Calmer, Easier, Happier Homework


By Noël Janis-Norton, Bestselling Parenting Author, Founder and Director of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting

Parents often complain that they don’t know how to motivate their child or teen to work carefully or revise thoroughly. Parents end up nagging, telling off or helping too much, even doing the thinking that the child should be doing. All this can lead to ongoing conflicts that are not good for the parent-child relationship.

The solutions are quite simple, although not necessarily easy. It’s all about habits. You’ll be pleased to learn that solid, sensible habits are more important than temperament or even brains when we’re aiming for homework success.

If we want our children to change their habits, we, the parents, need to change our own habits. Here are some tips from my new book, “Calmer, Easier, Happier Homework”:

  1. Get your child into the habit of doing some homework or revision six days out of seven, even if no homework has been set for the next day. Routines reduce resistance.
  2. Plan for homework to be done at the same time every day, whenever possible. This will build a strong habit.
  3. Homework should start early enough that your child can finish before his brain or body get tired. If he’s tired, he can’t possibly do his best, and homework should be about learning the habit of doing one’s best.
  4. Have your child do homework and revision in a public area, where you can supervise closely.
  5. There should be no distractions in the whole house during the sacred homework time. Rather than nagging, you need to remove all temptations: screens, phones, pets and toys.
  6. Until your child has demonstrated that she is self-reliant, make the time to be in the same room with her during homework time, doing your own “work”. This sets a good example and means you are available to supervise closely.
  7. Don’t let your child leave the hardest subjects or tasks until last.
  8. Have your child read for at least 15 minutes each evening from a book that is not too hard and not too easy. Enhance his reading comprehension by asking questions which make him think. Praise any improvement or effort.
  9. Make sure she is learning how to take notes, plan, proof-read, and revise effectively. You may need to teach these skills yourself because most schools don’t have the time. Even if you think you don’t know much about study skills, you definitely know more than your child knows! And children, even teens, are willing to learn from parents, as long as parents are making a point of staying positive.
  10. Spend some one-on-one time with your child every day doing something you both enjoy – that’s not in front of a screen. This fosters in your child the desire to absorb your values.

There’s a lot more I could say about how parents can make homework enjoyable and productive – a whole book, in fact! What motivated me to write “Calmer, Easier, Happier Homework” is hearing from parents, again and again, about how stressful homework is, for both parent and child. It doesn’t have to be like this! Homework really can be calmer, easier and happier.

Karen Meets…Noël Janis-Norton

In this interview with bestselling author Noël Janis-Norton, we discuss her latest book Calmer, Easier, Happier Homework.

Here’s how to transform the most challenging afternoons by getting your children to do their homework without a fuss and get them to do their best.

Sign up for my Newsletter

Keep up with exclusive advice from leading experts

Leave a Comment