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Supporting learning

father helping son with homework

Minimize Conflict over Homework

Kevin Fenton

Revised January 2015 by Silvia Alvarez de Davila, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency.

Homework is a powerful tool that can contributes to the advancement of your child’s education. But homework can also create tension at home. Children need structure and routine. At home and at school, children do their best and feel responsible for their own behavior when structure is implemented.

Why Tension Rises

Sometimes when you get involved in your child’s education, tension rises. You want the best for your child’s future, and your child may experience that desire as pressure to succeed. Homework is a challenging factor influenced by students’ learning styles, preferences, and motivation. These are some of the reasons why parents and caregivers need to accommodate individual needs and preferences with the desired outcome: success at school.

To reduce the homework tension, help children to schedule their time, set aside a place, and find their personal homework style. Remember: your child needs guidance and support, as well as leadership, to feel more competent and in control.

How to Create Structure

One way to help your child’s learning is by structuring your child’s environment to support the learning process that starts at school and continues at home. Structure is implemented when students have clear and consistent rules and know what is expected of them.

Here are some tips for parents and caregivers to help children make the most of their study time.

Remember, the goal is to provide quality parental support and structure, reduce tension, and complete homework.


Hong, E., & Milgram, R. M. (2004). Homework: Motivation and learning preference. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Katz, I., Kaplan, A., & Buzukashvily, T. (2011). The role of parents' motivation in students' autonomous motivation for doing homework. Learning and Individual Differences, 21(4), 376-386.

Solomon, Y.,Warin, J., & Lewis, C. (2002). Helping with homework? Homework as a site of tension for parents and teenagers. British educational research journal, 28(4), 603-622.

Related resources

Homework: How to help — Explore guidelines for helping your children with their homework.

Grades at school — Get a better understanding about grades and how to turn poor grades into positive learning opportunities.

Dealing with a child's anger — Help your child deal manage their anger and channel it into more positive action

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