Turn Your Child Into The Homework Police

September 28, 2018LaurenFloyd

Is it possible for your kid to love homework? Turn your kid into the Homework Police using these 4 strategies!

I was not one of those kids who needed my mom to beat me over the head about homework. I wanted to do well in school. I liked getting As, and I wanted to be at the top of my class.

That said, academic success wasn’t always easy. I wasn’t blessed with a photographic memory. I had to earn every A I got. And with almost every A, even with some hard-fought Bs and Cs, I learned important life lessons.

Most notably:

“The effort you put in is often what you get out.

I saw examples of that lesson time and time again. My mom’s struggle to climb the administrative ladder in Chicago Public Schools was yet another example.

She persevered and is now a pretty impressive district administrator with the kind of knowhow you only get after spending years in the classroom.

She’s the person I often go to when I need parenting advice or any advice for that matter.

So here are a few tips from my mom, Michelle Breland, on how to prepare your child to take charge of her own academic success and become their own homework police:

Start modeling, and start early.

Donovan Floyd spends a lot of his time crawling on the floor of our Atlanta home and turning the pages of any book I put in front of him. Credit: Lauren Floyd

Give your child opportunities to see you problem solve. He needs to see you work really hard at something, fall short in some way and try again until you find a solution. Make that your baby’s norm because out in the real world that’s certainly the case. Schools mimic that reality.

Related: Ready, Set Back to School

Keep an open dialogue with teachers.

They can inform what you should be modeling. They can make sure you’re up to date on the latest resources the school provides, and they can help streamline your messaging so that what your child hears in school they also hear at home.

No one just wakes up knowing what to do when she doesn’t understand a subject for the first time. Arming your children with the proper resources, showing them who to ask for help and how to ask may be the difference between a son or daughter who comes to you to solve a problem and one who first tries to solve it independently.

Give your child the chance to fail.

Do ask questions. Do have your child talk through her proposed solutions. Do have her point out her own planning flaws, but don’t jump straight into problem-solving mode the first mention of a problem.

At some point, you will have to step back and let your child sink or swim. That time might as well come in elementary school when the stakes are lower.

Celebrate the wins.

This is the fun part. You’ve done all this work to raise an independent and diligent little study bug, and you start to see it paying off.

Your 6-year-old comes home, takes off his backpack and goes straight for his homework without prompting.

Please don’t overlook that. Complement him. You don’t have to buy him a mini-jeep, just maybe a few gold stickers or an ice-cream cone when warranted. 

The idea is to make working hard the fun, cool thing to do. That’s the thing that gets rewards. That’s the thing you value – the effort, not the grade.

Meet the Author

Lauren Floyd is the founder and owner of Honeycomb Moms, a parenting blog highlighting the stories of millennial moms of color. She got her start in writing as a journalist for several daily newspapers, most notably The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Now, she hopes to inspire other moms to rely on a mommy sisterhood and to advocate for their children, their families and themselves. Connect with Lauren at her social channels Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter

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