As a general rule, children don’t like homework. This is perfectly understandable when they spend the majority of their waking hours in school. But, homework isn’t usually optional, and you, as the parent, are responsible for creating an at-home environment that is conducive to your child’s academic success. Whole Child Development Center offers the following insight on how to go about it.
Get to know the teachers.
There is no denying that parents who are involved have children who perform better in school. Get to know your child’s primary classroom teacher and, if possible, their related arts instructors and school administrators. Establishing a relationship early on will make it that much easier to connect with them regarding any potential concerns, including an overload of after school assignments or an issue in the classroom.
Evaluate their environment.
If your child is pushing back against doing homework, think about whether the environment is getting in the way. Is it too loud? Too cramped? Most children need a solid surface workspace in an area that is free of distractions. A writing desk in a quiet corner of their bedroom often does the trick. Make sure they have a comfortable ergonomic chair that is high enough that they can write without straining their arms or back. Also ensure the area has sufficient lighting, whether it’s situated near a window or you add a desk lamp.
Provide tech-based incentives.
Nobody wants their child to stare endlessly at a screen all day, especially when they are supposed to be doing homework. However, technology isn’t all bad. In fact, some studies show that what’s behind the screen can enhance learning retention and boost a child’s self-esteem.
With that in mind, try to motivate your child to complete their homework by allowing set amounts of screen time. If your child is a gamer, having an incentive like this can prompt them to follow through. Especially if it’s coupled with upgraded internet service that allows them to enjoy every minute they’re allowed to play.
Screen time shouldn’t be the only incentive for a job well done – or even a job started. Something as simple as a pat on the back and a pack of fruit snacks might be encouragement enough to convince your child to keep pushing forward. If that fails, clue them in that there are plenty of restaurants and other fun places that offer incentives to stellar students. Remind them that their homework is part of their grade, and if they want to earn game time, free donuts and other tasty perks, the work has to be completed, and completed properly.
Set a good example.
While it might seem like a no-brainer, many parents fail to equate going to school to trudging through a workday. Remember, for your kids, school is their job. Set a good example by finishing your “homework” promptly when you get home. Wash the dishes, fold the laundry, or pay the bills. If they see you dropping your briefcase and heading straight for Netflix, that is what they will want to do, too. In other words, Inc. explains it’s necessary to model good behaviors — the kinds you want them to mimic.
Give them time.
Avoid the temptation to rush your student straight from the bus to the books. They might need a few minutes to shake off the stress and strain of the day. Offer them a snack and drink, direct them to a quick bike ride (or other favorite activity) for some much-needed free time before they get back to work. After a little decompressing, they will feel better about focusing and working.
Homework does not have to be a struggle. You can empower your children to be their best at home so they can do their best in the classroom. A quiet room, a few incentives, and a good example are all excellent ways to win the homework wars, without stressing every member of your household.