Are you Battling with your Children over Homework? – Here’s a way to help you stop fighting and start negotiating – to give your child more control over their learning.


A simple way to give children some ‘wriggle’ room and you some returned sanity.

 

By that I mean let them negotiate their learning at home sometimes. Rather than dictate, cajole, shout or downright bribe your child into getting homework done (exhausting!)  - why not sit down with them and negotiate a timetable for the week?

 

Ask them how and when they think homework might fit into their week?

 

Devise a timetable with hour slots on it. I’ve offered a sample one to download to show you what I mean:   Negotiating Homework

 

Together with your child fill in all the slots that have commitments – sports practice, music lessons, religious, family stuff etc. Then negotiate around the TV programmes they really want to watch or time to play their computer games etc. – let them choose some slots for themselves.

 

Then ask them which homework they are going to do in each of the remaining blank ones. This way homework itself is not negotiable but they have some autonomy over when it is done.

 

It might be – if you’ve been battling for a while – that your child sees this as a way to get out of doing homework - as your part of the ‘deal’ is not to nag them to do it.

 

This is the difficult bit. Do NOTHING. I know – watching your child make mistakes is awful but nothing will change until you let them see this through.

 

Discuss the consequences of not sticking to this plan. Will you impose a sanction?  What might the school say or do if homework is not done?

 

Let your child realise that it is their responsibility (with your help of course) to complete these learning commitments – and more importantly to accept the consequences if they don’t.

You need to let children take the rap for themselves.

 

Bite your lip – go through the pain barrier (which is likely to be less excruciating than you think) and in the long term your child will be a more independent, organised learner.

 

Good Luck – I'd be interested to hear how you get on sue@thinkingchild.org.uk

 

Sue

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