What can I do to encourage my 5-year-old to do her homework?

Q: How can I get my 5-year-old to do her homework without a meltdown? She constantly says she doesn't like to do homework and she wish she never had to go back to school because she doesn't like to do homework.


First, sit down with your daughter's teacher to find out how she's doing in class. If your daughter does her work in the classroom, ask the teacher for tips and suggestions on getting the work done at home too. But if your daughter is also having trouble in school, see what your teacher thinks is the problem. At this point in the school year, teachers should have a good sense of whether their students are on track, ahead of the class, or behind. Bring in the principal or specialist teacher if your teacher isn't quite sure how to proceed.
If your daughter simply resists homework, make sure she has a pleasant, quiet environment in which to work. Give her a snack and some time to decompress after school. And use something small that motivates her to keep her on track. Something else to keep in mind: Some children do better when their parents "keep them company" while they work, to help keep them on task. But others feel pressured when their parents "hover", and do better with a bit of space. Experiment with these approaches and make sure to use the teacher's feedback to the fullest -- hopefully, these strategies will make next school year a little easier!