In recent months there has been much information regarding the positives and negatives of homework. Of course, the idea of homework is to give children more practice with concepts that are new or challenging. After all, “practice is the best of all instructors”. However, on the other side of the argument is that homework is too excessive for children after having already spent 7-8 hours at school. Kids need time to pursue other interests as well. As a 3rd grade teacher and mother to 3 boys, I can see both sides to the coin. But here’s what I know after years of working with students… the children who grow the most (GROW, from wherever they begin the year), are those who have between 30-60 minutes of homework about 4 times a week. Reading is included in those minutes but really should be a DAILY 20 minute activity. I’m sure there are those of you who are grumbling at your computers as you read this. “How will my kid find time for extracurricular activities?”, “After being in school all day, how do you expect me to get my child to focus on homework for more than 5 minutes!?”. Believe me, I hear it all, and I UNDERSTAND. But I also believe there’s a middle ground and that balance can be achieved. It’ll likely take dedication and time, but I promise there are ways to help even the most distractible of children to follow through on homework expectations (just ask my 26 students). Here are 9 tips that will help kids focus on homework.