Find Homework Time Difficult & Stressful? We’ve Got Tips to Make Your Life Easier…

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Homework Tips

Homework time is often the hardest, most stressful part of the day for many children (AND their parents!). We’re always on the hunt for ideas to help us get through it without pulling our hair out, and without our kiddos ending up in tears.

1.) Get your Homework Station Setup

Homework StationIf you have the space, it’s nice to have a designated area specifically for homework. Some kids find it easier to focus in a calm, quiet area. Make sure the area has good lighting and plenty of space for working. We love this pretty little Homework Station from Apartment Therapy.

Lina (our recipe/DIY gal) has a pretty awesome homework area, too!

2.) Create a Homework Caddy

School supply organizationIf you don’t have the space for a full homework station, putting together a mobile one is the next best thing! This cute Homework Caddy is perfect for toting around. You can grab these on and at stores like Target and Walmart. Keeping it stocked and ready to go means fewer excuses – “MOM, I can’t find a pencil!”

3.) Privacy Dividers/Organizers

Homework Station DividerIsn’t this GENIUS?! We’re in love with this clever way to create private spaces when you don’t have a lot of space by using tri-fold display boards. You can easily stick in a calendar, reminders, a sheet of math facts, or a million other tools to help make homework time easier. Via Organizing Made Fun.

4.) Take a Break &  Grab a Snack Before Starting Homework

Homemade No Bake Oatmeal Energy Bites Give the kiddos some time to unwind or run off some of that after-school energy. Some of my kiddos want to run outside as soon as they get home; some of them prefer to relax on their tablets for a little while. Either way, they need to decompress after school, in the same way adults like to unwind a little after work. School is just like a full time job!

We always start with a healthy snack and plenty of water. My kids LOVE these Oatmeal Energy Bites!

5.) Comfy Seating

Sensory Ball SeatingWhile this might seem trivial, it can have a huge impact on focus. The folks over at A Sensory Life have some great tips on how to choose the right seating for your kiddo, and their Top 16 Sensory Strategies for Homework Success is packed with great ideas for all kiddos, especially those who struggle with sensory issues.

6.) Set a Timer

Timer Setting a timer gives kids a clear goal line. Tell them they only have to focus for X amount of time, and then they get a ten minute break. Repeat until homework is finished. This fun Cube Timer can be set in 5, 10, 20 or 30 minute increments.

7.) Motivate Your Child with Some After Homework FUN


Yes, homework is something that needs done anyway, but why not offer a little incentive? It could be a family bike ride after dinner, some extra screen time, or some one-on-one time with a parent reading or playing a board game – whatever motivates your child! My kiddos are currently motivated by going swimming, but the whole winter they will beg to go sledding.

I think it’s okay to admit that homework can feel like a big chore to us all sometimes, and we can all celebrate getting through it! 🎉

Written by Danielle for Hip2Save. Danielle is a proud mom to 5 amazing kids in Utah, who lives for coffee and baking. She’s dedicated to balancing her own interests and passions, while encouraging her children to follow their own paths in life.

Join The Discussion

Comments 51

  1. Tera B

    Homework is the worst for my 3rd grader (at least it was last year). He gets home at 4:30, and at that time I’m either needing to get supper on the table, or we’re needing to leave to ferry kids around. By the time supper is over or we’re back from our activities, it’s often 7:30 or later, and he goes to bed at 8. After much angst and more than a few tears, we finally settled on him doing his homework in the morning. He gets up at 7 or earlier, and he doesn’t need to be on the bus until 8:07. Plus, he’s the only kiddo home in the morning (the other two get on the bus at 6:30 a.m.!), so I’m able to work with him one on one if he needs it. This works for us because his homework isn’t checked every day, so we can budget our time to get it all done in that hour before he heads off to school.

    • MommySpendsLess

      We have similar scheduling issues with our 2nd grader. This year and in 1st grade the teachers give packets with a week to complete them. When we get the packets on Friday and have until the following Friday to get them done it’s so much easier than getting them on Monday/due Friday because we can work on it over the weekend when we’re not tired/hungry/rushed. If teachers are going to inisist on giving lots of homework I think they should give families as much flexibility as possible to get it all done. I’ve also started encoruaging my daughter to work on it on the bus, in the car and in the shopping cart at grocery stores. Personally, I don’t agree with required reading times. Reading is fun and I want it to be viewed that way – not as a chore that requires setting a timer so some evenings my daughter doesn’t read at all and sometimes it’s double or triple the requirement.

