8 Tips on Effectively Helping Your Kids with Their Homework
Because you don't have time for another job when you get home from the first one.
Stubborn student keeping you from enjoying your post-work evening? Follow these veteran parents’ advice for getting assignments done—without energy-draining begging or bribing.
1. “My son does everything he can without me, and he puts a sticky note on the things he needs help with so we can review together later. It works great and instills organizational techniques as well.”
—Julie Cantor, M.D., faculty member at UCLA School of Law and founder/CEO of Harlen, a woman’s handbag line
2. “Have a dedicated homework area that is NOT centrally located. The kitchen table might be too distracting with the dog, siblings and art supplies close by. We keep a small table in a quiet corner with paper, pencils and erasers on it. When my daughter sits there, she knows it’s time to get down to business!”
—Beth Cubbage, software consulting manager and owner of the blog Parent Lightly
3. “I text my kids daily at around 4 p.m. to ask about homework in a family group chat. They’ll send pictures and screenshots of their assignments, and my husband and I walk them through those problems between meetings at work.”
—Gina Hooks, senior social media marketing manager
4. “If your kids have a favorite subject, do it last so they are motivated to complete work on less-enjoyable material.”
—Elizabeth Malson, president and VP of marketing at Amslee Institute, an online technical school for caregivers
5. “We have an Amazon Echo at home. If I’m not home while the kids are doing their homework, I ‘drop in’ through the Echo app on my phone. I can hear the kids where they hang out, and assist accordingly. We also have Nest cameras up, so I can visually get an idea of what’s going on and provide homework guidance.”
—Esti Chazanow, co-founder and brand manager at LIV Watches
6. “We all grab a snack and spread out at the kitchen table. I send business emails, and the kids ask me for help when needed. It sends the message: We’re in it together, and I’d rather not be doing my homework either, but it’s the responsible thing to do.”
—Kelley Kitley, psychotherapist
7. “We minimize distractions—her siblings—by having my husband play with them while I work one on one with my daughter. If she starts to get overly frustrated or tired, my husband and I quickly swap to reset the energy in the room.”
—Lauren Golden, author of The Free Mama: How to Work from Home, Control Your Schedule, and Make More Money
8. “We use Alexa to set a timer for my daughter’s math problems. She loves talking to Alexa and the challenge of trying to complete more and more problems in two minutes.”
—Katie Coleman, consultant
Written by Joseph Barberio for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.