The words home and work are two words that many children refuse to join together. Home is a time for relaxing with family, playing with friends or siblings, enjoying outside activities or lazing around on the couch. Work is deemed much less fun as a time for study, focusing, research and thinking.
Homework set by school teachers can often cause many evening arguments between unmotivated children and parents struggling to make sure their kids are performing well at school. To keep your child on track and ensure they remain focused here are a few handy hints to help ease the stress.
- Release the energy – After spending 8 hours in a classroom, children are tired, fidgety and hungry. Asking them to come home and work straight away is not going to get you very far. The best thing to do is allocate a time frame for homework and create a routine so they know what to expect each night. Give them a healthy after school snack, talk about what they learnt during the day and let them play around outside first as this allows them to relax before going straight back to the books.
- Turn off screens - To get your children focused switch off the screens. This includes televisions, i-Pads, i-Pods, Nintendo’s, mobile phones and any sort of distraction that will impact their ability to focus.
- Work together – By showing your child you are supportive and readily available to help can motivate them to get things done. Homework can be a fun and educational bonding time for everyone as you can brainstorm project ideas and tackle difficult math equations together.
- Organization is key – Teaching children to manage their time and be responsible for their work is an essential life skill to learn. Use calendars and make lists to map out your child’s assignments so they can keep track of all of their work. This will also give them them a sense of achievement as they cross off each completed task.
- Break it up – Most importantly make sure your child is having fun while they are learning. Ensure they are having break times even just for 15-20 minutes. Break times will ensure they are able to remain focused and are more willing to cooperate if they know they can earn extra playtime by doing there homework.
While homework will always feel like a menial task for children by taking an active role in their after school learning you can really make a difference.
Words: Eloise Mahoney
Image: Melbourne Girls Grammar