Using “Homework Break Tickets” to Take a Break from Homework Wars!

Open book with the word "focus" in focus and the rest of the page out of focus. Homework break ticket - photo by Romain VignesFor many families elementary school homework means tears are shed — by both the parents and the kids. My son, who is now an “A” student, found first grade homework so hard. He found writing and reading difficult and could barely sit down for 5 minutes at a time. Of course, all this is perfectly normal for a 6 year-old, but the homework still needed to be done and in our house it seemed to result in tears being shed by both him and me. It was just awful!! One day someone suggested that I try “homework break tickets”.

What are Homework Break Tickets?

A family lifesaver is what they are.

Sometimes homework is so stressful it can do more harm to a family than good. At some point parents have to stand back and reassess. I needed my child to want to do his homework. He needed to take ownership and not be nagged into doing it. Homework break tickets do exactly that, they allow a child to take some control.

This is what we did:

  • I told my son he had to do 15 minutes homework each night.
  • He would also get 3 homework break tickets worth 5 minutes each, which he could also use.
  • When he used the break tickets was up to him, e.g he might work 5 minutes, break 5 minutes, work 5 minutes, break 5 minutes etc. The important point was he could only break for 5 minutes at a time, he might use all the break tickets and only have got 8 minutes of homework done in the times he actually sat down altogether, but he would still have 7 minutes of homework left to do that night.

Why Homework Break Tickets Work

Using homework break tickets puts doing homework and taking breaks firmly in the hands of the child. For my son it only took two weeks and he was doing his homework independently and has ever since. They were a family lifesaver!

If you do try this, it might be worth asking your child’s teacher to ignore sloppy homework for a week or two while they are regaining control and learning to manage themselves. It will be worth it in the end, for you, your child and even their teacher.

 

Maureen Kilgore

Maureen Kilgore is a mum with a passion for healthy living. She lives with her husband and two children in Belfast city Northern Ireland. Maureen is currently a "stay at home" mum looking after her kids full time and thoroughly enjoying it.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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