One of the inevitable parts of having a child going to school is that there is going to be homework. For some, it can start as soon as 1st grade, even kindergarten.
School, let alone homework, was not an area that I excelled in despite having a teacher in the family. Homework was not something that I wanted to do, like most kids. There were so many other things that I would have rather been doing like video games, talking on the phone with my girlfriends (and don’t forget about the fear of having their mother pick up), and hanging out with friends.
I was one of those who would do anything out of doing homework. I would lock myself in my room, which also doubled as the office of our small 3 bedroom home and I would turn the computer on and start playing games or chatting with people all across the web (the dawn of internet chat rooms). Every now and then, I would turn and complete a math problem, typically in error because I was so distracted.
What I didn’t realize then, and one of the lessons that I will have to teach my children is that by putting more effort into getting out of doing homework, actually prolonged the process. If would have just did my homework first, I could have been on my way to do the things I would have much rather been doing.
Having been that type of student in school, I can only imagine that my two sons will be the same way. Unfortunately, for them, I was that student, and I have some tricks up my sleeve to make sure that they stay on top of their homework and be the best student they can be.
From the onset of your child going to school, be involved. Don’t just pick your child up from school, go home, eat, play, take a shower, and head to bed without talking about what happened at school. Talk about what your student learned while having dinner. Ask your kids if they have any homework. Ask them if there is any way that you can help them with their school work or if there is an area that they are struggling with.
This goes back to not being the parent who just drops off their child off at school and picks them up without talking to either the teacher or school administration. Speak to them, find out what areas your student is struggling with or what areas that they might improve. Ask them where your child is excelling at so that you can praise your child for those accomplishments.
Set Up A Homework Zone
This should be an area that is distraction free. An area of your home that your student can go to be able to do his homework without having the TV on. And it might seem that it’s hard in today’s connected world but an area free from the table or phone. By doing so, it will only help, but your child concentrate on his studies.
This homework zone could be the dining room table, in an office, or in their bedroom. Just some place that they are able to work on their homework clear from distractions.
Much like we do our cubicles or offices at work, personalize it. Actually, make the space about them and what will make them comfortable to do their homework in. Set them up for success!
Create A Schedule
Early on in parenting, we learn that kids thrive on a routine. They are at their best when they nap, eat and go to sleep at certain times. It makes being a parent some what easier. So why would it be any different when they are in school?
Set up specific times that your child will do specific things. Right after school, they get 30 minutes of screen time, followed by doing their chores, dinner, and then homework, shower, and to bed. Or something similar to that for whatever works for your child because, in the end, it all comes down to that, whatever works for your student.
Be A Good Motivator
There are only so many times that we can sit through our children doing the same math problems over and over again until they figure out what the right answer is. There will be times that we will get frustrated just as much as they do because even though their teachers might be telling them that they need to know geometry when your children get into the real world we are aware, they really don’t.
It will take everything out of us, but we need to be able to encourage our children them through some of the hardest times in their school work. While they might not feel like they are able to figure out basic physics, we have to be able to be right there with them, sometimes learning ourselves while making it seem to them that we knew what was going to happen all along.
If you are looking for more tips to help your student, Scholastic has more tips to help you and your children with their school work.