  2. jill

    The display boards look like little cubicles. Lol

  3. Queenjen87

    I don’t get off work till 6, and my 1st grader goes to bed between 8-8:30. Usually I’m making dinner while helping with homework and it’s not easy!! Reading is the worst lol. It will get so much better when she can read more fluently… And when there is more math homework because she breezes right thru that.

  4. Heather

    I’m a teacher. Honestly, homework upsets me. Once in a while ok….everyday not fine. Kids are in school 7 hours a day. When they get home they should just have to be a kid. They should be enjoying their family…playing…ugh. Sorry for my soapbox.

    • Ariel

      I agree. If there was research indicating that homework was effective or even beneficial for young students, I’d be more in support of it, but all of the research that I’ve read shows no benefits and in some cases, significant drawbacks for elementary aged children. There has been research showing this for decades, but districts keep pushing homework on the youngest children. It’s ridiculous.

    • erin

      My son had an amazing teacher for 4th grade last year. She did not assign any homework all year because she did not think it was beneficial. She only requested they read for 20 minutes a night (a book of their choice) which was no problem for my son because he loves to read. So much less stress for my son and for me.

    • Melissa

      I appreciate homework for a number of reasons. I believe that parents play a very important role in the education of their child. It is not just the teacher’s responsibility to teach and the student’s to learn. Parents need to do more than just drop off their child at the school and leave it up to the teacher. Homework provides an opportunity for parents to give some one on one help to their child if it is needed. A classroom teacher can’t feasibly do that for all of her/his students. Homework helps parents know what is happening in their child’s classroom and what skills they can help reinforce. It provides opportunity for discussions and encouragement, and even opportunity to expand their child’s learning beyond the classroom. That being said, I don’t believe that children should be burdened with hours of homework every night. Or pages and pages of busy work, just for the sake of doing homework. The homework needs to be meaningful. Students need to be able to enjoy family time and other activities. I also don’t think homework should be a stressor for children that kills the joy of learning.

      • Amy

        I completely agree with you! My son and I found a balance with this homework last year and it was great for him and me. His teacher would send home a “homework packet” with 4 things that needed to be done each week. We would find the time that worked for us to complete it during the week. I agree with every point that you made: it helped me to see what my son was learning in school, it helped me explain somethings to my son that he had been confused on, and it was great one on one time. I use to be an elementary teacher and I felt that a little homework sent home was just fine as long as it was review and something that wouldn’t be stressful to finish.

      • Dd

        Agree. Homework can also foster discipline, focus, tenacity, practice, accountability, communication, routine, and other soft skills that I’ve noticed are lacking in many of the millennials I’ve hired over the last few years.

      • Bella

        I believe homework at a young age is about repetitive work to get the concepts down. Our children were given additional homework that I’d print out from the Internet on the current subject if I find that they needed more help. I’m thankful I was able to stay at home until our youngest was in high school. They breezed through high school and adjusted well to college because of the foundation and the discipline we instilled in them. It’s fine to have some time to relax after a day at school but not the whole evening and weekends. I’m sorry I may sound tough but our children love school, work, and are very thankful young people to their teachers, God, and life in general.

    • Andrea

      This teacher also thinks homework is terrible.

    • JES

      I feel like some homework helps with self discipline and also teaching kids about priorities and time management. But, when they have two hours of homework, it’s unfair to family time, religion, and activities that allow for burning off excess energy. Kids need play and fresh air to help foster other aspects of their personality.

    • Rebe

      I totally agree. I am a teacher and a mom and homework sucks! Kids are already in school for HOURS, lets make them count and when they are dismissed, well, they are dismissed! Done for the day so that they can relax, play sports, spend time with family and friends, but homework is a major cause of stress for parents and kids alike!

  5. Ellen

    Glad to hear that its just not my son that gets frustrated with the HW. It’s the worst part of the day for me! I don’t recall and neither does my mom, that HW was so stressful for me when I was a child.

  6. Arianne

    My son’s elementary school here in Georgia, implemented a no-homework policy this year. Kind’ve strange and we’re still getting used to it. We still read every night and do worksheets (but theyre not due back to the teacher). Curious what others thought about this!? My son who is in middle school, however, has TONS of homework, so its not a district wide thing.

    • Dd

      As a former teacher, I know some teachers implement these policies because they get sick of chasing late homework. It’s an “I give up” thing shrouded in “science”. Sometimes it’s pressure from parents. Sometimes there is a good reason. Lol. But “no homework” is not prepping kids for the reality of high school and college where there will certainly be copious amounts of homework.

