How to banish homework headaches and screen time squabbles

So, the kids are officially back at school and the homework tasks have started. As have the screen time wars…what to do, what to do…

We know. It’s time to set up an after-school routine that minimises your stress levels and gets homework completed without nagging, tantrums and complaints!

Kids love routine, even if they sometimes resist it. However, in order for your after-school routine to be a success, you need to get them to agree. Do this by letting them have an input in their routine. They won’t have the final say, of course, but they’ll be more receptive to the routine if they are treated more like a partner with a choice in how they spend their time.

So, here are just 4 routine examples you could choose from!

  1. Allow screen time only after homework is completed.
  2. Set a specific number of minutes/hours of schoolwork per day.
  3. Establish certain times per day for schoolwork.
  4. Permit entertainment media only on the weekends.

Routine 1: Allow screen time only AFTER homework is completed.

This is one of the most popular routines and is a good one to implement if your kids don’t know how to prioritise their time.

How to put this in place:

Routine 1: Allow screen time only AFTER homework is completed.
  1. Let your child know that this isn’t about restricting screen time, but about putting homework first.
  2. You decide which websites and apps are allowed during homework time.
  3. Set a schedule that allows your child to relax before homework (just make sure it’s a non-screen activity!)
  4. Have a clear plan for days when there’s no homework (like half an hour reading).
  5. Add an “approve and review” process so your kids know they can’t rush through their homework and straight to screen time.

Benefits: It’s straightforward, decreases arguments about tech access and places an emphasis on education and learning.

Routine 2: Set a specific number of minutes/hours of schoolwork per day.

Routine 2: Set a specific number of minutes/hours of schoolwork per day.

If your child has teachers that have a set time limit on how long homework should take or if you want your child to complete a minimum amount of study, you might want to try this routine.

How to put this in place:

  1. Decide how much study time you wish your child to complete every day, e.g. 1 hour a day.
  2. If there is no homework, have something in place to maintain the routine.
  3. If they need more time to complete homework, you might decide to adapt the routine. It’s up to you!

Benefits: It’s easy to set up, minimises distractions, and your kids will experience working to deadlines in a supportive environment.

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Routine 3: Establish certain times per day for schoolwork.

For kids who struggle to complete homework and need a more clear-cut schedule in the evening, this is the routine for them.

Routine 3: Establish certain times per day for schoolwork.

How to put this in place:

  1. Decide on the times when your child should complete their homework.
  2. Factor in that they might need time to relax after school with a non-screen activity.
  3. Create a list of activities to complete in case there is no homework that day.
  4. Build in some flexibility for long homework assignments.
  5. Communicate any routine changes to keep the routine clear to your child!

Benefits: It’s easy to fit this schedule into an after-school routine and helps your kids complete tasks while balancing all their other activities too.

Routine 4: Permit entertainment media only on the weekends.

This routine is great for tweens who find it hard to transition from screen to schoolwork and need help limiting digital entertainment, NOT schoolwork on the computer.

Routine 4: Permit entertainment media only on the weekends.

How to put this in place:

  1. Let your child know that this routine is to balance their extracurricular activities.
  2. Incrementally restrict access during school days, while allowing limited use on weekends.
  3. Create a list of activities they can do in the week so they don’t focus on lack of digital play.

Benefits: This routine gives kids a clear distinction of screens for work and screens for play. The more you discuss and implement this routine, the more your child will understand balancing homework, artistic interests, time outdoors and face-to-face activities.

Need help to implement a school work and screen time routine?

Take a look at how Study Time can help you manage a routine automatically!
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Do you have any other study time routines or tips that we might have missed off our list? Let us know in the comments below! 

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