Establish homework routines for long-term school success

Imagine your child is a high schooler with hours of homework every day. How would he handle it? Help him prepare now by instilling basic study skills. The habits your child develops in elementary school will last a lifetime!

You can instill good study habits if you:

Enforce a study time. Choose one that works best for your child. Some kids need to blow off steam right after school, while others like to finish homework right away. Pick the time that works best for your child--and stick with it!
Create a study space. Make sure your child has a quiet, comfortable place to work. It should be free of distractions, especially noise from the TV. Stay nearby to supervise, and set a good example by reading or taking care of your responsibilities.
Finish early. Long-term assignments are perfect opportunities to teach the value of planning. If your child has to write a book report, for example, split the project into parts and set a deadline for each one. Ideally, it will be finished with time to spare.
Compliment success. How does it feel to work hard and see results? To do well on tests? To complete projects early? (Great!) Discuss this with your child. "I love what you did! You really took the time to be creative!" "You got an A because you studied every day. You earned it!" "Doesn't it feel great to be done? Now you can relax. Let's do something fun!"


Reprinted with permission from the September 2010 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2010 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: "Helping Your Child With Homework," U.S. Department of Education,