I remember (barely) those good old days of homework… dreading it. Sitting there at the table trying to stay awake while everyone else was having fun in the house. Lets face it, homework is just not fun. At least most kids would say that. But we could try to make it more fun for our children maybe they would be more motivated to want to do it. It’s worth a try right?
Now some of these ideas will depend on the age of your child. You will also probably want to change it once in awhile so its not the same every time. Surprise your child when they get home from school to one of these and see what they think.
1) Provide a fun working space for them: Sometimes sitting at the kitchen table or somewhere boring can be really BORING. Have a designated area for them to do their homework where it is colorful yet not distracting. If your only place is at the kitchen table then set up a cardboard divider to give them some privacy and you can then decorate it to spruce up their space as well.
2) Have a snack ready for them: When they get home from school the last thing they want to do is study. But putting it off can sometimes involve in rushing to the last minute. Get in the habit of getting it done right away by giving them a FUN snack while they are sitting and working.
3) Creating a homework caddy: Having everything they need all in front of them is also motivating. They can get creative and go beyond the basics with the right tools!
4) Setting a timer: If they are having lots of homework maybe setting a timer. They work for 1/2 an hour then they can play for 1/2 an hour and so on. Letting them rest and gain that energy to go back to studying.
5) Work with them: Sometimes they just don’t want to be alone. Maybe this is a good time for you to clip coupons or do your bills and sit right next to them. Show that you are there for them and are interested in what they are learning.
6) Know what they are studying: If you know what they are studying for the week or month decorate their homework area with the related items. For instance if it is fish. You can decorate the area with die cut fish, use a fishy table cloth or place mat, hang fish from the ceiling, have some swedish fish waiting for them, etc…
7) Is it too quiet?: Maybe they need some soft music in the background… of course something that won’t put them to sleep. Also will help distract them from the household noises.
8) Counting with food: If you have a younger child and they are doing math try using food to help them out. Using M&M’s or cereal and then when they are done with their homework they can eat it.
9) Praise your child’s progress: We all need positive reinforcement in life. Always remember to tell them how great they are doing with encouraging words.
10) Give your child rewards: Sometimes your child will hurry through a homework project just to get it over with and you know they can do a much better job then that. Start a chart board or sticker book and every time they complete their homework with quality effort they get a sticker. After a line is filled up they you can reward them with something. Doesn’t mean that you have to go buy them something but maybe they don’t have to do chores for a week or they get to pick out what they want for dinner one night.