You’re locked in a serious stare-down with your kid at homework time, and there’s a pile of papers between you and freedom (after all, it’s your homework too.) You begin to wonder why it is so hard to remember how to divide long fractions by hand. Make your family’s daily homework routine fun for you and them sans tears with these seven tips that’ll turn the after school battle into a blast.

1. Create a sweet workspace
Having a special place set aside for homework will help with focus, and having it decked out with the coolest personalized decor (like this funky wall initial and pillow) and special tools (like this awesome pencil organizer) will make it a place your kid wants to be. We won’t tell if you sneak here after bedtime to pay some bills.

For younger kids, the space should accommodate lots of art, and use a wire and clips to hang their creations or assignments. Kids (show-offs that they are), will love showcasing their work. Plus, hanging assignments up gets them off the tabletop where piles can grow (and disappear).

Kid-Homework-Space-Art

 photo credit: Craft-O-Maniac

For older kids, give their space the feel of a teenager’s lair. They’ll feel cool and grown-up (sorry, moms, but it. is. happening). Focus more on desk space and ways to organize time and deadlines.

Homework-space-desk-ideas

photo credit: Honey We’re Home and Varrell.com

2. Fight bored with a board
If this board by Delightful Order did any more, you’d have to start calling it Mom. Visual kids will get a kick out of seeing where they are in the week, posting important assignments, getting special encouraging messages (or silly jokes) from you, and crossing off of tasks as they’re completed. Post your kids’ A papers as inspiration to show them how doing their homework translates into school success.

Homework-Organization-Board

photo credit: Delightful Order

Younger kids will love the instant gratification of moving “done” clips as they complete work in this DIY To-Do board. Bonus: use for chores as well!

Homework-and-Chore-organizer-idea

 photo credit: Pinterest via Naomi Weir

3. That’s the ticket
You know how fun it is for kids to win tickets at arcade games? At least they’re getting something for the fortune those things cost, right?! For every homework assignment completed, give out a ticket (or a marble!) your child can save up to turn in for a reward. When she has enough tickets (we suggest timing it so that it takes about a week) set up a homework prize shop with items like a harmonica or mustache pencil topper for 5 tickets, a movie ticket or ice cream certificate for 50 tickets, or a stomp rocket for 250.

 Prize-Ticket

photo credit: Cozmicpresents.com

4. Ring my bell
Let your kid announce he’s finished an assignment in a big, loud, usually-not-acceptable-in-the-house way. This restaurant “order’s up!” bell has just the right satisfaction of physical slamming and noise. (Warning: put this away during non-homework times.)

desk-bell

photo credit: Indra Hajar via Flickr Creative Commons

5. Earning the tech time
Techie kids will love to earn screen time with every homework assignment completed. Create laminated index cards in five minute intervals to hand out every time they “turn in” an assignment to you.

Boy-on-Ipadphoto credit: Loupiote via Flickr

6. Warm up with a brain game
Kick-off homework time in a positive way with a fun game to get the brain revved up. For kids learning to read, put together a cute alphabet puzzle and come up with words that start with that letter, or play a round of Go Fish to work on beginning math and number skills. For older kids, tell a story with story cubes, or play a round of Bloxorz or Soduku.

Story-cubes-game

photo credit: StoryCubes.com

7. I like to move it, move it
For active kids, a physical break after each assignment is done is a great reward and will keep the brain pumping. Think twenty jumping jacks, a five minute freeze dance, running in place or some yoga poses. Bonus: join in and get a calorie burn for you, too!

jumping-kids

Photo credit: Paul via Flickr Creative Commons

What ideas do you have to add to our list? Tell us below! 

— Shannon Guyton

featured photo courtesy of Carissa Rogers via Flickr