I’m excited to welcome guest poster Emily Graham from mightymoms.net! Emily is sharing her best tips to taking the conflict out of homework time with your kids. Read on to make homework time painless at last!

Inside: Wondering how to stop dreading your child’s homework time? These simple tips will help you make homework as painless as possible so you can tackle it in peace with your child!

Wondering how to stop dreading your child's homework time? These simple tips will help you make homework as painless as possible so you can tackle it in peace with your child!

After a long day of work and school, both you and your child are likely tired — which can make homework even more of a struggle. If you find yourself fighting with your youngster every night just to get through their homework, you’re not alone. Education Week notes that in one survey, over 20 percent of parents feel too busy to spend hours helping with homework, and nearly 50 percent of parents struggle to provide enough help.

Fortunately, there are all kinds of great tools (including apps and tablets) that can help both you and your child relax, learn, and get things done — no tantrums required.

Use a Tablet 

A great way to bring various resources together in one place is to use a tablet. Tablets are lightweight and portable, shedding the bulk of larger tools, but still providing the screen size and power to tackle tough studies.

The Apple iPad 10.2, for example, has all the power and speed of a full-size computer, with the flexibility to tote to the couch, kitchen table, or backyard.  It enables your child to have access to educational apps and videos, write notes directly onto the screen, and play focus music — all at the same time.

If the iPad is out of your price range, other tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab E, can provide many of the same great benefits. It has a lengthy battery, clear screen, and the capability to store ample entertainment (and educational tools!) with an expandable microSD card.

Homework Help Apps

Apps aren’t just for playtime — they can also be incredibly helpful tools in your quest for a painless night of homework. Perfect for students who get distracted easily or struggle to focus, many apps — such as Duolingo for language learning — gamify difficult subjects to help make learning fun and engaging, rather than frustrating.

If your child is struggling with certain topics, an app like Quizlet might be a good choice; with this tool, you can make customized flash cards. Your child can then read and listen to the cards, or play a variety of fun memorization games to learn terms and definitions. 

Bring Challenging Topics to Life with YouTube

Videos are a great way to get a fresh perspective on subjects your child might struggle with. If you’re struggling to explain something, your child is struggling to focus, and the words on the page just aren’t cutting it, DIYGenius points out that YouTube offers a variety of free, high-quality educational content if you know where to look.

Channels like SciShow Kids and It’s Okay To Be Smart teach kids of varying ages about fun scientific facts, explaining difficult concepts while engaging children’s natural curiosity. For all kinds of different educational videos, ranging from historical to geographic and cultural, the Smithsonian Channel is another excellent free resource.

Find Focus in Music

Music can have a huge impact on the brain — the right type can help students stay calm and focused, activating both sides of the brain to improve memory and concentration. If you’re feeling inspired, you can spend some time building a specialized playlist yourself on platforms like YouTube or Spotify.

Experts recommend sticking with classical, electronic, or spa music, but anything without lyrics can work — even nature sounds help to create a calming atmosphere. If you’d rather use something pre-made, you can make use of any number of study playlists on the music app of your choice. Another option is something like the subscription service Focus@will, which incorporates neuroscience into its playlist designs in order to help listeners become more productive.

It’s easy for tensions to rise during homework time. Wherever possible, take steps to create an atmosphere that is calm, focused, and uplifting — and technology can be an amazing tool to help you do just that. If your child is experiencing tunnel vision and frustration around problems they just can’t seem to solve, taking some time to present the topics in a new light can be incredibly beneficial. Apps and videos can help kids relax, allowing them to finally engage with and enjoy topics that were once a struggle.

Your Turn

What are your favorite ways to minimize conflict and encourage your child during homework time? Share your story below!