Homework Ground Rules for Nannies and Au Pairs

Rules and Routines Make Children Feel Safe

By Angela Norton Tyler, author of Tutor Your Child to Reading Success

Children like knowing what is expected of them and what is going to happen next. They also like knowing that they can count on the adults in their lives to lovingly enforce those rules and stick to the routines.

In the beginning, your charge may fight against homework rules and routines, but you must be strong! Soon, he will accept the rules and secretly be happy they exist.
Here are some common homework issues and questions:

1. What time must homework be started?
2. How late is too late to do homework?
3. Are breaks allowed? How many and how long?

1. Where can homework be done?
2. Where can it NOT be done?

1. Can friends come over and do homework? Which friends?
2. Can you talk on the phone during homework time? (Come on, now!)

1. What happens if homework is not completed?
2. What happens if homework is not completed regularly?

Ground Rules must be short, simple, reasonable, and clearly understood by every member of the household and any regular visitors such as Grandma.

Ground Rules should be posted. Get creative and fancy or keep it simple, but post the Homework Ground Rules so that everybody can see them. I recommend putting a copy on the refrigerator, a copy in your child’s homework binder, and a copy in the ‘homework area’- if you have one.

Ground Rules must be enforceable. There is no point in setting rules if nobody is going to follow them! If the child does not do his homework or follow an agreed-upon rule, the consequence must follow. Children are masters at making us feel guilty, but enforcing rules that benefit them is part of our job.

Tomorrow: Proper Space to do Homework

What are the household homework rules for the students in your care?


  1. It's the after school activities that are stressing me out not the homework. Just way too much and the kids are still only in elementary school. It's just too much to do in too short a time. It's nearly impossible to get homework done before parents get home. I am totally stressed out after school with homework and sports, and music lessons….

  2. I am seeing a disturbing trend of overtired kids. Too bad we can't convince parents to pull back on the kids schedules. Granted we want kids to be well rounded and play sports, but I really think the majority of problems with homework are related to kids that are overtired.Imani O NY

  3. Well my parents bosses didn't even stay home yesterday for the first day of school. Everyone else's parents stayed home and took kids to first day of school!!! Priorities??

  4. Yes it's true the children are over scheduled. But understand it's due to good intentions. The kids may be tired but parents only get an hour or so with them before bed and I think they keep them up because they miss them.It's fine to respectfully ask them to put kids to bed earlier if it's clear to you they need more sleep.

  5. This is going to be so helpful

  6. This homework stuff peeves me off so badly. I don't have enough time in the day to be the only one helping the kids with their homework and schoolwork. I know parents work long hours and are tired when they arrive home but I need their help. It's their kids, not mine, and it's their education and I resent parent thinking they can pay me to help with homework so they don't have too.

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