5 Tips for Ending The Homework Battle

Enrichment Therapies

November 26, 2018

By Kim Vogelgesang, B.A.

Do you find yourself struggling to motivate and help your child do their homework?  The dreaded nightly homework battle is something I hear about from parents quite often.  But getting your child to do their homework without the struggle doesn’t have to be so intimidating! Here are a few ideas to help ease the homework headaches.

Have a specific time set aside for homework every night. 

I would recommend it not being immediately after they get home from school.  Remember, your child has just spent all day working hard at school, and having them dive right into homework can create a burnt-out and frustrated feeling rather quickly!  Choose a later time that will allow them to have some downtime first (such as eating a snack or playing outside) so that they are able to reset mentally.  Having a planned homework time each night gets kids into a predictable routine.  Just like bedtime, kids will know that each night, at the time you choose, it is time for homework! 


Limit the time that is spent on homework – especially for younger kids. 

Sometimes the amount of homework to do can be daunting, especially for kids that struggle with the concepts that the homework covers.  Limiting homework time reassures children that they won’t be hovering over workbooks or worksheets all night long; again preventing that burnt-out feeling.  Every family needs to decide what time limit works best for them; there really is not a correct time limit to implement.  If you are looking for a starting point, I recommend no more than 20-30 minutes for a first-grade student, and generally 10 minutes more for each increased grade level.  This is just a general suggestion, however; you should choose what works best for your child and your family.

Find a quiet, screen-free zone. 

Our daily tasks and routines are now dominated by technology such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs.  Don’t let screen time infiltrate the daily homework routine as well.  Students need to be able to focus and concentrate, and screens are a major distraction for kids and adults alike. Turn off the TV, put phones away, and try being completely unplugged for homework time! 

Make it family study time. 

Lead by example!  Even if you don’t have homework to do, show your child how important academics are by reading a book or newspaper, writing a poem, etc.  Having the whole family involved in homework time can help eliminate your child’s feelings of anger, frustration, or resentment that a parent or sibling may get to watch TV, play a game, etc., while they have to do homework.  This also lends itself very easily to Tip #5.

Be present and continually available to offer help and encouragement. 

Often, kids will say they don’t need or want a parent’s help with homework.  And while sometimes this may be true, it is important to still be available during homework time to offer help and prevent growing frustrations from boiling over. Be supportive of your child by focusing on their homework accomplishments and growth, and not fixating on every error or mistake.  Don’t forget to give consistent encouragement and praise!

Homework doesn’t have to be a stressful hassle every night.  Try a few of these tips and see how they work for your family!  Good luck and happy studying!

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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