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Low Stress School Routines – Getting Homework Done

Homework is a necessary part of school for most kids.  You may be able to escape this if you have a Kindergartner, but even my first grader has a spelling test and one short spelling worksheet every week.  It’s time to get your homework routines in shape!

Common Pitfalls – no good location, lack of planning. The statement, “I forgot to do my homework last night,” has elicited tears in our household more than a few times.  An equally frightening declaration – “I can’t find my homework!”  Scrambling through a worksheet, wiping tears while trying to come up with spelling word sentences, tossing things aside all over the house looking for a stray book report – it’s scene I try to avoid like the plague.

Solutions – I’ve divided the solutions into two main sections, the schedule and the location.

Homework Schedule – This question won’t get a cookie cutter answer from me.  When making this decision, you will need to consider several things, including but not limited to the following:  after school activities, hunger, fatigue, age, ability to switch gears from home to school, workload, and academic abilities.  Resist enforcing a rigid schedule that doesn’t account for these things.  A hungry tired kid is about the least motivated creature on earth.

Be sure you also allow a little flexibility for breaks if the workload is significant (for their age, ability, etc).  Even you need the occasional break when doing a lot of mental work.  Make sure you set a schedule that allows enough time for everything to get done without compromising the essentials (good night of sleep, planning for the next day, family interaction, and meals).

Location – Where is everyone going to do their homework?  Is there a good shared location like the dining room table or the end of a kitchen counter?  Or does everyone have a good spot in their room to work?  Consider the work habits of each child when addressing this.  A younger child will need a lot more guidance than an older child.  A confident, self-motivated child may prefer to work in their room and only come out when they have a question.  Whatever their needs, make sure you have something for everyone.

Readers Respond Here

Thanks so much for checking out my first post of the week about Family Meal Time.  Add your suggestions about making the homework routine work for you this school year.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Pandorum-

Low Stress School Routines – Getting Homework Done

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). Low Stress School Routines – Getting Homework Done. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Sep 2010
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