Most of us have a recurring nightmare about not having finished our homework in time, but at least when we wake up, we know it’s just a dream. Unfortunately for our kids the pressure is still on.
Here are some ways to make homework less stressful for everyone involved, including yourself.
The first question is when to do it. Although it can be tempting to get it out of the way straight away, it’s not always a good idea. Allow them to wind down, go outside for some fresh air and exercise and fix them a healthy snack and a drink. They’ll find it much easier to concentrate once they’re feeling refreshed. Don’t put it off longer than necessary though, you don’t want it to clash with dinner or for them to get too tired. And once you work out the optimum time, stick to it every day and it will become a habit.
In this day and age, distractions are everywhere, and devices are the main culprit. Find a perfect spot in the house together that will allow them to stay focused and make sure there isn’t a screen in sight! Having said that, some children (and adults) work better with soft music in the background so this could be helpful. Of course, it’s not always possible to sit with your kids while they’re getting their homework done, but if you have the time, join them and show them how interested you are in what they’re doing. Be enthusiastic about how fun it is to learn new things and acquire new skills.
Happiness Is… Supercute Stationary
No doubt you’ve already filled their new pencil cases to bring to school with them, but these are often kept in the classroom. Ensure they have all the stationary they need at home; blunt pencils, full sharpeners and dried-up colouring pens are obstacles they don’t need. Us mums love stationary and know how it makes tasks more interesting, so there’s no reason this can’t work for your kids too.
The Journey Is The Reward
While it’s tempting to reward your kids when they get their homework done, this can backfire. They’ll expect the same reward every day and this will become their main motivation for getting it done. Instead, try and get them to focus on the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction they get when they’ve finished. Praise is important too, let them know how proud you are of them and that they stuck with it to the end even if they found it hard.
I’m a big fan of positive quotes and an apt one to finish on is, "Your best is good enough". So inspirational in fact, I might even have to frame it!