If you have children, particularly teenage children, then you likely already know how difficult it can be to get them to actually sit down and study or do homework. They can think of every excuse in the book, and list a million other things that have to be done now, rather than their homework. It can be an all out battle at your home just trying to convince your teen to study, but there are some things you do that will make this easier for you. You will have to learn to be firm, and be willing to follow thru with what you say, but you can get past the daily homework battles if you wish to do so.
Start talking to your teen about school in the summer, at least two weeks or so before the first day. Try not to lecture to your child, as they will only tune you out, but you do need to talk with them about the upcoming year, and your expectations of them academically. You may even want to sit down with them and write out some goals for the upcoming year as well. Address any thoughts or concerns that your child may have about the new school year, and let them know that you are there to help and support them as needed.
Let your teen help you design a space in your home for them to use for homework and studying. This needs to be done before the first day of school. Stock the area with basic needs, pens, paper, pencils, etc. Again, let your teen help in picking out supplies and choosing their space. Just make certain that they have a quiet area free of distractions, so that they can focus on their studies.
Sit down with your teen and setup an after school schedule for them. For example, if your teen gets home at 3:30pm, allow them 30 minutes after they come home for snacks, phone calls, etc., and then make it a rule that they start their homework by 4pm. Give them adequate time to complete their homework and do anything around the house that you give them as chores, and then allow the rest of the evening to be free time, until they go to bed. You need to be willing to give and take when it comes to this, don’t dictate every single thing to your teen. Make certain that homework comes before chores, free time, etc.
Many teenagers are busy and involved in many extracurricular activities outside of school. You can’t restrict them too much, but you should limit the amount of time they spend in these areas, so that they do have sufficient time to do homework, study, and get a full night’s rest. If your teen becomes overwhelmed, grades will start to fall, and then you will have a problem on your hands.
If your teen has problems with a particular subject, offer to help as needed, or find someone else who can help if you are unable to. You may even want to consider allowing your teen to participate in programs offered in the afternoons after school is over, which is often a great way to get some extra help on particularly difficult subjects, such as math. You will need to determine if they have fallen behind because they don’t understand, or if they have fallen behind because they aren’t doing the work and putting forth their best effort. If the latter is true, then it may be time to start talking about the potential consequence of their actions, losing privileges, etc. You may have to cut out all extra activities until the grades improve. No one wants to take drastic measures as a parent, but in some cases, that is the only way to get your child’s attention and let them know that you are serious about them sticking to the rules.
No one ever said that raising children would be an easy task, but you shouldn’t have to fight everyday just to get homework done. Be patient, set the rules and the consequences for breaking them, and then follow thru as needed.