Steps to get kids interested in homework

By Carrie Weil

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) -- Just the word "homework" can cause stress levels to skyrocket. So how do you make the after school task a routine and not a battle? WAVE 3's Carrie Weil has four steps to get you started.

When classes are finished and the teacher's gone -- the homework remains -- with you as the parent, teacher and enforcer. To complete the assignments Dr. Janet Leitner an Elementary Liaison with JCPS, says empower your child by giving them "voice and choice."

"It's not just that you say 'go sit down and do your homework,' but that you say 'when would you like to do it? Do you want to have something to eat first? Would you like to play outside for a little bit, or get some exercise, what works for you?'"

Once your child's work is underway -- get to work yourself.

The second tip is to model good behavior.

"If you've got bills to pay or correspondence to write, even meals to plan -- anything that's going to mean we're not watching television. We're just sitting down with a paper and pencil almost like a study hall kind of setting," Leitner said.

Tip three: keep distraction to a minimum. But let your child be creative in where they do their homework. They don't have to sit at a desk.

"It could be just a student laying on the floor or sitting on the floor to do their homework but we don't want to have a lot of auditory or visual interruption," Leitner said.

And the final tip is to set a time limit. Let you child know there is light at the end of the "homework tunnel."

"It' also very helpful in planning as a parent guide that plan and say: 'OK what can you do really fast and what's going to be a hard piece of homework? Let's give 10 minutes to the easy one and in 10 minutes, when the bell goes off let's see where you are.' That's the kind of help parents can do - not supplying the answers but helping with the planning of the work."

Dr. Leitner say these tips work across all age groups, but it's best to start in elementary school when kids are actually excited about homework.

Online Reporter: Carrie Weil

Online Producer: Michael Dever