How to Get Started on Homework

How to Get Started on Homework

PROBLEM – How do I get started with EACH assignment???

Some students struggle to get started because they are unsure about what to do. They often fail to read or understand instructions. Some really need to be shown as well as reading or hearing the instructions.

We want students to be as independent as possible on homework, but getting them started and reassuring them that they are on the right track can alleviate a lot of wasted time. 

SOLUTION – Use The “Getting Started Questions” 

Here are 5 questions to ask your child to answer at the beginning of each assignment:
  1. What should I do first? (Put my name on the paper)
  2. What do the directions say?
  3. Is there an example I can look at?
  4. In this assignment, are there questions I will need to answer after reading something? If so, where are those questions? Read the questions before reading the section (paragraph, chapter, etc.).
  5. Do I need to ask for help?
Are there other questions that should be asked at the beginning of every assignment?

  • Write all the questions on a card that your child will use every time he does homework.
  • Now “walk your child through” each question. Direct your child through using the questions on several assignments.
  • Finally, have him try to use them independently.
Once you have gotten your child in the habit of using the card at the start of each and every assignment, homework becomes much faster to get into and to finish…which means more time for fun! 
For more helpful tips and articles written by educational experts, visit

One thought on “How to Get Started on Homework

  1. This is actually a great idea for my Intervention Study Hall as well. I have some students who can get right to work but I have a few that just sit and shuffle papers and need many prompts to get started. It’s a little late in the year and my students are moving on to high school, but it’s worth a shot and worth remembering for next year!

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