Hey Friends! Let’s talk about your kids and that dreaded word-HOMEWORK! I know, I know! It’s a very long “4-letter word”! But, does it have to be? Should it be? I don’t think so! Let’s look at some “Hacks” to make homework time easier on everyone involved.
Now, while I do understand that many schools and teachers are opting out of sending work home to do for grades, many times practice is necessary for your child to master concepts that get easier only by doing. Additionally, some types of homework simply lead to a better understanding of the material (which is truly the goal)! The best part of homework, though, is that you get a first hand look at how your child is truly doing academically. When you are their “go to” person in the afternoons or evenings, you are much more likely to become aware of the learning strengths and weaknesses your child possesses. So, just how should you go about it? Here are some tips to Hacking Homework Hassles!
Tip 1- Schedule it! You’ve heard me say this word so many times, but it definitely applies here. When children (and adults) have a routine, the power struggle is lessened. It’s simply “time to do homework”. Whether this is first thing after school, or later in your evening, it should be a designated time that is set aside for schoolwork. In the event that a child doesn’t have any assignments, encourage them to read or research a favorite topic-learning never takes a vacation!
Tip 1a- Schedule it anyway! I know several of you have very busy lives and sometimes you aren’t home until late. Homework doesn’t have to wait-you just have to get creative! Your child can read aloud to you while you sit in the car at the ballpark, he/she can say spelling words while in the lobby of the dentist’s office, practicing multiplication tables can happen just about anywhere! Stock the car with a simple clipboard, pencils, and crayons to make worksheets a snap.
Tip 2- Fuel them up! Your kiddo needs brain power to be successful. Most kids are “starving” when they walk out of school. Just like getting in the car to an empty tank isn’t very exciting, neither is facing math or reading without some brain energy. Protein and water are the two most needed components for the brain to thrive and studying to be more efficient. Save the cupcake, muffin, and juice for dessert!
Tip 3-Be involved! It is a rare elementary age child who consistently does better at getting their work done on their own rather than when a parent is close by. This is even more true when learning is a struggle. Just your presence speaks volumes! By being in the area and available to your child, you are saying two things-1) Learning is important and 2) I am on your team! Your help with keeping them on track, answering a question, or just congratulating them when they are done sets a precedent for years to come. You are there. You are their resource. You will help them win at life, and yes, that includes homework!
More helpful hints for Hacking Homework Hassles will come your way next week! See you then!
Lisa Branch is a life-long educator having spent 21 years as both a teacher and a principal. She is also a licensed and Board Certified Cognitive Specialist, a mom, and a grandmother. She, and her business partner, opened LearningRx-Huntsville 13 years ago where she continues to operate as the Executive Director of the center.