Let’s run away and never go to school again – This probably is the perfect way to sum up the mental map of most of our kids when it comes to homework. Kids and homework are usually in conflict of each other. Some may get stressed, others may get bogged down and yet others may find the most unique excuses to escape. Honestly, in my childhood, my homework and I had an epic rivalry. My parents often wondered how there may be a way to cultivate interest and perhaps even excitement about homework in me as a kid.
Tough it may be, but worth a try it sure is. And oh by the way, it’s also not a bad idea for us as parents to get some of our concepts right especially those we may have skipped in your own day!
- Know the teachers and what they’re looking for – Parents should make it a point to attend parent night and meet the teachers in school. This will help stay informed about the academic schedules and teacher preferences as well as gauge the class environment; perhaps also meet other parents – something that gets especially challenging as kids get to middle and high school
- Turn homework time into a playdate – Have your kid invite a friend over and encourage them to do their homework together. This can be done on most of the weekends – if your kid is old enough to handle, organize and delegate, then take a step back and let him/her take on a leadership role; But if not, then make sure to lay down a few rules and set the agenda ahead of time
- Make learning fun – When I was a kid, I did not like chemistry and learning formulae very much until my mom came up with this great idea to sing the hard part out. So, if it was something related to a long chain of elements, I would turn my notes into a rhyme or a song – it was fun and surely worked well for me 😉
- Set up a homework-friendly area– Make sure kids have a peaceful place to complete their homework and it’s the same place every day .Keep all of their required supplies such as paper, pencils, glue, scissors etc. easily accessible to avoid distraction and unnecessary breaks
- Schedule a regular study time- It’s essential to set a regular study time for your kids, something that is held sacrosanct.. Don’t force them but let them schedule their study time on their own, so that, they develop time management skills and can learn to define their own style to determine manageable chunks and take reasonable breaks to refresh
- Keep distractions to a minimum– Kids get distracted very easily and especially, when you have the TV’s on, or they hear loud music, or when their phone is bussing text messages etc. It is better to keep such distractions away, when they are studying in order to build more focus and increase concentration levels
- Make sure kids do their own work- Helping your kids and doing their homework are two different things. It is essential to realize the difference between parents providing basic help or solution and kids finding a solution all by themselves. Teach them how to work their way out of problems; not just limited to homework, but to the life as well.
- Be a motivator and a monitor– It is really essential to be a good motivator while monitoring your kids well. In order to complete their homework on time without any mistake, parents should offer support and give them the freedom to raise questions related to their assignments, quizzes, and tests. A tip from a iQkid mom –We also like working together as a family where we each use the set time to do our own work – I do emails; my kids do homework and at times if I don’t have anything I read but I am there at the table at the same time every day. It’s like having more family time beyond dinner time and encourages them to have daily routine.
- Instill organization skills – Not everyone is born with great organizational skills — but it can be learned and practiced over time. It’s essential to build this capability early. When things are organized, especially on heavy homework nights or when you have to deal with hefty assignments, it is always beneficial to do some pre work on the weekend so that the week can go better. A weekend rule we like a lot is no homework Friday night but a 15 min look at the week to come and a quick schedule on what to front load and complete on the weekend to make the week easier helps. Parents should foster this discipline so that that kids are no overloaded on weekdays.