Children thrive on structure and routine and the sooner that homework has a structured time and place the sooner they’ll stop resisting it.
Oh we do love a good hack around here.
We wouldn’t share the same enthusiasm about homework
though. We know how important
it is and that it deserves great attention but it seems to bring so much stress along with it.
For the most part, the kids don’t enjoy it and it seems to be a daily point of conflict for everyone in the house. Sound familiar?
Well, what if we told you that we had some pretty amazing homework hacks that will help you win at parenting? It’s never too late to shine your parenting halo.
1. Designate a specific “homework time” that is consistent every day. It will prevent so much of the stress as eventually, it will just become a “given”. It could be while you are prepping dinner or before/after a certain sports activity. Children thrive on structure and routine and the sooner that homework has a structured time and place the sooner they’ll stop resisting it. Chat as a family to see what time would work best to ensure everyone is on board.
2. Does your child get pocket money or an allowance? Homework should be a condition for receiving it. If homework isn’t done and is becoming an issue it directly affects their pocket money as that is one of their responsibilities. Remember pocket money should be earned rather than expected.
3. Have you considered a homework caddy? A cheap little unit from IKEA could do the job. You can fill it with paper, pens, pencils, calculators and anything else your child needs on a daily basis. Having it as a little caddy means whole spaces in the house are not consumed by homework and materials and it can be utilised as needed and stored to the side until the next day.
4. Do YOUR homework while they are doing theirs. We all have paper-work and things that need to be written down and organized. Do this close by while the kids are doing their homework and it will encourage them to do the same. It’s a team effort.
5. Check in on homework sporadically rather than every single day. This can add a lot of pressure and actually encourage kids to rebel. Instead, encourage them to do it daily and let them know you are nearby if they need any help.
6. PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE. It won’t be every single day but when you notice something positive mention it. Many of us put the spotlight on where things can be improved but we might be missing a trick when kids really thrive on praise.
7. Have you considered giving a snack with their homework rather than before or after?
Many children find it difficult to concentrate after food or when they are hungry. Combining the two can help make it to be a more positive experience. A glass of water by their side is also a great way to ensure they stay hydrated and alert too.
8. Turn off all distracting technology and that includes your own phone. A constant beep or vibration is massively distracting and only serves to remind your child about the devices they want to be using instead of doing homework.
9. Watch your language. Do you speak negatively about homework? Does your child know that it’s something you dread? If you are negative about it then you can be guaranteed your child will be too. Ditch the sighing, we know it’s difficult!
10. Reward accordingly. When homework is done you might be happy to offer a food treat or screen time for example. This can be a great motivator for kids.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.