Make a Plan for Completing Summer Homework

Many schools assign kids school work to be done over the summer. This could range from a book report to pages and pages of math work sheets. What ever your child's school does, one thing is for sure: Summer homework won't complete itself. Parents and their students need to make a step-by-step plan for how to get that summer homework will get done...and then stick to it. Here's how:

Step 1: Assess what needs be done. Have your child go over every subject and think about whether an assignment was given.

Going to the school or teacher's websites is probably not what a kid wants to do in the first week of summer, but don't wait. Don’t forget about required reading, book reports, end-of-summer essays, projects, etc. Count pages or problems in handouts or calculate total minutes/hours required and then assess difficulty level for for your child. Decide how much homework help you should give. Will you need to monitor homework or will he work independently?

Step 2: Use a calendar to figure how many weeks your child actually has. Be sure you don’t count weeks with vacation or summer camp.

Step 3: Figure how long its going to take to complete. Maybe have your child work on some of it to see how quickly they move through it. Or quietly time your child while reading to see how many pages he can read in an hour. Determining a likely pace will help you and your child set reasonable goals.

Step 4:  Encourage your child work up some weekly goals, based on what you've learned.

Some kids will do great at this; others will need help to come up with realistic goals. But have them take a shot at it, then help them tweak the goals if necessary.

Step 5: Discuss goals and timing with your child, i.e. how often per week and what time of day he or she would like to work on summer homework.

Decide together on this strategy, keeping in mind that you may need your child to be actively engaged in an independent activity like summer homework while you are working or you may need to schedule homework for a time when you can help.

Step 6: Set a schedule for summer homework and a back-up plan. It is summer after all, so you don’t want to say no to summer fun because of summer homework. But, on the other hand, if home work gets delayed indefinitely every time something fun comes along, it may not get done.

Step 7: Stick to it. It's one thing to create a plan it's another to do it. This is perhaps the hardest part of all. But you will be happy you did when you are enjoying those last weeks of summer instead of scrambling to get all the school work finished.