First of all, consistency is key. Except for when extracurricular activities interfere, your child should aim to do his homework at the same time every day as part of his daily afterschool routine. You can test to see when the best time is for homework. Make sure your child has eaten a healthy, high-protein snack before he begins his homework, and studies have shown that many children perform work better after physical exercise, which can increase a child’s concentration.
Another part of the routine is where your child will study. It’s important to create a regular study space. If they settle down at the kitchen table near you, they will be able to get the help they need, and you’ll be able to get them back on track if they start wandering from their task. Make sure you provide lots of room and keep supplies well-stocked and nearby.
Next, it’s important to reduce distractions. I recommend making study time a family affair with all kids doing their homework at the same time while you sit down with your own “homework” such as bills or some reading. This will help create an atmosphere of diligence and concentration, as your kids will follow the example you set. Also, make it a rule that there’s to be no TV or videogames, or other distractions, until your child is done with his homework.
Aim to help your child become an independent student. Elementary-school kids usually need help, but you can check with your child’s teacher to see how much you should be helping him and how much he should be able to do on his own. Sometimes teachers prefer that parental involvement in homework stay at a minimum so they can determine the progress of your child. Show your child how to use a dictionary and encyclopedia so he can try helping himself before he goes to you for help.