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How to Make a Better Homework Schedule for Your Family

what elements make up a homework routine apex

Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter. She has more than 15 years of experience crafting stories in the branding, licensing, and entertainment industries.

Verywell / Zackary Angeline

Why Homework Schedules Are Effective

Other Considerations

Do you frequently have homework struggles with your child or teen? Or, does your student procrastinate doing their work? Maybe they even fail to turn in assignments. If any of these scenarios resonate with you, a better homework schedule may help.

A regular homework schedule establishes predictable times when homework is to be completed. Once the homework schedule has been in place for a few weeks, you may even find your child will begin doing their homework without needing to be reminded—although you may still need to monitor their work progress.

If you're struggling with homework completion in your household, or if you're having daily battles about allotting the appropriate amount of time to homework, you're not alone. That's why educators recommend developing a homework schedule—with input from your kids.

Once you set a homework schedule, then there are no questions about when the work will be done. It also communicates clear expectations; having a homework schedule helps kids understand what is required of them. And following the schedule encourages them to develop a good work ethic.

Schedules also help prevent procrastination and instill good habits like completing work on time. Homework routines also improve study skills and encourage kids to plan ahead.

Other benefits include developing your child's work ethic and organizational abilities. By helping your child complete their work at regular intervals, you are modeling how to manage time and projects in the future. When you send them off to college , they will know how to pace their work so they can avoid all-nighters at the end of the semester.

How to Develop a Homework Schedule

To develop a homework schedule, start by talking with your kids. Get their input on how they would like to manage their time and incorporate their homework into their daily routine. A successful homework schedule allows kids to finish their work and also have some free time.

Give Kids an Option

If you ask kids when they want to do their homework, their first answer might be "Never" or "Later." But if you dig a little deeper, your child may tell you what matters to them as they plan their schedule. This information will help you avoid scheduling homework during their favorite television program or when they usually get online to play games with friends.

When you include your child in the decision-making process, you also will get more buy-in from them because they know that their concerns were heard. You don't have to give them their way, but at least considering what they have to say will let them feel included. After all, this homework schedule is about them completing their homework.

Allow for Free Time

Some kids can step through the front door and buckle down on their homework right away. When this happens, they reap the reward of getting their work done early and having the rest of the evening to do what they want. But most kids need to eat and decompress a bit before tackling their assignments.

As you develop your homework schedule, keep in mind your child has already spent at least six hours in class. And this time doesn't include getting to and from school or participation in extracurricular programs . Allow kids some free time before beginning their homework if that's what they need to unwind.

Establish a Timeline

Generally, you can expect about 10 minutes of homework per grade level of school. This means that a third-grade student will need about 30 minutes to complete homework. However, the amount of time needed can vary dramatically between students, teachers, and schools.

Find out how much time your child's teacher expects homework to take each evening. If your child takes a lot of time to complete their work or struggles with homework , talk with the teacher. Your child may need extra instruction on a task or tutoring assistance—or fewer homework assignments.

Pick a Homework Spot

Designate a comfortable and efficient spot for your kids to do their homework. This workspace should be well-lit, stocked with supplies , and quiet. The workspace should allow you to provide some supervision. 

If you have multiple kids trying to complete their homework at one time, you may want to find a separate location for each child. Sometimes kids can complete their homework together at the kitchen table, but other times having siblings around can be distracting. Do what works best for your family.

Put It All Together

Now that you know what your child's needs and concerns are for finding a time to do homework, you need to come up with the actual plan. Creating a homework routine is really just one piece of creating a daily school year routine .

For the homework time itself, get it down on paper so you can see exactly what they will be doing and when they will be doing it. Do this for each day of the week if you have different activities on different weekdays. Students who are assigned larger projects will need to review their homework plans regularly to make adjustments as needed.

Expect your child to work consistently throughout the assigned time. Avoid having multiple homework sessions, such as one before dinner and a second one after dinner. Starting and stopping may mean children may spend more time getting into what they are doing than working continuously.

