Homework, for most parents, is met with a huge groan, and that’s from the parents, not just the children. The kids have been busy working all day, the parents have been at work all day and just want to see their kids and if your child isn’t motivated, it can add a massive amount of stress to your day.
So, how do you get it done and are there any tips? Here are ours:
Set a day or time
Come up with the best day to do homework. If you know you have a day without clubs, when you can focus on the task at hand and take your time, book it in. Dedicate one day a week to homework. That way the kids know that Tuesday is homework day, you can be prepared for it and have snacks ready and an incentive at the end, like their favourite tea or a film when it’s done.
However, if your child struggles to focus, book in a period of time each day, say from 4-4.30. Short sharp bursts can work better if your child can’t focus for long. Go with what works for your child. Trying to get them to sit for an hour when they can’t focus is only going to be frustrating for both of you.
Getting good homework habits will pay off when your child goes to senior school and has homework every day.
Rewards are key
Incentives and rewards for your child’s achievement are a great way of encouraging them to complete the tasks they need to do. This could be:
- Choosing their favourite meal
- Watching a film as a family
- Getting to go on the computer
- Working up to getting a new book or toy
- Being awarded a shiny sticker on their reward chart.
Recognition can go a long way towards giving motivation a boost. It doesn’t have to be expensive or big, it just shows that they’ve done well and achieved.
Make use of your time
If your child has lots of after school activities, it can feel like an impossible task fitting everything in. But use those dead zone times where you’re waiting for a club to start. Instead of going home to get ready for swimming, have the kit in the car and get there early, use the extra half hour or even ten minutes to get their reading competed or make a start on their maths or English.
Car journeys are your friend
Children generally can’t write or read in the car without feeling a little travel sick. But you can practise spellings or times tables while driving along. Have a spelling test on the way to school, get a times tables CD and listen to them on the way to a club, or even get an audio book version of their favourite book.
There really isn’t a right or wrong way to do homework and if your school sets it, sadly you just have to get it done. If you’re really struggling speak to your teacher about the amount your child is getting and ask if they can provide you with any tips on how they motivate your child in school.
Many teachers have magic ways of encouraging children that we’ve never even thought about, so by following the same principles at home as in school, you create a consistent approach which can be reassuring to your child.