Inside: Make a homework chart to keep your child organized and stress-free. It can even increase overall motivation to get work done on time!
Make A Homework Chart To Keep Your Child On Track!
Doing your homework after school is a right of passage. To this day, it remains a key educational component and a common part of a kid’s after school routine. But homework can quickly fall to the wayside in lieu of hanging out with friends, watching TV, and finding snacks in the kitchen. That’s where a homework chart comes in!
Most kids have a hard time finding the energy and motivation to get homework done. Then, the parent has to step in to ensure that the work actually gets done before the next school day. But with a homework chart, you can keep everything on track and actually improve motivation.
Better yet, you may never have to ask them to do their homework again!
Whether you’re just trying to get organized, looking for a solution to help a struggling child, or want to start off the school year strong, creating your own homework chart will kickstart a great education.
Note: You can download a printable PDF homework tracker chart to try to use with your kids here (click the link, enter your name and email and it’ll be sent to you in a few minutes.)
Why do kids struggle with homework?
You’ve probably heard it time and time again: that audible groan your kids make when you say it’s homework time. But how exactly did homework become the least favorite activity of every kid’s day?
- Lack of motivation. Oftentimes, kids don’t understand why they need to continue to do more homework after a full day at school. They want all remaining hours of the day to be dedicated to relaxation and fun.
- Lack of a good work environment. If a child doesn’t have a great place to do homework, they’re less likely to do it. Working from the couch, bed, or messy dining room table is going to have the same effect as a desk.
- Time management. Even adults struggle with keeping up with everything on their to-do lists. Kids are still learning how to fit everything in and need a hand figuring out their personal schedules.
- Too many distractions. The dog squeaks its ball, Mom does the dishes, the sister watches TV, and Dad mows the lawn. How is a kid supposed to get anything done!?
- Mood swings. Kids have many big emotions and often don’t know how to handle them. When they don’t want to do homework, the mood just worsens until getting any homework done is completely off the table.
How can a homework chart help?
A homework chart may not fix all of the issues above, but it certainly helps quite a few of them! Time management is the most obvious fix as parents and kids can map out everything they need to get done and organize it over the course of the week.
Motivation may play the biggest factor in not wanting to do homework. Adding a homework chart allows them to visualize their goals for the day and week. When kids have a goal, they’re much more likely to resist the distractions and temptations that can arise during homework time.
When kids get involved in making their homework chart, it helps them assume more responsibility and control over their schedule. Kids really appreciate it when they feel heard and like to have input on how they spend their day. Yes, they need to do homework, but a chart allows them to fill in part of their day’s activities.
How to make a homework chart
Making a homework chart is going to look different for every child depending on their needs, age, and schedule. Below are some of the best tips to keep in mind when making a homework chart with your child.
Choose your planner type
The first step you will want to take is deciding which type of planner will work best for your kids. You can break up the homework chart by month, week, or daily. Young kids will have less homework and might only need a monthly chart. However, older kids may even need a daily homework chart where they can keep track of time.
If you’re unsure, weekly is the best place to start! It works well for every age group and allows you to set priorities and get organized for the week ahead.
A homework chart with subjects included is also another great option. In this case, you list out the days of the week on top as well as all the subjects down the side. This allows you to have room every day for each subject.
For the little ones, you can even make a giant visual schedule to hand on the wall. In this case, their day will probably look exactly the same every day. The visual schedule allows them to know what tasks to get done in the day amongst all the playing, napping, and eating!
Ask for their input
Kids are much more likely to get work done if they feel like it was their idea. So let it be their idea!
Make the homework chart together. At first, you may need to help guide them and teach them how to prioritize tasks. Eventually, they will become so good at it that you might not even need to help!
Letting them self-regulate their schedule and gain a little bit of independence will make them feel much more motivated and even accomplished.
Also ask them when they would like to do their homework, especially if you’re including times in their homework chart. They might have a preference. Some may want to do it right after school to get it over with while others would prefer dinner after they’ve eaten and had a break.
Note upcoming tasks
Homework charts try to avoid procrastination. In a homework chart, you will want to include immediate and regular homework. But, you also want to plan ahead for upcoming tasks and larger assignments. Learning to juggle multiple assignments with different due dates is a highly valuable skill for kids to learn as they get older.
Kids can learn how to prioritize their work. What needs to get done right now? What can I do to get ahead for the future? If I don’t have work due tomorrow, what can I work on instead?
Try to include a notes section on your homework chart so that you can list all your upcoming tasks. The last thing you want to happen is a mad rush over a sudden due date! Then both you and your child will be up past midnight gluing a solar system diorama together.
Make the homework chart visible
Place the homework chart in a place that makes it easy for everyone in the house to see it. Yes, everyone! This can help keep the distractions to a minimum.
If everyone in the house knows when it’s homework time, then they know not to bug the working kid with other tasks or conversations.
Keep noise and distractions to a minimum during these hours. The child may not even be reachable during this time!
This also allows you to keep track of their work and make sure they are sticking to the schedule. You can help keep them accountable or make adjustments when necessary.
A reward incentive may be the answer for kids who really struggle to get their homework done despite how often you remind them. Allow them to cross off the tasks in their homework chart or the day itself to show that they got everything done. If they get everything done in a week (or day, month, whatever you decide), then they can get a reward.
You know what kind of reward would work best for your kids. It could be getting their allowance, a sticker as a reward, their favorite snack, or an end-of-the-week activity such as a movie night.
To keep your kids engaged with their homework chart, ask them to personalize it! When making the homework chart, bring out all the craft supplies.
Use fun paper, stationery, stickers, pencil crayons, and more to customize the chart.
The fun colors can also help to keep the homework chart more organized. Use different colored inks for different subjects and tasks.
Set a goal
When you make a homework chart with your kids, ask them to set a goal for the week. Kids need to have personal meaning with their homework. If they view it as an important part of their day and something with purpose, they are much more likely to get it done.
When setting a goal, include one short-term one for the week. It can be studying for an upcoming math test, getting the first part of a project done, finishing a book, etc. Rather than just relying on individual tasks, they can see how a little bit of work a day helps accomplish something larger.
In addition to a short-term goal, they should have a long-term goal. How is their homework helping them reach their personal goals? Will homework improve their grades for college? Will learning French allow them to travel and spend time in France one day?
Setting a goal can help to enhance this responsibility and motivation. Their homework will become more interesting and relevant to them and they will have more initiative to do it on their own.