Be Consistent

Once you have decided on a time to do homework, stick to the plan! It usually takes about three weeks for most children to really get into the habit of their new schedule.

If your child or teen has difficulty maintaining concentration for the length of time that their homework should take, then you may want to carefully consider breaking up the work to take advantage of the time when your child can focus.

This added step is especially important for children and teens with depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They may benefit from multiple smaller work sessions and more frequent breaks.

Even though the idea behind creating a homework schedule is to get your child to work consistently and independently, you may need to look over their work when they are done. This is especially important for younger children.

Make sure they understand their assignments and that they completed a reasonable amount of work during the homework session. If you find your child is having trouble actually working during their homework time, troubleshoot to find out what might be the issue. Sometimes kids need extra help and other times they simply need more motivation to get their work done.

If you find that your child continues to struggle with homework even with a schedule in place, you might need to dig a little deeper. Consider discussing your child's issues with their teacher or pediatrician.

Sometimes kids are reluctant to complete their homework because of undiagnosed learning disabilities. It could be that your child struggles with reading comprehension or has a processing disorder. Or it could be that your child is struggling with a mental health issue like anxiety .

A Word From Verywell

Establishing a homework schedule allows children to build some important life skills that will help them as they navigate high school, college, and eventually the workforce. Practice is important when kids are learning new skills. So, having a nightly homework routine enhances your child's learning. Just be sure you aren't requiring homework time at the expense of being a kid. Having time to play is just as important to a child's development as learning new material.

National Institute of Mental Health. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder .

By Lisa Linnell-Olsen Lisa Linnell-Olsen has worked as a support staff educator, and is well-versed in issues of education policy and parenting issues.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Team Pasch Academic Coaching

5 Steps to Creating a Homework Routine

Homework time can make or break or your quality time with your child.Whether your child is in 1st grade or 12th grade if you have homework frustrations you might just be ready to throw in the towel.How do we build the best homework routine for our k…

homework routine made easy

Every year the same frustration creeps in. Every year you try to deny it’s going to happen. Every year it returns . Homework time frustration .

In the past, I naively thought that I could tell my child what to do, and they would do it! Oh, the headaches that brought! I then struggled to fit it into my routine, and that failed too!  

Many parents don’t enjoy doing homework with their kids because they have to fit it into their own busy schedules. Why can’t our kiddos just do what we ask?!

I had to take several steps backwards and realize that if I was going to make homework time enjoyable (and I say that in the vaguest form possible) I needed to dissect EVERYTHING I was doing.

The place everyone starts at is routine. It’s like a cozy security blanket. No one says “Gee it feels terrible to return to my routine.” Unless, your routine was dictated by someone else.

Let’s chat about routine! What are the benefits of maintaining a homework schedule?

What are the Benefits of Routine?

  A designated time for homework helps your child develop organizational skills

Routines provide children with security and stability

A homework schedule prepares them to be independent.

When your child knows the importance of their homework vs. play, they become intentional about their choices.

Time management is crucial to healthy child development. Children, like adults, need to learn to manage time effectively and be in control of their daily activities.

 The benefits are clear, but how can we establish a homework routine that works for you and your child? More importantly, how can we create a routine without ripping our hair out?

5 Steps to Setting a Homework Routine

1.      Decide on the Best Time & Create a To-Do List

Since the homework routine is about your child and their homework , you should consider their opinion. Children spend up to 8 hours a day at school and THEN come home to do more work. Please, please, please ask for their thoughts on how to spend their time at home.

While some kids prefer some downtime when they return home, others like to get work done immediately. The bottom line: speak with your child and understand the time that works perfectly for them.

Choose the best time and write down a to-do list indicating everything that they need to achieve, including breaks.

However, try not to have homework time run so late that it cuts into sleep or feels rushed. Remember we want to cut down the stress NOT increase it!

2.      Design a Homework/Study Area

When your child has a specified study space in your home, it increases the reminders that work needs to be completed.

