By my estimates, there are over 1,500 days of homework standing between my son and high school graduation. That is a lot for a kid who would generally prefer to be doing anything other than sitting down for spelling practice.
The truth is that I don't want homework to be a battle (1,500 days is also a lot of days for fighting about math problems), so I'm always on the hunt for creative ways to inspire my son to get his homework done.
I'm definitely going to be trying some of these methods soon -- his first-ever book report is coming soon!
"We set a timer for 15 minutes, and then when that time is up we take a five-minute dance break. I let my son choose the song, and knowing he is only 15 minutes away from a break seems to help him focus." -- Grace R., Hudsonville, Michigan
"I just started doing 'homework happy hour' and it's a hit! I set out bowls of snacks on the kitchen bar and make the kids fun drinks like milkshakes or Shirley Temples. You can only come to happy hour if you are reading or doing homework, so I no longer have to drag people to the table to work." -- Melissa L., Albert Lea, Minnesota
"My son always has lots of pent-up energy after school and was super wiggly and fidgeting in his seat when doing homework, so I ended up snapping at him to sit still a lot. Now I do two things that seem to help: I let him play for a half hour before homework time and I have him stand to do homework. He seems to focus better when he stands, and that gets homework done faster." -- Katie P., Saint Paul, Minnesota
More from CafeMom: My Third Grader's Homework Is Too Hard for Me
"This might be controversial, but I asked his teacher for more time. He is only in second grade, and homework was taking an hour or more a night. That is crazy! Homework was always due on Friday morning, but I've asked for an extension until Monday so we have weekends to do it too, which makes getting it done during the week less stressful." -- DeeDee H., Apex, North Carolina
"Now that my daughter is in fifth grade, I've put her in charge of her own homework. She knows she has to have good grades to get privileges like phone time, so I'm trying to let natural consequences be the motivation. I won't force her to do it, but I won't let her have what she wants if she doesn't." -- Amber W., Cleveland, Ohio
"I discovered that my son does better and is more willing to do homework if he has company. So I set him up in the kitchen and I either make dinner or read or do something quiet. I think he just wants to feel like he's getting mom time too." -- Blythe D., Denver, Colorado
"Bribery works for us! I made a deal with my daughter that if she gets her homework done without whining or having a fit on Monday through Wednesday, we'll do homework together on Thursday at the coffee shop. I'm in grad school, so I have homework to do too, and it gives us time to bond." -- Lindsay W., Des Moines, Iowa
"We do something called 'eating the frog,' which is just a way of saying do the most unpleasant thing first. He gets a homework packet on Monday for the whole week. He hates writing and loves math. We grit our teeth and do writing first, so then the rest of the week is easier." -- Sue R., Saint Paul, Minnesota
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