Tips on making homework time less of a battle?

This is kind of a long post. I wrote a couple of months ago on advice for homework. I used some of those tips and started doing homework as soon as he gets home, which has helped. My son is really good at reading but has trouble with his spelling words. He is in 3rd grade, and some of his words are even hard for me. Yesterday he got home from school we started on homework. I told him to read his book; then, we can practice spelling words. Before we even start on spelling words, I know he gets frustrated. I try to be positive and calm before we even start. But I know what’s coming. I honestly have tried everything I can think of. I call out the words he writes them down. If he gets them wrong the first time, I have him look over the word, and I’ll call them out again. I have him write the word he got wrong 5x he gets so mad and frustrated. So I thought ok, let me do something different I had him say the word out loud. That didn’t work. I’ve tried to break down the words. That doesn’t help. I’m out of options. He’s in 3rd grade, and he is really into wrestling. He has a lot of little wrestling figures, and I thought maybe something to do with those and spelling might help him? I have no clue how lol but thought maybe some of you all would have ideas? Or ideas or input on anything? I try so hard to stay positive, but I feel like I’m failing. I had to ground him tonight, and it broke my heart because he was so upset. And I’m sitting here in the living room worried to death about him going to bed upset. I hate that he’s upset. But I know if I give in I’ll be doing the wrong thing. He’s grounded overthrowing a fit about his homework. Such a battle!


Your gonna need a lot of wrestling figures. Or if you have enough for atleast one work just label them with a letter and have him take each letter and spell the word put


Maybe a tutor… I know myself personally, and I’m completely incompetent when it comes to teaching others how to do anything lol.

I have my daughter quiz me first. That seems to help.

1 Like
  1. Make it fun(ner)
    -sensory table with fridge magnets (have him find the letters he needs the spell it out in the fridge)
    -scavenger hunt
    -use playing cards to determine how many times to write them
    -if he knows it only make him do it once
    -word scramble

  2. Let him take a break. Sometimes walking away and getting a drink is more effective than pushing through when he’s already frustrated. I do this with my son…and it helped a ton.


Right the words and stick them all over, on the door in the bathroom at the table everytime he passes them he has to spell them out loud the more he looks the more he’ll remember


My boys are totally different. My first son I read them allowed and he wrote them. Hardly ever missing a word. My second son…would lose focus, get mad…I started letting him stand and do words. First day I say the word, he spells out loud. Any missed he writes twice. Next day again, any missed he writes three times. Then I go to me saying word, he writes them and any missed he writes 5 times. Check his phonics. If he doesn’t have his phonics down, spelling will be difficult also. Standing and being able to walk around helped him focus.

I share your struggle. Mine is in 4th. For him it was the writing part that made it a fight. I switched it up and have him spell it, say it, spell it all while looking at the word for 2 days, then 2 days spell it (looking) say it, spell it (not looking), with an additional quiz the night before test. He only has to write the ones he misses. Last year (3rd grade) they also introduced sign language to the class so instead of writing he would sign the spelling which he liked. Best wishes. Hope you see new ideas that click for your child. I too am following comments. You’re doing great mom! Keep striving!

My youngest always did best with spelling when he would quiz me. So he would make the flash card, ask me the word. I would spell it outloud. This would make him have to read each individual letter and for some reason he loves quizzing me. But after he quizzes me 2 times I quiz him 2 times.

1 Like

He’s be in school all day and is tired.give him a break and help him later.


The first day I let them look at the word and write it down. I never know if they went over the words in school. Then maybe another day like that and then I quiz him. Any wrong we make him spell it out loud to us plus write it down

I hate to say it but I don’t help With homework.
I have learning disabilities of my own which make it extremely difficult and my husband works long hours. He helps as much as he can.
I explained all this to their teachers and if they need help they are just to go to their teachers.
If I need more help than that we would consider a tutor.

1 Like

My daughter is in 3rd grade too. Her teacher has a paper of different activities that the kids have to choose one to do every night. They are quick but fun. Then we quiz her in her words. Maybe making it fun and not just straight quizzing him and writing them over and over would help make it less dreaded and stressful.

If you think the wrestlers would help encourage him, maybe tell him if he gets a certain score or above on his test then he can pick out a new guy.

Here’s some activities ideas. Good luck Mama!! I know that once that dread of homework sets in that it’s hard to turn it around.

Reading all these comment makes me so happy that our school district did away with homework at elementary levels. I really hope your find something that works for him. Just remember he Has just spent 7 hours in school. His brain may need a break. That is a lot for typical 3rd graders


Give him a break, kids sit in class for 6 hours and need to unwind let him help you decide what time he needs to start on homework.


Sounds to me like your doing a great job!! I feel all you can do is keep trying your best like your doing until you find what works for you and your son because you know him the best. Hope you find a trick that works for you both because I know all to well how hard it is to teach children. I am a grandma now and I am still looking for the right answers because all children learn differently. I feel as long as you keep trying to work with him like your doing and never give up on him. One day your little guy will learn that giving up is not a option and he will do the best he can so his future becomes brighter. Good luck! Your doing a awsome job! :slight_smile:

When I was little my mother would tell me to find the little words in the big words this help me to remember them and be able to write them on spelling test like vegetable would be
veg e table
it helped me remember the words

Take the spelling words put on paper, cut out each letter like a puzzle, have him put the puzzle together.