Provide a comfy chair, standing desk, bright light, and no distractions.

3.      Keep their School Supplies Within Reach

Items such as pencils, markers, and dictionaries should be on hand so your child does not waste time searching for items.

There is no such thing as too many pencils!

4.      Put Technology Out of Sight

Distractions from the TV, computer, and phone should be checked. You don’t want your child struggling with that math while trying to follow the next TV show.*

For older adults, it’s often difficult to create a tech-free homework routine. Irrespective, encourage them to stay clear of gadgets while working.

* Some kiddos work well with noise from a radio or TV. I constantly have scary movies playing in the background while I work. You know your child best. Make sure the noise is mind numbing not mind intriguing!

5.      Appreciate Your Child’s Study Efforts

Now, some people may argue that we shouldn’t reward our kids when they successfully do their homework.

But that’s like saying adults shouldn’t get promotions or incentives at work.

Of course, it’s human nature to want appreciation. And when you reward your child with a small gift or applaud, hug or kiss them, you boost their confidence.

These are few tips to help your child establish their homework routine. As an academic coach, I have helped students create their own routines and monitor their success. HOWEVER, helping the child is only a piece of a having a stress free homework routine. Remember at the beginning of the article I said that I needed to rethink MY routines, habits and thoughts?

Tips and tricks are great, but it’s only a piece of it. The Homework Playbook workshop for parents helps YOU create a plan that brings the best version of yourself to homework . Get on the list today! The workshop starts in October!


Marni Pasch  |  Team Pasch Academic Coaching

I work with students in grades 6th and higher, who struggle with academic confidence and motivation. I help them survive school with less stress by helping them create concrete goals, tackle procrastination and learn creative study techniques. I empower students to take charge of their education and reach their goals. I do this through individual or group coaching so students achieve success in life, school, career readiness and their social endeavors.

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what elements make up a homework routine apex

6 ways to establish a productive homework routine

what elements make up a homework routine apex

Assistant Professor of College Learning Strategies and Instruction, Syracuse University

Disclosure statement

Janine L. Nieroda-Madden does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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what elements make up a homework routine apex

Homework. Whether you’re a fifth-grader or a freshman in college, the mere thought of homework can be overwhelming. And actually doing homework can be quite difficult. But homework doesn’t have to be something a student dreads.

As a former high school English teacher and researcher who specializes in what it takes to make it through college – and a co-author of a forthcoming revised edition of a book about academic success – I’ve studied homework since 2010. Here are six ways I believe homework can be made more manageable and valuable, whether you’re in elementary school, high school or graduate school.

1. Set priorities

Establish a list of priorities based on the class syllabus or assignment list. This can be helpful for tackling difficult tasks, creating motivation and activating your sense of control and independence when it comes to learning. The priority list helps maintain goals and gives you a sense satisfaction to cross things off the list as they are completed.

2. Tackle difficult tasks first

Start with your most difficult assignments first in order to make the most of your energy level and to focus at the beginning of a work session. You can attend to the easier or less time-consuming assignments at the end of a work session.

3. Break tasks down to smaller steps

You may not know how to start a major task, which could trigger procrastination or feelings of defeat. To guard against this, break major tasks into three or four smaller steps. Within one homework session, you can feel a greater sense of accomplishment by completing each small step toward the larger whole. In some cases, you might be able to spread these tasks over the course of a week.

4. Create evidence of learning

You will get more out of the time you spend reading, reviewing notes or otherwise “studying” if you create something in the process. For example, creating flash cards, a graphic organizer, chart, or notes with bullet points can help you become an active learner rather than a passive one. Organize the tools you create with the homework assignment by date and topic so that you can review those items to prepare for quizzes, tests or projects.

5. Build a network of support

If certain homework problems could not be solved and you’re stuck in a rut, figure out what’s confusing you and write or record your thoughts. Jot questions down and be as specific as possible in order to seek out additional support from teachers or tutors. The more you can identify sources of confusion, the more you can proactively reach out to your support network – teachers, tutors and others – in order to get additional help.

