By Jess Carey
I know that I am not alone in the battles to get homework done. I have heard countless moms and dads tell me of the struggles they go through trying to get their children to finish the seemingly endless stack of homework.
In my house the homework battles have led to tears, stomping, slamming, and screaming. I hate to admit it but I have lost my cool more than once over the past few months attempting to help my kids with their homework.
The struggle is real. I hope that the strategies I have found will help us all have a more peaceful homework experience!
This is low hanging fruit. A hungry child is probably a hangry child. Make sure your child has a healthy high-protein snack before they start doing homework.
Some great snack ideas can be found at healthline.com. Children are only given about 20 minutes during their lunch period to eat and so they don’t always have time to eat a full meal. This means that when they get home they are hungry and tired. Before you dive right into homework time, make sure they have a chance to fuel up their brains.
Make a plan for designated homework time –
This is easier said than done, especially in my house. After you do the after-school activities and get home it’s sometimes hard to carve out a designated homework time. However, this is one of the top recommended tips from leading psychologists and educators alike. Setting aside time that is designated to homework daily or weekly creates a routine.
The consistency allows your child the ability to plan for completing homework in a timely fashion. Make sure the time set aside for homework is free of distractions throughout the house. In my house this means the TV is off, phones are put away, and videogames are not allowed. If either one of my children don’t have homework they can enjoy the quiet time to read or flip through a magazine.
Focused Fifteen –
In my house, it is sometimes hard to keep my kids on task for long stretches of time. We just started doing a timed homework idea called the focused fifteen. I set a timer for 15 minutes where they must work diligently on whatever task they need to finish.
After the 15 minutes are over they get 2-3 minutes to run around, get a drink, do jumping jacks, play with their dog. Just to give their brains a break. I heard from my brother about the Pomodoro productivity method and adapted it for my kids.
Clock Competition –
My children are very competitive. We have often had math problem races against the clock to see how many we can get done in a given amount of time. I even join in the fun sometimes which makes them work even harder to try and beat mom. I can honestly say it gets easier and easier for them and harder and harder for me. When did I totally forget how to do algebra?
Let them teach you –
One of the best ways to determine if your child is really understanding something is to get them to teach you. I recommend doing this homework “flip” every so often to create a pattern whereby they need to pay close attention in class so that they are prepared to teach you what they learned.
This benefits you greatly because you aren’t having to relearn how to solve exponential equations! Can I get an amen? It also increases your child’s understanding of the concepts.
Everyone likes to be rewarded for doing a good job. Be careful not to bribe your child. A reward is something that is earned by succeeding at a task.
A good example of a reward would be: “If you get all B’s this quarter, then we will go to the water park with one of your friends on a Saturday.” Or if you want to make it smaller: “If you get above 80% on your vocabulary quiz you get to download a new game on your phone.”
Work Together –
Children work better in a place out in the open and with an adult nearby. Therefore, set up homework at the kitchen table or office where you are near. Be available for questions and clarification. While they are working on homework you can be working on emails or other quiet activities. Being present is more powerful than you might think.
Although I am still in the process of figuring out what works best for my kids in completing their homework, these ideas have certainly helped. My favorites thus far are the “focused fifteen” and “working together”.
One of my favorite posts that inspired me to try some new things was from “Colour My Learning”, check it out for more great ideas. I hope some of these homework-battles-tips will help you get it done and make it fun. What ideas have you tried in your home that worked well?
About the Author:
Jessica Carey is the author of “Chart a Course – Taking a Journey With God at the Helm”, which reached #1 in New Releases for Religious Studies in the first week on Amazon. Jess is currently a student at Hillsong Leadership College, pursuing a certificate of pastoral ministry. Her life is marked by building family, faith, church, and community. She lives in Phoenix with her two beautiful kids, husband Alex, Goldendoodle Pearl, and bearded dragon Percy. Her food weakness is chips and salsa.
Originally posted over at: https://www.conflictcourage.com/homework-battles-tips-to-get-it-done-and-make-it-fun/