  7. Gretchen

    I really appreciate all these posts and comments about back to school. I am a mom of 3 and my first is just starting K. I realize I have a long road ahead of me, and its good to know there are so many other parents and educators willing to share their tips, successes, fails and experience. Thank you all!

  8. Erika

    My son just started second grade and my daughter, kindergarten. My daughter’s teacher sent a note home that they will not be doing homework this year, which I’m glad about. My son, on the other hand, has homework every night and I’m super annoyed because he even gets if on Fridays. When can kids be kids if they’re in school all day and then come home to do more schoolwork?!

  9. Lolie

    My kids start school Wednesday and I’m already dreading the homework. With chores, homework, dinner and sports and it can get overwhelming!

  10. Edy

    My youngest daughters are 24 yrs old ! And I don’t recall having them so much homework! Like my 9yr old granddaughter does! She gets drop off at my house after school and gets a snack and she does her homework right away ! She is very good at math and reading , I’m so impressed ! When, I take her to sams she herself picks a book to read, no pictures just words love this – I myself love to read , love that I can help my daughter and granddaughter – because of the language my mom couldn’t help us ! But myself ,and brothers learned English , and 2 of them went into the military . And tomorrow is the first day of school !

  11. Tammy

    Is it possible to make the font bigger in the comments? My 40 year old eyes can’t read them very well. 😁

    • Nicole

      After I updated my app the font is too small. Very hard to read .

    • T

      if you are on computer, push “Ctrl” and “+” buttons together to make font bigger

  12. TRHAM

    homework was a battle for two kids and never an issue for two kids and i found no matter what, that didn’t change from preschool up through senior year!

  13. Kara

    I am a 4th grade teacher and I assign 20 minutes of reading nightly. I have parents complain that there child has no homework but I don’t care. How many of them bring home an extra hour of work nightly?

    • Kara

      I had mistakes and I had to redo it. I was writing the comment on my phone so it was hard to proof read it. Lol

  14. Kara

    I am a fourth grade teacher and I only assign twenty minutes of reading five days a week. I had parents complain about their child not having homework until I asked them if they bring home an additional hour of work nightly. If parent wants to know what a child is covering in class, email the teacher or check the child’s notebooks.

  15. Kristina

    My daughter is very smart and was so bored with school last year even though her teacher tried to challenge her. Then she’d have to come home and spend more time on stuff she already knew. She is not looking forward to this school year at all.

    • rebecca

      request a meeting with the Dean of the school, or an educational coordinator or someone who can advocate for your daughter. my son tests several grade levels above his age group, and already had moved a year ahead of his class, and we thought much of his homework amounted to “busy work” for him. we obtained special accommodations for him without a problem.
      for example, if he got 100% on his spelling pre-test, there is no reason he should write the words 10x each day for homework.
      busy work that causes your child to hate school and dread after-school time as a loathsome chore is not doing her any favors.
      if Math is her strongest subject, and you point out that she always maintains A’s all year long and the standardized tests show that she is ahead of her peers every year, then ask if you can receive a special accommodation for her to do only every other problem on the Math homework assignment, or work on an online tutorial that is different from the classwork. or if reading is her top area, ask if you can select a different book for her homework that is more challenging than the one assigned to class. or offer to find her 5 alternative spelling words that are more on her level.
      it doesn’t hurt to respectfully see if she can have an individualized education plan that is more suited to her.

    • pandoraaddict

      Sounds like someone I know, was very bored in school and didn’t want to go. Was tested by the school, they didn’t do anything. In college still bored. Later in life went to a psychologist who did a full test, much more than any school will do, turns out they are dyslexic.

      • pandoraaddict

        Wanted to end with, get a full test done, the doc will give recommendations and a report, which may entitle them to services, ways to lessen the boredom etc

  16. Lori

    Love the privacy dividers! I was kidding my husband that this year I was going to set up folders around my two boys so there would be less aggravating and more productivity. Had to laugh when I saw the photo on this post a couple of hours later!

  17. Erika

    My son goes to an enrichment program during a block of school and even still he is bored. I’m overjoyed he is so intelligent but I worry he is going to hate school because he isn’t challenged enough. Homework is a chore for us because he feels he is doing “baby work”. It’s exhausting.

    • Jennine

      If your concerned talk to the teacher.

  18. Lindsay

    Aw I was hoping this was college students lol I have my first day on the brain! (Tomorrow) but these are great ideas I can use with my 7 year old. Thanks Collin!!!