6. Revisit goals and set new ones

At the start of each homework session, establish goals for completion of your tasks or assignments. Revisit the goals at the end of the session and acknowledge a sense of completion. This goal-setting process builds confidence over time and helps you realize their potential even when faced with difficulties. A productive homework routine will help you realize that learning is an ongoing journey. The journey may be difficult but getting organized will make it as stress-free as possible.

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How to Plan a Homework Schedule

Last Updated: May 14, 2021 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Ronitte Libedinsky, MS . Ronitte Libedinsky is an Academic Tutor and the Founder of Brighter Minds SF, a San Francisco, California based company that provides one-on-one and small group tutoring. Specializing in tutoring mathematics (pre-algebra, algebra I/II, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus) and science (chemistry, biology), Ronitte has over 10 years of experience tutoring to middle school, high school, and college students. She also tutors in SSAT, Terra Nova, HSPT, SAT, and ACT test prep. Ronitte holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in Chemistry from Tel Aviv University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 86% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 466,689 times.

It feels like homework never stops getting piled on, and keeping track of it all can feel a little chaotic. That’s where a homework schedule comes in. With a good schedule, you won’t have to worry about missing homework assignments or not having enough time to finish them, and it’s surprisingly easy to put one together. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry—we’ll walk you through what to do step-by-step below!

Setting Up a Homework Schedule

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Creating a Homework Space

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Understanding What Needs To Get Done

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Getting All of Your Homework Done

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How to Establish a Great Homework Routine

Are you tired of disorganization when it comes to your child’s homework? Or having to nag your child about when and how they will get their homework done? A great homework routine can put an end to these struggles. Establishing the right homework routine will create good study habits that will help your child from Kindergarten through high school and beyond. Here’s how to set one up!

Establishing a Homework Routine that Works!

homework routine

1. Schedule Time for Homework

You probably have things in your own life, whether it’s cleaning the house, doing your taxes, or getting together with friends, where if you don’t put it on your schedule it isn’t going to happen.

The same thing is true for homework. If you want to establish a homework routine, you need to plan time for homework on the family calendar.

The ideal situation is for homework to happen at the same time every day. Whether it’s directly after school or after your child has a little time to snack and unwind. It should be part of the daily routine.

If your child has after-school activities that make homework at the same time every day impossible, make sure you still schedule time for homework. And try to at least have a weekly schedule that is consistent regarding homework time.

You’ll want to make sure you allow enough time for homework to be completed. Talk to your child’s teacher about their expectations for time spent on homework to help determine how much time you need.

It’s also a good idea to talk to your child about when they want to do their homework. Discuss with them what they feel is the best time of day for homework. This doesn’t mean they get the final say about timing, but older kids especially may have strong feelings about a time that works for them.

And when you choose a time, consider whether your child needs some food and exercise before they sit down for a long stretch.

homework routine

2. Choose a Homework Space

Once you have the timing down for your homework routine, you need to consider the location. Do you have a designated homework area with desks and supplies? Or do your kids spread their stuff out on the kitchen table at homework time?

When you decide on the best homework space, you want to consider a few factors. Does your child work better when they are alone and free of distractions? Or do they need you nearby to help them with questions and encourage them to stay on task?

Some kids need background noise, others work best in silence. You may even need to set your kids up in different areas from each other if they have different needs for completing their homework in a stress-free environment.

Try to keep individual needs in mind when you consider the best place in your home for school work. And set your kids up for success.

homework routine

3. Establish Rules for Homework Time

A great homework routine will include some rules for how that time will be spent. This may include rules about silencing cell phones and putting them away during homework time.

Rules around electronics and other distractions are some of the most important. Sure, your child may need a tablet or computer for their homework sometimes. But other electronics are likely to be an endless source of distraction.

