If as an adult you still shudder every time you hear the word ‘homework’, imagine how your kids must feel. Instead, why not rename homework something more fun, like ‘brain boosting’, or ‘superpowers of the mind‘? It sounds silly, but if your kids associate the word ‘homework’ with boredom, the first step could be as simple as renaming it something more exciting!
As parents, we should read more with our children, but there are ways to make reading time more enjoyable. The trick is to not just read, but really engage with the material. Read aloud and put on a different voice for each character - kids love this! Also contemplate the story together and try to predict what might happen next. You can even talk about the main character’s actions and discuss what you would have done if you were in the same situation.
If the weather is good, why not let your kids do their homework in the garden, or even take them to the park? The fresh air will clear their minds and help them focus, and it will be a lot more enjoyable for them after being cooped up in a classroom all day. Don’t forget to bring a blanket or some outdoor chairs, and as a treat, a ball or Frisbee to throw around afterwards.
Everything is better with music. Consider letting your kids listen to their favourite pop artist while they do their homework. You can even jazz up times tables by getting your children to sing them to the tune of their favourite song. While this might not be so fun for you, multiplication will definitely sound better to your kids when they have their favourite band playing in the background!
Kids love games – even homework related ones. Here’s how it works: For each maths problem they get right, or word they spell correctly, they get a small reward. Usually, the reward can be sweets, collectables (like trading cards) or money. But if it’s the latter, don’t make it much more than a penny or it will soon add up over the course of the school year! An even better idea is playing for points which can be redeemed later for a prize, such as a visit to the park, or the movies.
Study buddies can be a good idea, but not always. The trick is to find someone who is a good influence! If your child is fortunate enough to have a friend who is good at buckling down and doing their homework, you’re in luck. Invite them around and suggest they do their homework together before they go out and play. However, you will have to monitor both of them to ensure they are working, not just talking or being silly.
If you’re helping your kids do their homework, why not setup a classroom at home with a whiteboard and desk and pretend you’re their teacher? You wouldn’t think kids would want to be in the classroom at home too, but for some
We all know that kids often come home hungry after school. While you don’t want to spoil their appetites, giving them a healthy snack to nibble on while they do their homework will help settle their growling tummies. They can also take a bite as a reward each time they solve a problem or spell a word correctly. Good healthy snacks are things like wholemeal bread and hummus, chopped fruit and mixed nuts. Running low on time? Omega-3 supplementary tablets are an ideal way to give your child a concentration boost while on the go.
Is it possible that your child isn’t the only one slacking off when it comes to homework? We parents often also have to juggle busy careers and have homework of our own to do. Why not set a good example and do homework together? Who knows, it could be the start of better work habits for both of you. And yes, you can have a treat afterwards too!