  19. Rebecca

    We’re homeschooling our 2nd grader but I definitely don’t recall having homework in elementary school. We didn’t even do full days in kindergarten, or we had rotating days, my memory is sketchy lol. My husband & I even did half-days our senior yr(I opted not to skip it to wait for him lol) and we were done by 10:30. Makes you realize how much is wasted filler time. Everything you do with your kids can be a learning experience, from making a grocery list & budget to caring for pets to discussing book & movie plots.

  20. Marie

    While some homework is a waste, it can also be beneficial. As a fifth grade teacher, I do not grade ANYTHING that is sent home as homework. That is considered practice. While someone may get a concept in class, they often go Home to do it independently and suddenly have no idea what to do. It is good for me to look over in the morning and see who needs more help with what. With that said, our district only allows us to give 10 minutes of homework per grade level (ex: 5th grade = 50 minutes). Most times, it doesn’t reach that. It’s usually practicing math from the day, and their nightly reading.
    We can’t do it all folks, use homework time as a chance to take learning beyond the classroom and be involved in what your child is doing. It’s great for discussion and if you take interest in their learning, they do too 🙂

    On that note, I love the above ideas. A focused space is awesome and the yoga balls do wonders. I have them in my room as seats 🙂


    LOVE is tri-fold work space for more then one child. The energy bites look really healthy and a great idea too!


      I meant LOVE “the” not “is”

  22. Betsy

    Such a cute photo… looks like a “mini” Collin! “)

  23. Noreen

    I am in High school, and I think the homework we receive is ridiculous. There are days when the only way to finish it all is to start as soon as I get home (3:20) and work until my parent call me for dinner. Even then, it’s often necessary to work on it during our free periods in school to ensure it’s all finished. I, and other kids in my grade, have had panic attacks about/while doing homework; one girl was even hospitalized, and made to drop one of the advanced courses she was taking.

    I think it’s unfair that we, as teenagers, cannot have time to live a life if we want to do well in school. Even during school breaks, teachers assign a week’s worth of homework, making it nearly impossible to relax.

    That said, I really do like the dividers. 😉

  24. Melanie

    It’s almost like you guys were speaking to me. My Daughter is in 2nd grade and all of a sudden HATES homework. I like the caddy idea! I may have to use that one. My son is in VPK and has coloring and name writing for homework and my daughter complains on how easy his is and wished “homework was never invented”

    • Alyssa

      My daughter is in 3rd grade and she gets a sheet of math to do each night and a language arts sheet, they also want them to read each night and go online to do more math. My daughter is great at math but getting her to focus on her homework after school is like pulling teeth! It takes her 5 minutes to get one problem done when it should only take about 30 seconds any ideas on how to get her to FOCUS! So hard to be patient but I know doing homework after being at school all day is not easy

  25. Sheila

    Here’s a tip for parents to help with improving reading skills: turn the captioning on the tv when they watch their cartoons or movies. Both my kids have high reading scores due to speed reading/correct spelling/language skills from captioning. This is not a substitute to reading to your kids or kids reading their own books every night but an add on to getting kids to read more!

    • MH

      Ha ha! I love this idea!

  26. A.B.

    We homeschool our 4 children, but I really enjoyed reading everyone’s tips and pointers, as I encourage each of the kids to work independently for some portion of our school day. I appreciate the time and effort everyone put into these comments. Thank you very much H2S & community!!!

  27. Brinkleye2

    If your child struggles with math the Mathnasium is a good place to go. They build math skills and work on homework with the kids. It’s especially great for high schoolers that have homework that may be harder for the parents to help with.

  28. Tammy

    Shutterfly code for free pencil case or notebook exp 9/30. please comment when used KEC2-547S-5KGN-GHXP92

    • Andrea

      Thank you for the code! I used it.

  29. Kimberly

    In my childs old school in a different state than we live in now (we moved from Michigan to Maryland) his elementary school had a No Homework RULE. They sent home letters to the parents at the start of the year that children will be completing all work during class and that they did not like to overwhelm young children with take home homework. They said it was more important for the child to have fun, play, and read independently or with the family after school. Some teachers would send home fun activity suggestions that parents could use to incorporate different skills (like math or reading for example) to do together as a family rather than designated graded homework. This way it was fun and there was no dead line to complete it or grade to worry about. We’ve been in Maryland for two school years now. They require weekly homework, spelling tests, and reading requirements to be done outside of school. It gets very overwhelming for my son sometimes and I can tell it is already stressing him out and making learning less fun and he’s only in 2nd grade. It’s kind of ridiculous the amount of pressure some schools put on young children when it comes to homework. anyway, just my two cents coming from someone who has seen it done both ways.

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