Consider whether you need to set rules and time limits for breaks during homework time. Sure, kids may need to get up and stretch their legs or use the bathroom. But an endless stream of excuses for breaks won’t result in homework being completed.

You may also want to establish some rules around your role in their homework. Will you be checking their work to make sure it’s completed? Or will it be more on the honor system? And your child’s age will be a huge factor here.

A great homework routine should help your child work towards greater independence when it comes to school work as they get older. You can’t go off to college with them. So, as your child gets older, they should become more responsible for completing their homework with minimal reminders and check-ins with mom and dad.

Stick to It!

When you’re trying to establish any new routine, there is going to be some adjustment time. Commit to sticking it out with your homework routine, even if you face some initial resistance. Once the routine becomes a habit, it will be such a part of daily life for your kids that battles over homework will be few and infrequent. And your kids will be on the path to greater self-sufficiency and success with school work.

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Make Homework Routine

By Guest Blogger, Penny Williams of {a mom’s view of ADHD}

ADHD children do better with routine. It’s a proven fact. In a brain characteristically in chaos, the order routine provides is soothing. They need to know what to expect in advance and have time to make the mental transition as well.

Everything goes more smoothly for my son when he knows what’s coming and when, and everything falls apart when our schedule changes unexpectedly. As parents of neurologically different children, we make their world more comfortable by publicizing the family schedule and sticking to a routine as much as a family can. We have a routine for getting up and ready for school in the morning. We have a bedtime routine. We even have an {unpopular} dinnertime routine. Why should homework time be any different?

It has taken me two years to establish a fairly comfortable homework routine for Luke, my 8-year-old, third grade son who has ADHD and sensory integration issues. Two years of a lot of trial and error. And we aren’t set yet, nor do I predict we will be for many years. As the full extent of Luke’s written expression disorder has been revealed this year, the homework routine has changed quite a bit, but for the better.

Like Clockwork

I’ve experimented quite a bit with the time of day that we do homework. It was quickly apparent that waiting until after dinner (and after medications had worn off) was not going to work for Luke (or for me). We then tried right after school and at 4 pm, which is about 30 minutes after we arrive home from school. I liked the idea of some free time for Luke to unwind and a break from schoolwork that the 4 pm schedule offered. However, it hasn’t always worked out. In 30 minutes time he can get engrossed in something fun and then it’s a battle to get him to stop and do homework. I feel a little like a schoolmarm making him do homework the minute we get home, but he does his best work at that time.

Now sure we don’t always come straight home from school. Sometimes I’m working and grandma picks him up. Sometimes we have afterschool activities or just need to run to the grocery store. But Luke knows that we do homework when we return home from school, whatever time that may read on the clock. He has come to expect it.

Even Homework Needs a Home

Give homework papers and supplies a home and keep them in the same spot. When I say, “time to do homework,” Luke immediately goes to his homework spot. Well, not immediately. Even the best laid plan will not cure the typical resistance to homework. We keep Luke’s homework folder, pencils, etc. on his end of the snack bar. Up until a month or so ago, he sat there or just behind at the dining table to do his homework. We kept all needs there so he wouldn’t have the distraction of getting up to fetch something.


Consider a Homework Toolkit : The toolkit will be some sort of box or desktop organizer, even an actual toolbox, with every single item necessary to complete homework, prepped and ready to go:

pencils (sharpened — sharpening pencils is a favorite procrastination technique of children),

pencil sharpener (in case it breaks),

pencil grips (if used),

colored pencils (sharpened),

appropriate scissors,

notebook paper,

construction paper or blank copy paper,



index cards,


glue stick,

post-it notes,

clip board (if not working at a table or desktop),

anything else your child may use for homework

Now that Luke has some technological accommodations for his written expression disability , he does his spelling homework on the computer. When I announce “homework time,” he gets his folder off the snack bar and brings it to my desk to work on my computer. (I am looking for a good place in my office to create a new homework spot now that things have changed.) He’s great with technology, and typing is so much easier for him than hand writing assignments was, so this change has actually allowed me to stop standing over him, constantly nagging, during homework for the first time since he started school. It’s wonderful!