1 Like

Make him some flash cards each week of all his spelling words. Just take a marker and write them on index cards. Have him to read each letter and then say the word and test him each night. Sometimes saying the letters aloud helps them remember the spelling.

1 Like


1 Like

My stepson is in 2nd grade & he gets a packet of homework for the week so to help him not get stressed out over it, we do 2-3 pages a night and We don’t rush him to do it in specific time limit. I know some parents try to rush the child to do it in an hour or less and I think that causes them to get worked up.

Incorporate some kind of physical activity into his homework time. Like 10 pushups or 20 jumping jacks or whatever…something simple that requires him to exert energy. He has been sitting all day with few breaks and then he gets home and has to sit for another hour or so doing homework. I understand having him do the work as soon as he gets home to avoid the inevitable battle to get him to come back to it later, but he REALLY needs movement at that time of day.

Your teaching and helping is perfectly accurate but kids these days are mainly set with there passions. So if my child loved to wrestle i would get each wrestling figure. And for the first initial of the first name i would use as a letter of the alphabet . And help him this way for passion its easy to understand that from there eyes

With my son who has a few issues…we write out the words cut up each letter and than have him put the words together with the letters. Some days if he’s having a really bad day we forgo trying to sit down and do it and just verbally go over them while I’m cooking or cleaning, sometimes we make a game of it…with the cut out letters we tape them all over the kitchen and he has to go get each letter and at the end of every successful word he gets a treat.

I know spelling is important but fuck spelling tests.
Help him as much as you can if he still can’t it wont be the end of the world.

Dry erase board to practice on makes it fun, I have a 3rd grader who also hates homework time but this helps… make flash cards. We make a game out of it with the pre testing to see how many they know and do like a piece of candy at the end. I agree though they are in school all day and to punish them for being tired and getting upset for being bored about doing more of the same at home I don’t agree with. They are kids and they are ready to just relax and be kids when they get home. Especially at that age.

Soooo we sat up a white board for our 4th grader because he goes into a rage over homework. Every day he earns a star on the white board that he does not throw a fit. After three stars in a row he gets a reward. Our kids rewards are he gets to make a dessert with me, play a board/card game with me, or he gets to skip a day of chores and go outside to play with friends. He thrives on personal attention and we had to make the rewards an option we can always do. He likes to play school too so we have him teach us what he is doing for homework too. He loves writing on the white boards so we have a few.

Try a fun game website , spellcity you put in youf spelling words and it will have activities with your words .
Mine we practice all week .
First day is say the word , spell the word , say the word. ( kid does not you ) then rainbow write, write each word 3 times in different colors . Next abc order . Then draw a picture for each word and write the word . Make a sentence for each word. They dont do them all but one activity a night , then night before test day I’ll do practice test.

Maybe give him an hour or so after school to decompress. Have a snack, watch a little fun show, and then work on homework. I know even in high school I didn’t want to come straight home from 8 hours of school to immediately do two hours or more worth of homework. Try to give his brain a little break in between. Good luck mama🖤

Try dividing spelling words into so many a day leaving the easy ones last, dont make him write them that just creates frustration

Please give him at least a half hour when he gets home to have a snack and unwind. Their brains work hard during school and not to mention peer drama. Let him run around outside. If he has trouble he can also get some tutoring at school from his teacher or older students.

1 Like

Maybe it’s just me, but if he is getting that frustrated, walk away for a bit. And don’t ground him for throwing a fit over homework(if he just didn’t want to do it that would be one thing, but if he is truly struggling, grounding him is only going to make that frustration worse.) Struggling and can’t get the hang of it and I get frustrated, I’m just going to get in trouble so what is the point in even trying. Also, see if the school can offer any extra help. My daughter was in Title 1 reading program because she was struggling with reading so bad last year and this year she got to drop the program because she is doing so much better

1 Like

Ok. Well, first of all, never let it get to a point where he gets in trouble for acting out. You need to immediately go to break when things start to get heated. He’s already being punished by having to do it despite his frustration. So that’s super unfair, even though I understand he can’t be allowed to act inappropriately or lose all control, but maybe unground him or give him time served if you can. I really like some of the suggestions here. But I would also consider getting him tested too. Most kids don’t struggle to the point of losing control unless there is something else going on.

1 Like

Depending how he is with reading and other things could it be possible he is dyslexic? x

Have him sing the words for example canyon: c-a-n-y-o-n spells canyon… He can put it to whatever beat/melody he wants. This is how I learned to spell.

Stop forcing it. They are HIS spelling words and he HAS to do them. Let him take control of how he wants to practice and his grade will reflect his efforts. If he like my kid, one bad grade will get his butt into gear.

Maybe he just learns different alot of kids are backwards and it frustrates them because they think they are doing it wrong but it’s what’s in there head food for thought :thinking:

I ordered phonics books for 3 years in a row. I homeschooled but you could do summer studies. He is now a good reader and speller.

I feel your pain and I feel your guilt. But as soon as I let homework go our house has been so much more peaceful. If he needs to do anything and doesn’t get it done at home he does it at school. Both my boys are very physical and need to be outside burning energy when they get home.