There are few things that shock a child or a parent’s system like getting the first few homework assignments when school begins each fall. Those homework assignments force a parent to become a strict disciplinarian, constantly on top of their child to do their homework… or else.

There are ways to handle that load of homework and it takes organization, dedication to a routine, and the ability to remain calm. Here are some ways to make it easier on you and your child:

1. Make Homework a Priority

You must try to create a mindset in your home that homework is a priority and must be taken seriously and given appropriate time and care. If your children believe that their homework is an extension of their classroom learning, that will force them to dedicate their full attention to it. Once your kids realize that homework is not something that can be sloughed off or avoided, they’ll likely be more dedicated to it.

2. Tackle It Right Away

One of the most important things that you can do to lessen the homework drama is to make your child begin the work soon after they arrive home from school. Your child might be hungry for a snack or they might ask for a little time to decompress by playing, watching TV, or playing some video games, but this should only be a brief break. Your child needs to know that after 20 minutes or so, it’s time to attack the homework.

3. Make the Routine Consistent

To reinforce the tip above, you need to be consistent in your approach. If you let your child slide, then they will feel emboldened to ignore you or push back against your wishes. You need to make this schedule routine in your home and, if necessary, consider withholding things that your child enjoys to make sure they comply.

4. Do a Little at a Time

Many projects that a teacher assigns on Monday may be due on a Friday, giving your child lots of time to get the work done. Yet even with the extra time, how often does your child wait until Thursday night to do the work? You must guide them by figuring out which homework is due when and helping them accomplish it with time to spare. Again, this requires a certain ability to be able to convince your child to work on it piecemeal throughout the week, but if you’re successful, think of how much smoother everything will be.

5. Make Lists

When your kids get older, they might have various types of homework. There might be the day-to-day homework, as well as projects that are due on a medium- or long-term basis. It might be helpful to keep a calendar in their study area with due dates on it. With a setup like that, your children will be able to easily see what projects are due when and understand how they need to get the work accomplished.

6. Clear Schedules

If you are concerned about the homework load and whether your kids can keep up, you might want to keep their schedules as clear as possible during the beginning of the school year. That means limiting the amount of extracurricular activities, hours at a job, or nights out with friends.