After many, many arguments and numerous updates from my son's school about grades less than 90, I decided to intervene and help alleviate some of the frustration that Ryan, his teachers and myself were feeling about his homework grades.

Ryan is an extremely intelligent child who has just entered intermediate school.

For his four core courses (Math, Science, Language Arts and Social Studies), he is taking honors classes.

Coupled with art and band, his homework assignments and upcoming tests are a source of anxiety and tension.

Honestly, I think had he been in all regular classes, he would have been in the same situation.

The leap from elementary to intermediate school is a challenge for many kids and my child is no exception.

After a long day of school, Ryan comes home and gets to work.

However, he frequently forgets to complete an assignment or study for a test because he just has so much to do, that something inevitably slips through the cracks.

That's where I came in (cape on my back to save the day).

Below, you will find a homework log that I developed in an effort to ensure that:

1. Ryan is doing all of his assignments,

2. We are checking his assignments (after all, daily grades add up, too) - for both completion and mastery of the topic,

3. He is prepared for upcoming tests and projects,

4. He is learning crucial organizational skills, and

5. He is learning vital time management skills.

The strategy behind this task is as follows:

When Ryan gets home from school, he picks up one of these printed spreadsheets, dates it at the top and immediately starts filling out the bottom section, entitled: "List of today's homework."

Without being in any particular order, this includes any assignments that he was given as "homework," rather they are due tomorrow or next week.

Next, Ryan fills out the "Upcoming Tests / Projects" section.

Here he will include upcoming quizzes, tests, reports, projects (individual and group), and extra credit.

Once he has done these two tasks, Ryan will then prioritize his assignments and populate the section above with the following priorities listed in order:

1. Homework that is due the following day.

2. Studying for any quizzes or tests that will occur on the following day.

3. Completing projects and other major assignments that are due the following day.

4. Standing homework assignments (practicing his instrument and reading).

5. Studying for or completing assignments that are due in the future.

After he has accomplished this, Ryan will bring the Daily Homework Log to either his father or I for discussion and approval. This ensures that we are all on the same page and that Ryan is in fact being strategic in his decision-making.

With approval gained, Ryan then begins working on the first task, making sure he has logged both his start time and, eventually, his end time.

Inspired Note: Ryan should not ask for assistance from us until he has:

1. worked through the assignment in its entirety,

2. reviewed all of his notes, previous assignments and textbooks for clues about what he might be missing,

3. then completed his other homework assignments to the best of his ability, allowing him to circle back to the first task with a clear mind and fresh look.

(Teaching our son to think for himself was one of the most important tasks that we took on this year.)

After Ryan has gotten as far as he can, we then take the time to discuss the challenges that he faced and research together how to overcome them.

Inspired Note: Handling assignments in this manner has forced Ryan to become more proactive in seeking out answers to questions on his own, in addition to requiring us to set aside only a block of time to aid him, instead of being bombarded with questions over the course of the whole evening. With multiple children, it is impossible to jump around from one to the next and keep your sanity!

Once the assigned homework is completed, we then review him for upcoming tests and quizzes.

Wrap Up:

I honestly don't even remember what evenings were like at our house before this spreadsheet.

If we are having particular challenges, we can also have Ryan go back and log his grades on each of these sheets as he gets them back.

This will allow us to review and see if he was having a particularly hard day or just needs additional help in a particular subject.

The Daily Homework Log has brought calmness, order, and assurance while teaching our son very important time management and organizational skills.

I sincerely hope that if you or someone you know has found yourselves in a similar situation that this log will be helpful to you, too.

Here's to another Inspired Minute!

Author's Bio: 

Hi there! My name is Tracey and I’m on a mission to turn average days at home into meaningful minutes. I’m a wife, mother of 3 and an Inspired Life Blogger. This is my journey to create ways to save time, maximize money, creatively organize, craft, gift, and decorate and humbly volunteer. Please visit my blog at for ideas and tips that I hope will inspire you!