At university, I got into the habit of starting assignments right away, even if they weren’t due for two weeks. That way, I could actually finish the task with the right amount of preparation and work. Now my partner and I have four kids, and the nonprocrastination idea looks more like this: Our oldest child, who is 7, has weekly homework. When she gets an assignment, we spend a few moments the first evening reading and discussing it. It doesn’t feel like work; we’re not “doing” homework, but really, we are. Understanding the task and its purpose is an important part. I’d be more impressed if a child could describe the task she needs to do and why than if she simply completed it. So read and discuss and then let it sit for a night. The next day, the kid will be raring to go. — Chris Ferrie, a physicist and mathematician, is the author of Rocket Science for Babies and other children’s books. He lives in Sydney, Australia.