Homework: How to Make Homework Fun
Integrated Learning Strategies is excited to feature homework tips with guest blogger Darci Maxwell. While many of the recommendations below are great for children and parents, some accommodations or exceptions may be made for children with learning challenges and learning disabilities.
Chances are your kids hate doing homework — and it’s no wonder. Math and spelling aren’t the same as playing in the mud or playing video games. Homework is boring, seemingly pointless, stressful, time consuming, and hard (especially math). Many homes know the struggle of trying to get kids to do their homework. Use these tips below to help your kids do their homework and have fun while doing it.
Make it Relevant
Many kids dislike homework because it seems pointless. Try to give your kids a frame of reference for the math, history, and science problems that they are doing. For example, if your child is learning addition and subtraction, pull out M&M’s or other small candies to help them visualize the problems. If they’re learning about percentages, bring out shopping ads to help them see how what they’re learning is used every day. Or, if they are learning about types of energy in science, talk to them about how we use coal, gas, wind, and solar energy today. If you are helping your kids with their spelling, bring up some tweets from celebrities and help them see how important it is to spell things correctly.
Have a Playdate
If your child works better in a group, feel free to invite a couple of friends over from their class for a homework playdate. They will be able to solve the difficult problems together, and keep each other company while they are doing their homework. Bring your kids snacks and drinks to keep them entertained while they are working. Just make sure that they get their work done before they start playing though, or it will never get done.
Make a List
Many people are motivated by being able to visually see their progress, or check something off a list. Sit down with your child and make a chart of everything they have to do, and when it needs to get done. Create a nice white board, get a planner, or find some other way to help them get organized so that they can stay on top of their homework.
You need to figure out what motivates your children, and use that to help them do their homework. Are they motivated by treats, their future, fun activities, or praise? Sit down with your child and create a reward system that will work for them to motivate them to do their homework. Start a sticker chart for your child, and once they meet their goals, reward them for their hard work.
Make a Nice Workspace
Working in a quiet, comfortable area is much easier than working in a messy and noisy place. Help your child create a workspace that encourages their creativity and helps them focus. Dedicate the space to homework, and don’t let them or anyone else in the family use it for anything else. This will help keep the workspace focused and unique. Keep it free of distractions, and make sure that they have everything they need right there in order be successful (i.e., pens, pencils, colored pencils, laptop, printer, etc.).
Take Short Snack Breaks
It is important to take a quick break every once in awhile when doing homework so that your child can reenergize and refocus. However, these breaks need to be short, no longer than 5 minutes in length. Your child should take a quick break every 45 minutes to an hour. During that break, they can grab a snack, listen to a song, do a quick exercise, or play a quick round of a video game. Just make sure that the brakes are short, as taking too long of a break can actually make your child more distracted and not finish their homework.
Try Not to Nag
When you get too involved in your child’s homework, and reminding turns to nagging, they turn off, and don’t want to do it. While it may be hard to find that fine line between encouragement and nagging, you need to find it so that you can be your child’s cheerleader instead of prison guard. Try to celebrate your child’s successes rather than punish their failures.
Change the Name
“Homework” is full of negative connotations, so come up with another name for it to help motivate your child to do it. “Home Learning,” “Brain Exercises” and “Study Time” are just a few ideas.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs
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