Parents of school-age children know one of the biggest struggles can often be wading through your child’s homework assignments. It always seems to get worse as the year goes on and the backpack fills with papers. If you or your child are struggling with keeping your sanity, here are five simple steps for handling the dreaded daily homework time.

  1. Set the Time

Decide on a time that works for your family. Maybe it’s right after school, after dinner or it’s while someone is cooking dinner.┬áJust try and keep the same time every day.

  1. Location, Location, Location

Next, pick a spot to work in that is free from distractions where everyone can sit together. Perhaps your family works best sitting at a table or, you enjoy sitting outside on the porch. Or, your kids may want a chance to use their own desk. Try different locations if something is not working. But once you find a good homework location that works, stick to it.

  1. Stick to Procedure

Keep the procedure the same every day. Start with pulling loose papers out of the backpack and putting them into folders. Then decide what comes next. Are we checking folders? Are we logging into classroom websites?

Having a mental checklist of what folders you need to look at, what websites you need to check, and what documents you need to sign keeps you from forgetting anything.

  1. Designate a Checker

Decide who is going to be responsible for checking to make sure everything is done. This can be a parent or you can partner up kiddos. It’s important to have a second set of eyes look over papers to make sure no stray questions are skipped. The designated checker can also double as a timekeeper for assignments that require a timer, like reading.

  1. Keep it Simple

When it comes to homework, most parents and kids stress the most about whether they’ve done it right. So just keep it simple and focus on getting through the task. If something is difficult or confusing, set it off to the side while someone Googles it. You can always come back to it. The goal of homework should be practice, not perfection.

Homework doesn’t have to be a daily struggle for you and your kids. By following these five strategies, it can be much easier. And once your child gets into a routine, it’ll be much simpler to get their school work done.