Homework Routines That Work!

This post will give you suggestions on homework routines that work!   As a teacher and mom, I have seen the struggles and frustrations connected with NOT being organized, so I’ve developed homework routines that work. And even if you think it’s too late in the year, it’s actually a great time to try out and tweak it so that it will be perfect for the start of the next school year!

homework routines that work






















These suggestions are geared to make your child independent and successful. I suggest that you step away from the help unless it is REALLY needed. I can see a little help to get started, but I would put the responsibility where it belongs, to your child.

In this post, I will give suggestions in three sections – 1-After School,  2-Before bedtime, and 3-Morning. How will you roll it out? I would start off by telling your child that you think that a better homework routine needs to be implemented. And let them know that you’ll figure out a new one together.



Then start asking your child for OPINIONS of what they think would work and then compromise on the best start for their new routine. If you give him CHOICES and input, he will rock at the new routine you set.


post-it notes

Like any system, you will have to tweak it, change it or just toss it until you find the one that works for your child. You may have a routine already that could be better, so this is the time to make it work better! Homework routines that work require some trial and error – usually, nothing is perfect at first.


homework routines that work


So if you give your child choice on some of the parts of this schedule, they’ll be more likely to buy into the system.


These are just topics to think about and discuss.  You know your child and there may be suggestions that you would cross out right away.

A BREAK BEFORE HOMEWORK OR NOT: Start homework as soon as they get home or have a snack break for 20 minutes before they start homework.

MUSIC: Music on during homework or music off. (Personally, I need QUIET, but everyone is different-this is another TRIAL area).

TIMER OR NO TIMER: Would they like a timer so that they can take a break after 20 minutes of homework completion?

YOUR HELP OR NOT: Do they want you to help them get started or do they want to start off on their own and ask you for help if they need it?

HOMEWORK DESK/SPACE: Where will be the PLACE where they will complete their homework assignments? If they pick their bedroom and you are not sure about it, but willing to try it, just make sure they know that it’s a TRIAL! And you get to change the spot if it’s not working.

What would they like in their HOMEWORK SPACE? You may want to buy them something new for your new system. Possibly give him something from your home (meaning yours) or purchase something new. I have a few suggestions below. This may get them excited if they can either get supplies, a new water glass, homework hat, or something else to get them EXCITED about the new system.

homework routines that work



Colored folders – math (green), reading (red), social studies (orange),  and science (blue).



sticky notes


Your child probably has a planner from school, this is KEY to helping organize their new routine.






  • Notices, newsletters out of backpack
  • Take out any forms that need to be signed
  • Ask any questions of parents
  • Take out the folders that have homework in them
  • Completed homework goes to the Homework Folder or the correct individual topic folder



  • ALL Homework
  • Books for tomorrow
  • Notebooks for tomorrow
  • Folders for tomorrow
  • Independent Reading Book
  • Pencils/pens
  • Anything that needs to be signed
  • Lunch money
  • Backpack at a specific spot in your home



  • Backpack
  • Book
  • Lunch or lunch money
  • Gym clothes
  • Instrument


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Please email me at mrs.dehm@gmail.com if you’d like this Google Document and then you can edit it – add, take off items, etc.

 Incentive Ideas

If you want, you can build an incentive into your new homework routine. To make it simple a 0/1 system.

If they do use their system they get a 1, if not they get a 0. At the end of the week if they get 5, then they get their pick of (they pick a restaurant, they get an ice-cream, they get an extra 30 minutes on their iPad, etc.)

Below I have listed other incentive ideas from previous posts. You can use the system for rewards for just the homework completion or tie it into other routines and good behaviors. (chores, grades, reading, etc.)



This Reward system is from my post, How to Motivate a Reluctant Reader at Home, but of course, it can be used for any child who is or is not a reluctant reader. I’ve seen this idea used in many classrooms. If you want to make a reward system for a bunch of different topics, this is a GREAT idea! And there is also a punch card system and a ticket system explained in this post above.

motivate a reluctant reader


This contract is from my post, How to Help a Child with ADHD, but of course, it can be used for any child – with or without ADHD.

help a child with ADHD








For the actual document that you can change and delete items,  please email me at mrs.dehm@gmail.com.




EPIC Ebooks

Epic Ebooks are wonderful ebooks for kids age 4 to age 12! I LOVE these ebooks and use them at school. There are fiction and nonfiction books that the kids love and you can keep track of what books the kid have read!!  Read for 30 days free!!

Huge selection of read-to-me and audiobooks.








My Pinterest Boards With More Ideas

My Pinterest “Best of Getting Kids To Read” Board above has many more IDEAS!

And my profile with all of my boards on helping kids with reading, reluctant readers, struggling readers, ADHD, mom tips on behavior, mom care-taking care of you, meal and snacks for kids, and other mom life boards.


And Check Out These Great posts and pages:


Is there any specific question on the homework routines or homework issue that you’d like help with? I’ve dealt with lots of homework issues and I’d love to help. Please leave a comment or question below or email me at mrs.dehm@gmail.com.

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