Probably the only people who hate homework more than kids, are their parents. So how do you get your young child (and yourself) into a routine that makes it painless and maybe even enjoyable?

There might be some routines you enjoy, like going to the gym regularly and doing your set of exercises. But other routines, like cleaning, are not much fun. Getting your child into a routine with something he probably hates already, like homework, is a challenge. Here are some tips that will help.

First, ask them when they want to do homework. They will say “never!” Ask again and work out together what time won’t clash with a play date or a favourite TV show. Setting a regular time prevents arguments about when to do the work. Just steer clear of evenings – most kids are tired and grumpy from around five onwards. Best is after school, following lunch and a few minutes to relax. Experts say it takes about three weeks for young kids to get into a habit, so stick to the time no matter what.

Make sure it’s a comfortable spot that will be available every day. Check the day’s work before you start and make sure everything you need is there. You'll lose momentum if you suddenly both have to get up to hunt for the missing glue stick. Get rid of any temptations or distractions, like siblings playing or a TV.

Remember watching the clock in school, waiting for the bell to ring? You weren’t listening then, were you? Try to set goals rather than marking off time. Try doing ten of these, two pages of that and so on. Rotate the tasks – hard, easy, hard – and end off by packing the school bag together for the next day.

Introduce grandparents or anyone who will be looking after your kid during homework time to the teacher. Give them copies of the school and class calendars and mark days when you’ll need them to stand in or help out. Sign them up for the school app or e-mails so they’ll know what’s happening. Most importantly, make sure they understand how and when you’d like homework handled so there is consistency. If your child is in aftercare, ask the supervisors how homework is handled and scheduled. Talk about what you would like to happen and explain any special help your child might need.

With younger kids, you’ll have to be on hand to answer questions or help. If they don’t ask, don’t interfere unless you see they’re really struggling with something and could use some guidance. They have to learn that it’s their homework and their marks, not yours.

Older kids might be alone for a few hours after school and even a model student might get distracted from homework. Try tech for remote supervision. Two examples: let them text you a pic of completed homework. One parent changes the Wi-Fi password every day and sends it to her son once he’s texted her that his homework is done.

Your kid's sense of values and habits come from you, so show him it’s important to get things done properly and on time. It won’t be fair for you to watch TV or play a game on your phone while they can’t, so use homework time to do some of your own chores. In the end, say you should check the homework together to make sure it was done right. This teaches them that it’s not just about getting it done, but also about doing it right and well.

Jet understands the demands that come with being a parent, and that children have to deal with the pressures of school work, exams and keeping their grades up. That's why we are excited about our new Education Support Benefit. Jet Club members can now receive tutorial support telephonically, get practice test papers and summaries of textbooks to make understanding the work easier. Jet Club members can visit www.studymaster.co.za to register. Then select the Jet Club Education Support Services option and simply use your ID number to register.

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8 WAYS TO TAKE THE HATE OUT OF HOMEWORK 8 WAYS TO TAKE THE HATE OUT OF HOMEWORK Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on November 13, 2018 Rating: 5
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