I know what doesn’t work:
Homework on the bus
Believe me, I tried this method many times growing up. I would get woozy and bus sick. I still remember the feeling of bus sickness – not quite the same as car sickness. The diesel fumes mixed with the scent of bologna sandwiches really took it to a new level.
My pages would be barely legible. And not really finished. Plus, using a biology textbook as a clipboard never really works, because worksheets are always larger than textbooks, so you get that distinctive rectangle wrinkle across the sheet. Then teacher knows you did it on the bus.
These work… sometimes:
Homework while eating breakfast
This is a close second. It sometimes works. But it usually is tinged with desperation as a parent wiggles that unfinished Spanish worksheet in front of the little student’s half-opened eyes.
Alternate one spoonful Cheerios with one worksheet answer.
Homework after PJs.
Oops! We forgot a math worksheet. Come here, O snuggly one, and let’s think about solving for unknowns as you prepare to drift off to sleep.
Once upon a time there was a little squirrel named x, and he did not know how much he was worth…
Try these for success:
Homework while still in school mentality
Home. Snack. Clear snack. Start homework. Remind child of promising future once homework is done, e.g., you can watch part of your favorite show, dinner will be ready, you can go outside
Homework after short break
Short is the operative term. Play outside, draw, educational computer game, goof around with Snap Circuits. Then tackle homework.
Homework broken up into short segments
10 minutes or so at a time: homework – break – homework – break
This can end up sucking up an entire night, but for the highly wiggly or exhausted child, sometimes it is the only way.
This also works for finishing up large projects: “Glue down all the letters then I will play hide-and-seek with you for 5 minutes. Now glitter the cheeta’s eyes, and you can jump on the bed.”
Whatever the method, nothing beats the feeling of packing up tomorrow’s folder with completed homework. What an accomplishment for your student.