As the school year comes to a close, kids are antsy to get summer started, and homework is probably the last thing on their minds. But to close the year strong, here are some quick tips on homework, along with some ways to evaluate your systems this year while the pros and cons are fresh in your mind.

As parents, we want to be involved, but not overbearing. We want to know what’s going on, but we also want our kids to take ownership of their own work. Here are some tips and resources:

1 – Did you Use a Homework Organizer? – Sometimes, schools supply one; if not, hopefully your child has a calendar to keep track of homework, project deadlines, quizzes and tests. Did your system work this year? If not, talk to your child about what worked, what didn’t, to fine-tune the system for next year.

2 – What Type of System Works for your Child? – As adults, we have a variety of favorites for keeping our tasks organized. I was a proud paper Dayplanner addict until a couple of years ago when my Blackberry transformed my life (and required short thumbnails, abbreviated speech, and then some). I have friends who swear by their paper systems; others who are technologically miles ahead of me. The bottom line is this — if a system works for you, it works. Our kids are the same way – some are more visual learners; others, more auditory. Make sure you understand your child’s strengths and challenges so he/she has a system that works.

3 – Think about your routine for after school – I’m pretty straightforward – snack, homework, free time, in that order. If possible, we work in some free time before homework, but there’s a lot more motivation to get the work done if free time is a bonus after completion. Did your routine work this year? What could make it more productive next year?

4 – Pick a regular time to review the work plan – Sundays are a great time to sit down and talk about the coming week. Perhaps there could be time to go over school deadlines so you don’t get caught doing a big project the day before. Think about how much involvement you had this year in homework. Too much? Too little? How will this affect your level of involvement next year?

5 – In addition to your school’s website, which often lists assignments and resources, check out online resources for homework help. Some that looked particularly helpful include the following: Info Please, Homework Spot; Discovery Education.

What tips can you share with other moms to take the hassle out of homework? Click “Leave a comment” at this top of this post!