Dr. K’s Corner
Ahoy! Welcome to Dr. K’s Corner, where each edition is written by our pediatric psychologist, Dr. Klitzman, and discusses current health topics and common questions. In this edition, Dr. Klitzman discusses strategies to help with homework time.
What is the best environment for my child to complete homework?
This depends on the child; some children work better in a room by themselves, where others work best beside a caregiver or sibling. Either way, children should do their homework at the same place every day, whether it be a desk in their room or the dining room table. Make sure that they have all of the materials necessary before they begin, and remove any distractions, including television/tablet.
I’ve tried those strategies. What else can I do?
Follow an after school schedule that is consistent each day so that everyone is on the same page. Once your child gets home from school, you can give them a break or start homework right away, depending on what works best for them. Have an enjoyable activity planned following homework. For example, homework starts at 3:30pm, and once they are done with homework, they get to play outside or watch TV until dinner at 5:30pm. This gives your child something to look forward to, as well as an incentive for them to focus and finish their homework in a timely manner. If you’re still having trouble, try breaking homework down and set small goals, like one math worksheet or three science questions. Once a goal is complete, provide verbal praise and allow your child to take a short, 2-minute break before they start on the next goal. You can use a visual timer for both homework and breaks, which may help children with time management. You might already do this, but try to be available to answer questions, and prompt your child to continue even if they get stuck. Your support and encouragement can go a long way!
I hope that the school year is off to a great start!
Page Klitzman, PhD