It's the end of the school year but homework is still making an appearance in backpacks across the country. Your kids are tired, you're tired, and the weather is beautiful - who wants to stay inside and practice multiplication? Use these quick and easy tips to get your children to finish their homework independently and get everyone outside faster!

Take the junk out of the drawer Stay organized! Everyone starts the year with plenty of supplies but as the school year goes on, schedules get busy and the junk drawer gets filled. Clean out that drawer and make sure pencils, erasers, and paper are readily available. The more time spent looking for supplies, the less time spent outside!

Use pictures to create a homework schedule Use pictures to prompt your kids instead of nagging them. Take pictures of their backpack, folders, books, and materials. Put the pictures on the table in the order they need to complete their assignments. Lots of children are visual learners, which means seeing a direction is more effective than hearing the direction. Pointing to a picture also saves your voice!

"Give it a try before you ask me why" The teacher's version of this rule is "Ask three before me" but the concept is the same. Children come across work they are unsure of and immediately ask for help. Don't jump to help your children right away - prompt them to attempt to solve the problem before they seek you out. Remind them to work through the assignment and when they finish, you can go back and help with the questions they got stuck on.

Up the anteYou may need to offer some new and exciting motivators - like extra outdoor play time or a bonus play date to maintain your child's focus towards the end of the school year. It's been a long year and you are coming down the home stretch - maintain your child's energy by offering new and exciting reinforcement for completing assignments. Scheduling homework before an exciting event - like a baseball game or trip to the park - will surely pick up your child's pace while doing homework!

Whatever you do - don't nag! Stay positive and stay organized. Summer - and homework-free days - are just around the corner!

Jennifer Cerbasi teaches at a public school for children on the autism spectrum in New Jersey. As a coordinator of Applied Behavioral Analysis programs in the home, she works with parents to create and implement behavioral plans for their children in an environment that fosters both academic and social growth. In addition to her work both in the classroom and at home, she is also a member of the National Association of Special Education Teachers and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Jennifer is an educational consultant who works with families and educators to establish healthy and productive routines in the home and school. Adapting behavior management techniques she implemented for years as a special educator, she helps parents and teachers adopt these tools to fit their unique needs and priorities. Jennifer also speaks to parent and education groups on current topics in education and children's health. Visit www.jennifercerbasi.com