!”

“Do we have any glue? I have a project due for school tomorrow.”

While the benefit and value of homework has been hotly debated over the years, the majority of American school students must complete homework assignments every week, which can be a headache for students and parents alike. To help keep the homework stress to a minimum, here are a few helpful tips for developing a healthy homework routine.

Make a plan and stick to it: Set a designated time and place for homework to be completed. When and where will homework be done? As soon as you get home? After dinner? In the morning before breakfast? Find what works for your family and your student and stick with it. A consistent routine yields consistent results. If your child knows what to expect and when to expect it, he or she will be less likely to dispute homework time. A consistent routine may also foster greater independence in homework completion.

Have a homework buddy: “Oh no! I forgot my math book at school! How am I going to do my homework now?” Never fear, homework buddy is here! At the beginning of each school year or semester, have your student identify a classmate he or she can call to discuss homework. Forgot your book? Stuck on a problem? Call the homework buddy to talk it through.

Make a portable homework station: Give your child the tools they need to succeed by creating a portable homework station. Fill a box or caddy with the necessary supplies to complete almost any homework assignment. The supply list below is a great place to start! Making this pack of supplies easy to move about will give your students the ability to complete their homework where and when they can. Keeping all supplies organized and in one place will make sure that homework time runs smoothly.

Sample Supply List for Portable Homework Station:

Primary/Elementary:

  • Pencils

  • Crayons

  • Colored Pencils

  • Markers

  • Eraser

  • Safety scissors

  • Glue (stick or liquid)

  • Construction paper

  • Lined paper/handwriting paper appropriate for grade level

  • Tape

 Middle/High School:

  • Pens

  • Pencils

  • Stapler

  • Markers

  • Highlighter

  • White out/white out tape

  • Lined paper

  • Graph paper

  • Printer paper

  • Sticky notes

  • Ruler

  • Hole punch

  • Clear tape

  • Calculator

  • Paper clips

  • Binder clips

  • Index cards

What does homework time look like in your home? Does your child’s school have an interesting homework policy? Tell us in the comments below!

Written by Mary Kate Bolinder, a certified elementary and special education teacher in Philadelphia, PA.