Many parents find themselves helping out with homework on a regular basis. Aside from the moral dilemma of how much help you should provide, you have to try to remember what you learned in school several decades ago. Being supportive is important, however, and just your presence can make homework more pleasant.
Homework is usually perceived as a tedious chore by kids. They don’t see the point in resolving math problems or writing letters when they could well go outside and play football. Parents play a big part in helping their children understand the significance of homework and helping them carry it out.
However, this doesn’t mean parents should do the homework for their kids. Children might need motivation and guidance in order to get started with homework, but they need finish the task on their own. Doing your children’s homework will only send the wrong message. To avoid this mistake and a few others, here are a nine tips to help you steer your kids in the right direction and make them enjoy homework time.
1. Suitable Environment
The first part of tackling the homework issue is to make sure the children have all the needed materials and an appropriate working space. In order to avoid going back and forth to their locker or to the library, check if the kids have all the needed dictionaries, books, pens, paper and any other specific items they might need. Additionally, choose a suitable homework area. A large table or a desk in a well-lit room away from distractions are essentials.
2. Separate Area for Each Child
Children are notorious for their short attention spans. They easily get bored and try to look for distractions. They are also more likely to become distracted when they are next to another kid. This is why it’s ideal to separate your kids when they are learning or doing homework. This will help them focus better and actually finish their tasks faster.
3. Setting up a Schedule
Kids thrive on routine. Whether we are talking about playtime or homework time, it’s ideal to set specific times when they are to take place. For this, you can use colorful calendars, charts, or worksheets that you can stick somewhere where everyone can see it. Develop a schedule that includes plenty breaks and snack times. This will keep kids motivated since they’ll have something to look forward to. Take into consideration any suggestions or complaints coming from your kids. Their efficiency varies significantly, so they know best when the best time for homework is.
4. Tech-free Homework Time
Distractions are the worst enemies when it comes to doing homework in a time-efficient manner. In order to prevent kids and teenagers from checking their Facebook feed every five minutes, ask them to surrender their smartphone, iPad, and laptop while studying. Your best way of winning the argument is explaining that having all these gadgets around will only take them longer to fulfill their tasks. Assure them that once their homework is done, they’ll be able to tweet away.
5. Refrain from Giving the Answer
Parents should be a resource for their children. However, that doesn’t imply they should give out the answers to math problems. Instead of spelling out the solution to your kids, help them understand how to arrive at it on their own. Use simple, straightforward questions to guide them toward the answers. Give them examples and make associations that will help them better understand the thinking mechanisms. Remember you won’t be there to help them on their tests, which is why giving the answer is a no-no.
6. Keep in Touch with the Teacher
This is often overlooked by most parents, but it’s really important to connect with the kids’ school and teachers. Find out from the beginning if they have a special website where school assignments are updated. Help them use potential homework help lines or any other online resources. You should also be actively involved in parent-teacher conferences. It’s essential to find out how your kid is doing in class and if they are struggling with any subjects.
7. Go over Mistakes and Graded Tests
Before you scold your child for mistakes and bad grades, take the time to go over their graded work. Instead of criticizing them, help them understand the errors and explain how to correctly answer or resolve a problem. Refrain from comparing your kids to peers or asking what grades other pupils receive. Reviewing test papers as soon as they are graded is ideal since it helps children easily understand and correct their mistakes while they are still fresh in their mind.
8. Promote Healthy Habits
With most kids sleep deprived on weekdays, it’s no surprise they nod off during homework time. Pay close attention to their schedule and try not to overload them. Between classes, sports, volunteering hours, and other extracurricular activities, they might be too tired to focus on solving math problems in the evening. Encourage a stable sleeping schedule, regular exercise, and healthy eating that will help children grow up healthy both physically and psychologically. Don’t neglect unwinding time. Children need frequent breaks from studying when they can do whatever they please.
9. Modest Rewards
It’s perfectly fine to reward your kids each time they fulfill a task or finish their homework on time. However, parents should be careful with the rewards they offer. Promising your kids $5 for each correctly solved math problem might burn a hole in your pocket before you know it. It’s not a good idea to motivate your kids with money or expensive items like gadgets or a car.
You should try showing appreciation in thoughtful ways that will teach your kids about valuing the gesture rather than the item itself. Instead of investing in a new phone, you could try rewarding them with a family road trip or a weekend camping. Spark the interest of your kids by giving out honor badges and colorful stars. Allow them to eat ice cream for dinner and stay up later than usual one night per month if they perform great in school. Spark their interest by motivating them with modest rewards. This will help them understand some things are more interesting and important than just a $5 bill.