6 Pesky Homework Distractions That Have to Go

6 Pesky Homework Distractions That Have to Go

Try these simple tips to eliminate troublesome homework distractions for your student.

By: Maria Mora

As another school year begins, moms everywhere are bracing themselves for the inevitable homework battles. Before you end up in a standoff with your kid, try eliminating these problematic homework distractions.

1. The cell phone. Don’t rely on turning off the ringer. A silent phone can still receive texts. When it’s homework time, have your child hand over the phone. Toss it in a basket in the kitchen until homework is done. There’s nothing as motivating to kids as getting access to their text and chat programs after homework time.

2. Wi-Fi. If your student doesn’t need internet access for homework, shut down the Wi-Fi. Think about how easily you’re distracted by cute animal videos and puzzle apps. It’s just as bad for teens and tweens. Don’t expect kids to be able to police themselves when it comes to the temptation to aimlessly click around online.

3. Bad timing. Doing homework at the wrong time throws off a child’s focus. Some students work better at crunch time, just before bed. Others would rather get it over with early in the afternoon. You know best, Mom. Does your kid need a snack before working? Does your child have to know exactly how much time is allotted for homework? Be flexible and let your child’s routine and preferences set the pace.

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4. Clutter. Give your kid a calming, clean place to do homework. The desk area should be free of clutter -- including toys and gadgets. For some kids, a quiet bedroom is the best place to work. For other kids, especially students who need extra help, the kitchen table is a better plan. Try a few options until you figure out what works best for your family, but always keep the work space neat.

5. Noise. Homework time should be a peaceful time in the home whenever possible. Don’t make your child do homework in a room where you wouldn’t want to work. Avoid lots of chatter. Turn off the TV. The homework area doesn’t need to be a full-on spa environment, but it should be concentration-friendly. Some kids focus better with music on in the background -- so don’t rule it out if that’s what your child prefers.

6. Lack of supervision. Whether you have a second-grader or a senior in high school, your child needs supervision when it’s homework time. You don’t need to micromanage every task, but you should show that you care enough to check in. If you’re a willing helper, not a cranky enforcer, your student will develop a better attitude about homework time. You’re in this together.

Removing these distractions won't help you understand new math, but it will give you some much-needed peace after school.

What are your tried and true tips for making homework time easier?

Maria Mora is a single mom, editor, and hockey fanatic. She lives with her two sons in Florida.

Image ©iStock.com/bowdenimages

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