Is homework a dreaded topic at home? Are you tired of hounding your child to complete his or her work, organize his or her assignments and get his grades up? Here are some tips to help your child develop good homework habits.
Helping Your Kids With Homework
Make a Plan
The best way to develop a good homework plan is to sit down with your child at the beginning of the school year and discuss your goals together. A plan made early definitely beats one that is developed only when a problem crops up. Besides, if your child is also involved in the planning process, the results are going to be good.
Some of the things that you could look at include homework timings; ways to make the process more fun and including breaks during homework time. Make your plan flexible, something that can be adjusted during the course of the academic year.
Homework begins as early as kindergarten, so it pays to cultivate a homework habit at an early age. This not only makes the child stay organized and be interested in his or her work but also minimizes stress levels during homework time. While it is important to sit along with your 6 year old to help him out, remember to gradually wean out of the habit. When children do their work by themselves, they learn to think out solutions, before coming to you for help.
Cut Down on After-School Programs
The truth is, your child spends most of the day at school, and the few precious hours left are required to handle homework assignments. If your kid is burdened with too many extracurricular activities, consider cutting back on a few or rescheduling some to weekends. The rule of thumb is to let your child focus on one after-school activity, and spend his remaining time on homework.
Schedule a Daily Routine
Insist on a homework routine, make this a daily duty and stick to the timings. Even if the child doesn’t have homework, ask him or her to sit down to revise his subjects. They could start their work right after school or schedule homework time after dinner. The best way to get your kid interested in homework is to give him some time to unwind first – some snacks and a bit of sports or playing with his toys.
But ensure that this break does not involve TV time, video games or the internet, or you will land yourself with the problem of trying to get them out of their activities. During the weekends, get him to spend about half an hour every morning on school work.
Pick a Homework Spot
Kids work best when they have a quiet and comfortable place to themselves. So set up a homework area in their room – place a desk, arrange supplies like stationary and keep it clutter-free. This helps them focus and concentrate. If your child is someone who likes to be around you, then get him to do his homework when you are also doing some work. He could sit with his books in the kitchen, while you are busy cooking. You could also schedule his homework during a time when the entire family is taking a quite break.
Make Homework Fun
While this is easier said than done, it definitely helps make learning easier, generate interest for school work and positively change his attitude towards homework. But this requires some time from you – for instance, you can encourage your first-grader with math through marbles or card games.
Most children love to have their parents help them out, so mom and dad can both take turns to spend some time with the child. You can also hold homework discussions over dinner, especially for subjects like history and geography. With some fun activities, your child no longer looks at homework as a chore.
When to Get Extra Help
Children do get stuck on assignments, and while at times you may be able to help them, do keep in mind that your method may be different from his teacher’s – this will only confuse the kid more. A better way to find a solution is to approach the teacher and request them to explain the topic once again. If your child tends to get weighed down by a subject, you can get him or her extra help. Check out online tutoring or websites that have practice papers.
Some Homework Tips
Keep in mind that you are only helping your child, so control the impulse to take over and complete the problem yourself. While checking for mistakes, try to correct only a few, as the teacher would also want to assess your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
Schedule breaks – eating a snack, watering the garden, playing with the pet or simply walking around. A short break away from the desk can help improve concentration and studies have also shown that such breaks involving physical activity can stimulate cognitive skills.