As a parent, one of the biggest nighttime struggles can be homework time. Your kiddo has spent the whole day sitting in the classroom and you've done the same at work. It's a fact that most children dislike homework time. Though we can accept this fact, there are ways to work within this reality to ensure success.
As a speech-language pathologist who both works with children all day, and abstains from caffeine, I often have to find different avenues to keep my energy levels up and the communication open and easy with my clients.
I wanted to share some tips and tricks to not only motivate your young one to complete the assignments, but also to help you make it through homework time without a fight. After all, homework tends to be as a big of a chore for the parent as the student.
Let's set the stage...it's been a long day for both of you. After school sports are finished, and dinners eaten, it's time to sit down at the table and finish the days assignments before returning to school tomorrow to do the whole thing again. As most kids don't like to do homework, things will go a lot smoother with these quick tips:
- Be a facilitator - Ensuring they have everything needed to complete the assignment helps to avoid excuses of, "I don't have a pencil/calculator/construction paper."
- Don't be a dictator - Forcing them to complete their homework results in feelings of aggravation on both sides. Leave the threats, bribes, and yelling to their teachers :).
- Encourage sharing - Encouraging your child to share any interesting facts they learn while doing their homework is a great way to keep both of you interested and involved.
- Praise their motivation - Instead of praising their correct answers, be sure to acknowledge their motivation to do their work. This shows your child that you are proud of their motivation.
In cases that involve your child needing your collaboration to complete the task, it's helpful to ensure you are on the same energy wavelength from the beginning. Matching your energy level to that of your child helps to put them at ease and become more focused. If they are energetic going into homework time, mirror their energy level then start to tone it down yourself and focus at the task at hand. Loved ones often mimic each others energy levels unconsciously.
So next time your young one is bouncing in their seat and squirming around, try doing the same thing and laughing together, then adjusting your energy to be more calm and focused and see if they just might mirror it back! Happy Homeworking.