I think it is pretty safe to say that we all have those days where you cannot get your child to sit still and focus, even if it is only a brief period of time. There are days where getting them to sit and do homework is like pulling teeth, but we all know it has to get done. So what do you do when this happens? Do you look into tutors Adelaide? Do you encourage them with rewards? Punish them if they don’t do work?Get them to stay on after school to do it? These last few weeks I have been using the trial and error method. Here are just a few tips and techniques that have worked wonders for my kids and me.
Routine. As parents, we all know how vital routines can be for children. They need some sort of structure in their life. So why not apply this theory when it comes to homework? Once your child has adjusted to the new routine they will know what to expect, and they will be less likely to fight you when you let them know it is time to sit down and do homework.
Time. This one goes hand in hand with routine. Pick a time block in your day to sit down with your child. They need guidance and a little one on one time can really go a long way. In our house, homework is done right after dinner, because their stomachs are full, and it gives them a little extra brainpower. This may not work for everyone, so play around with the times. Maybe have them sit down right when they get home, and before they fall out of school mode. Do what works best for you and your children.
Make it fun. Homework can be very boring and redundant, even for us as adults, so try to empathize with your child a little bit instead of getting frustrated. Make it fun for them!! My children love to draw so I always have them draw out a math problem on a piece of paper. This helps get their brain functioning. You can also come up with visual aids using things you have around the house (i.e. legos, blocks, etc.) Get creative and this will help your child look forward to homework time.
Praise them. Using praise can help with intrinsic motivation, which is behavior that is driven by internal rewards. Think about the last time you were at work, and your boss told you “You are doing a great job!” How good did you feel after hearing that? The same effect happens with your kids. Let them know how well they are doing and how proud of them you are. Make it a big deal when they solve a problem correctly. Never underestimate the power of a few positive words. They can make a huge difference!!
Environment. Choose an area where your child will not be distracted by the things around them. Let’s be honest, clutter makes us all a little anxious and we can concentrate so much better when our work environment is clean and organized. Set the same standards for your children. Make sure the room is as quiet as possible, all electronics off, and try to keep other siblings distracted in another room (I know this one is easier said than done). Pick a place in the house where they can do their best thinking. If you have time, you can even take them to the local library or bookstore. This will make it more fun and will allow them to work in peace.
Take a break. If your child (or you for that matter) are getting frustrated it is ok to walk away. Take a short break and give them some time to clear their mind. When it comes time to try again don’t forget to throw in some encouraging words letting them know they can do it.
Let them do the work. Life can be really busy and sometimes as parents we want to rush through things so we can move onto the next item on our to do list. Try not to do this when it comes to your children’s homework. You don’t want them picking up bad study habits early on and they will feed negatively off of the pressure you are putting on them. Let them do the work. Don’t give the answer way because they will never learn. Give them the tools they need to succeed. Be engaged but do not take over. You will be taking away their opportunities to learn, their independence, and even their confidence in themselves. I had a friend tell me that she would sometimes pay for argumentative essay writing and although I have no problem with this I would rather let my kids try writing it first before I consider doing something like that, even if it is helpful.
Over all, these techniques have been working pretty good with my kids and we are all happy at the end of the week that homework got done with our hair being pulled or yelling! Hope these tips work for you and your child. If you have any more tips please let me know and I can add it to this list! 🙂