The Joy of Teaching – An Evan-Moor Blog

Sharing creative ideas and lessons to help children learn

The Dos and Don’ts of Homework Time: Reducing Homework Stress


Whether you love it or hate it…well, let’s face it, no one loves homework. Nonetheless, it is an important time to help your child get extra practice of basic skills or show his or her knowledge through a project.

I can remember feeling discouraged by my math homework and my parents getting frustrated with me and sending in my older sister to help. Later in life, I realized this was because I was struggling with basic fractions and my parents had no clue how to help!

As I started to sense a similar cycle with my own children when homework started in kindergarten, I did some research and talked to other parents and came up with this list of dos and don’ts at homework time:

  • Girl stressing over homeworkDo set up a designated homework area.
  • Do set up a consistent time for homework, preferably in the early evening hours. This provides a much-needed break for your child between school and homework.
  • Do give praise and celebrate every improvement.
  • Do give your child a break in between assignments.
  • Do give your child access to a timer to help reduce wasted time.
  • Do contact your child’s teacher for advice and tips.
  • Don’t turn on electronic devices that can serve as a distraction.
  • Don’t hover, but also don’t use this time to cook dinner, talk on the phone, or finish the laundry. Be available for your child as he or she has questions or needs a reminder to stay focused.
  • Don’t be critical or point out mistakes.
  • Don’t be impatient.
  • Don’t do the work for your child.
  • Don’t ignore these tips!

I hope that these tips will help homework time be less stressful in your house. Share your own stress-free homework tips here.

Contributing Writer

contributor-trisha-smallTrisha Thomas is the mother of two and serves on the board of directors at a co-op preschool. She has also been a marketer of educational materials for grades PreK–8 for more than 15 years.

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