He finishes his spelling assignment and then takes his book to the sofa and I set the timer for reading. If you don’t have a timer or don’t use one with your ADHD child, I super-strongly recommend its implementation. My favorite is the Time Timer , but any household timer will work. When the timer sounds at the end of his 15 minutes, he jumps up, completes his homework log, and then puts the homework folder back in its home on the snack back (with a little prodding and a lot of reminders).

Don’t Make Them Bite Off More Than They can Chew

Homework is designed to prove to a teacher that a child has mastered the subject matter and is sometimes an exercise in repetition for knowledge retention. Every child in the class is given the same homework, regardless of their differences, unless there’s already an IEP or 504 Plan to the contrary. It’s your duty as your child’s advocate and #1 cheerleader to be sure the homework is appropriate for your child. Yes, this is negotiable, either through teamwork with the teacher or through a formal IEP or 504 Plan.

Scaling the amount of homework to your child’s differences and needs is a crucial element in the success of the homework routine. For example, Luke reads for 15 minutes each day while the original 3 rd grade homework structure called for 20 minutes. There was a lot of resistance and inability to finish 20 minutes of reading but 15 minutes is just the right amount for Luke. While he is above grade level in reading, he is allowed to have me read aloud to him if that’s what it takes to get the assignment finished. I have found that he often asks me to read to him just to have time together. I agree, but on the condition that we take turns reading aloud by alternating paragraphs. He usually ends up reading most of it himself anyway, just with me alongside him.

Spelling is also a regular homework task. He has 15 words each week and his teacher suggests a list of activities from which to complete three. We alter these activities to accommodate his handwriting issues. He types all activities which means there are some that don’t apply to him (like writing each word in cursive three times). Sometimes there aren’t three on the list that can be typed so I let him pick from activities he’s done previous weeks.

Also, get creative and tailor homework to the way your child learns. Luke is a visual and tactile learner so we make homework visual and hands-on as much as we can – it was easier to do so in the younger grades. Use dried macaroni for math or even spelling. Does your child love to paint? Let them paint their spelling words or their illustration for their writing assignments. Painting letters is actually a common therapy tool for children that struggle with handwriting. What about play dough? I purchased a box of cookie cutters with all the letters and numbers for play dough play. You could do spelling and math with these. It will take longer but make homework more interesting and fun.

Luke’s teacher is perfectly content with our customization of the homework plan. Since they don’t get a grade on homework in third grade, it’s easy to make this change. Similar alterations can be made for middle school and high school homework too though. For instance, a student should be allowed to complete a percentage of the problems on a math worksheet to show they have mastered the content when the entire assignment will take too long or is overwhelming. Shortening the assignments will reduce their anxiety too, making it easier to work and study in the first place.

Don’t Forget Good Study Habits

Good study habits are even more crucial for children with ADHD and learning disabilities. There are some general ground rules that should always be followed:

TV and other distractions must be turned off. However, music in the background actually helps some children focus. It is a distraction for me, but Luke and his sister both do homework better with music on, especially when listening with headphones. Experiment with this and see what is best for your child.

Praise and reward often (typically more often than feels natural).

Take breaks as needed. Who says you have to finish homework in one sitting? Allow your child to get up and stretch, get a snack, jump on the trampoline, etc. Just don’t allow them any screen time during breaks because you won’t likely get back to the homework amicably.

There is so much more than the few ideas I’ve covered here, especially for older children. Take a look at these other resources on the subject of homework with ADHD children:

Family Education , full of amazing homework tips, tricks, helps, templates, checklists, and how to’s. Here’s the Family Education homework section . They even have a section on ADHD.

