University of Illinois Extension

Helping Children Manage Homework

Cammy Seguin & Kay Mayberry, Family Life Educators

The beginning of the school year is a good time to help children get smarter. Being smart is more than being intelligent. It means being practical and having common sense. And, it means being organized and having good study habits.

Get the school year off to a good start by helping your grandkids organize everything they will need for homework. Set up a specific homework place and keep it supplied with pencils, paper, erasers, markers and other needed materials. Also, have the grandchildren write down the name and phone number of one student in each class to call for help or missed class notes. And, help your grandkids keep track of homework with a weekly assignment sheet that can be put in a folder or binder.

Try these tips for making homework less stressful:

  • Do homework at the same time each day - whether it's right after school or in the evening. Let the children have some input on setting the time.
  • If your grandkids need help with an assignment, complete one or two examples together. But, don't help them with every problem. If children don't do their own work, they won't do well on tests and other assignments.
  • Help children manage big homework projects. Divide large projects into smaller chunks that can be done over a few days or a week. This helps children learn how to pace their work.
  • Limit outside activities to avoid burnout. Children can only do so much. If they have too many extra-curricular activities, they may be too tired to do homework.
  • Support the teachers. If you think teachers are assigning too much homework, make an appointment to discuss the matter - without the children. If you complain to the teacher in front of the children, it encourages them to question the teacher's authority - and that can lead to discipline problems.

Homework: Get Organized with a Weekly Assignment Sheet

For some students, remembering homework assignments is the biggest challenge when it comes to school. Help your grandkids get organized with a weekly assignment sheet like this one.

Weekly Assignment Sheet Example

On a sheet of paper, list each subject on the left and leave blank spaces for the kids to write in their assignments. The sheet fits easily into a folder or binder.

Then, toss it out on the weekend and make a new sheet for the following week.