Homework Challenges & Strategies
Homework can be a stressful and frustrating experience, for the kids and parents as well. The process of getting them mentally ready to do homework after a long day of learning at school and a long bus ride home is the hardest part in my opinion. Getting them physically ready and sitting on their desk is also a struggle sometimes. My kids were resisting doing homework for quite some time, it became a common struggle that brought negative energy into our lives six days a week. Something had to be done. I tried a few things, and while some failed miserably, these worked over a short period of time.
- Try not to postpone homework until the time when the child is tired to the point of limiting his ability to write or think properly; over-stimulated children will always feel negatively towards any added work and ultimately, homework will be associated with that negative feeling. I always try to do homework one hour after the kids get home. This gives them ample time to have their meal and relax, and provides them with extra time to do something they enjoy before bedtime.
- Give children enough space and promote freedom of choice, such as choosing a place they find comfortable for doing their homework, which provides them with a sense of control over the task and makes them less likely to resist it. The chosen area in the house must have good lighting and fresh air and separated from any distractions such as background television noises or siblings.
- Encourage your child to enjoy a snack while they complete their school work, as long as the food is healthy and label it as “food for the brain” to help increase focus and boost brainpower. Offer items such as berries, healthy nuts, avocados, fruit salad, and Greek yoghurt.
- Keep the designated study place clean and tidy to help the child find what they need right away, as chaos contributes to further procrastination excuses and resistance. An organized environment helps the child remain calm and sometimes excites them to do the work.
- Change the negative perception related to homework. Most children associate homework negatively as an added task they are forced to complete. It is important in this case to alter this perception in such a manner where homework becomes an exciting activity and not a boring one. Including a homework chart that offers rewards can be one option. Do not use phrases like “You cannot play until you finish your homework” as that separates homework from any enjoyment which creates a struggle all over again.
- Offer words of encouragement and appreciation so your child feels a sense of achievement once a task is completed.
Try these tips with your child if you are struggling with homework. The idea is to get kids to love doing homework on their own. This sounds like a dream to most parents, but these tips truly helped ease the process and provided motivation and comfort. And always remember, eventually, kids have to learn how to do homework on their own.
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