Homework Help! A system that works for ADHD children, article

ADHD and Homework Time from

Help a child with ADHD do homework

How to Help Children with ADHD End Homework Hassles

Penny Williams is the creator and editor of {a mom’s view of ADHD} , where she writes candidly about the everyday experiences of parenting her young ADHD son. In her immersion in all things ADHD since her son’s diagnosis, Penny has published, My ADHD Story: Love Notes , Blah, Blah, Blah! , and Teachers We Love: Learning for All in ADDitude Magazine , the #1 national publication dedicated to ADHD. She has been quoted in’s Family Health Guide on ADHD and The High Desert Pulse, Summer/Fall 2010, When Ritalin Works .


How To Set Up a Homework Routine That Works

homework for kids

Setting up a homework routine is an important practice for your child. Not only does it ensure that school work is done in time, but it also teaches your child some very important life skills such as how to manage their time effectively, how to prioritise, how to motivate themselves and the concept of delayed reward.

It’s an important skill to set early because their ability to apply themselves to homework (and eventually study) will be a big part of their future educational success.

Table of Contents

Setting up a homework practice

How to set up a homework routine that works.

If this is your first time trying to implement a homework routine, have a chat about it with your child before you start. Explain to them what is going to happen and why homework is important. Come to an agreement as to when and how much time they think might be a realistic time frame to set in place. Note: Hopefully you have already attended a parent information session to help guide this expectation.

Remember that your positive attitude towards education and learning early on is essential to a lifelong love of learning.

If you have a pre-schooler then something as simple as a reading together in the afternoon is a great way for children to get used to a consistent routine of learning time.

Make a homework “sanctuary” (have a regular spot)

It’s important to have a dedicated space for homework, preferably the same place each day. An office desk or dining table is usually fine; the key is to keep it uncluttered and distraction-free. No TVs, no computer games, and preferably without people (aka siblings) coming and going. Respect their need for space and quiet.

If you have lots of kids who need to complete homework then you may need to supervise a communal area to ensure work gets done. The idea is for homework to be done efficiently and without you having to yell or get upset with your children. This is best achieved by setting up the ideal homework environment that WORKS as a foundation rather than trying to manage homework in a situation and/or environment that was always against you from the beginning.

Timing is key and each child is different

Your child will probably respond best to a homework routine if it occurs soon after school finishes. That way, the lessons are still fresh in their mind and tiredness is yet to set in. If you think your child will struggle to concentrate the whole time, then begin with a short homework period and increase it gradually. Consider breaking the homework routine into two segments, with a short reward in between.

If you find afternoons are not ideal due to personal circumstances or lethargy, then consider a morning session of homework as your routine especially in the early years.

Sometimes getting out of the house and grabbing some afternoon tea at a local cafe (or alternatively breakfast) can also be a nice change to the routine.

Create a reward system

Children respond well to rewards, and using one can help to keep them motivated in the beginning. It doesn’t need to be huge; playtime, television, or a little treat after homework is completed are all sufficient.  As the routine builds and the child ages, consider slowly phasing out the reward. Don’t forget that praise by itself is also a great reward for kids, so keep those good vibes coming.

It’s also important to focus on praising the effort and improvement, more than the results. And remember, being interested in what they are learning and the work they produce can be a significant motivator for kids.

Participate where necessary

Homework can be hard! Struggling with homework is perfectly normal, but if you sense that your child is becoming particularly frustrated, then do step in and offer to help. In the early days, you will be an integral part of homework in both guiding them towards the answer and validating their success. As they grow older your guidance will become less about the answers and more about simply reinforcing their routine and supporting them with space, time and the odd snack.

It’s important that your child does not associate the homework routine with feelings of frustration, inadequacy and helplessness. Your positive participation will also act as a reward and will help to reinforce the routine. If you feel your child is constantly unable to complete their homework independently then you should make a point of discussing this with their teacher.

homework routines and practice

Other quick tips

Remember that consistency is key in developing routines and that it takes time for something to become a habit. We have gathered some further support for you in your role as a school parent.

We hope that this post helps to support your homework routine or helps you to set up a new one. If you have any tips you want to share to help other parents then please feel free to do so below.


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