10 Tips to Help Make Homework Fun for Kids
Stuck on You | 20 March 2014
Homework is one of those necessary parts of school life…
When kids arrive home, the last thing they feel like doing is homework…
When kids arrive home tired and hungry after a long day at school, the last thing they generally feel like doing is their homework. After all, you don’t feel like cleaning or doing your taxes after you’ve been at work all day, do you? The same goes for children. Unfortunately though, homework is one of those necessary parts of school life that kids need to get used to. If you’re sick of having the homework argument with your children or would just like to help them enjoy the process a little more, read on for 10 tips you can take advantage of to help your kids have more fun with their after-school studies.
Accept and Validate
First, accept that in all likelihood your kids won’t like doing homework. Rather than trying to convince them that this regular job is as fun as a day at a theme park, take the time to validate their feelings and show that you understand the challenges involved. Don’t ignore their feelings of boredom, inadequacy or frustration; instead, remind them of the practical reasons why it needs to be done.
Allocate Dedicated Tools and Workspace
Make sure your child has a clear workspace they can use for their homework each day, and plenty of tools to help them complete their work. Allocate a specific desk in their bedroom or near the kitchen or living room and keep this spot for completing homework. It also helps to ensure each child has stationery to use to for their schoolwork. For example, a special pencil case or set of pencils, like those with personalised name labels from Stuck on You, are a great option.
Create a Plan
At the start of the year, it’s helpful to discuss a homework plan with your child — work together to create a plan that will help them learn homework habits and consistency. For example, you may suggest setting a regular time and place for homework to be completed each afternoon. Once this becomes a weekly habit, the stress of starting the work will be significantly decreased.
Mix It Up
Kids can be easily bored so encourage them to break up the homework monotony by working in different locations from time to time. They can spend time working on a deck or in the garden, at a nearby park or in the library to get their creative juices flowing. It’s also advisable to encourage them to try different learning styles. For example, challenging information can be memorised more easily if a catchy song is made up to for it or different colours used to write down different areas of information.
Let Them Teach
Similarly, children can have some fun by mixing things up and pretending to be the teacher. Let your child be the teacher for a change and demonstrate how a technique works or explain a mathematical formula. This process also helps to cement the information they’ve learnt and to show you where they’re at with their studies.
Be Available, but Unobtrusive
Children like to know you’re on hand or nearby if they need help, but it’s important you don’t lurk. Give your child the freedom to work by themselves and come up with their answers as much as possible, but lend a helping hand if they really get stuck.
Rather than usin
g incentives to bribe your child to do their homework, motivate them to choose to work hard by rewarding them with fun activities or high praise after they’ve finished. A night out for pizza or a homemade certificate of excellence can be simple yet effective ways to showcase the satisfaction to be had from completing homework off their own back.
The Homework Buddy
Many children will find themselves more engaged in homework if they have a school friend to work with. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but even a collaborative effort once a week can be a good way to bring a little more fun to the school studies.
Remove Excess Pressure About Results
It’s important that you don’t place excess stress on your child to excel in their studies. Try not to be too serious about your child’s work process and their results — and they will tend to be less stressed about studying.
If your child consistently refuses to do their homework, it can be a good idea to let them fail. Explain to your child that if they choose not to complete their work, they will need to deal with the repercussions at school.
Try out some of these 10 tips over the coming months and then, watch the daily homework hassles reduce significantly. Next, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!
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