After spending more than seven hours in school, five days a week, most students are given homework. Although homework is viewed by most educators and parents as an essential component of reinforcing what has been taught in the classroom, for most students homework is a chore that often frustrates and angers them.
How can you help your child with homework frustration? Following are some tips. Find out which ones will work for you and your child.
This is perhaps the most important tip and often hard to implement. Try to find out what interests your child and connect the homework to his interests. For example, a friend's son loves Halloween and wants to work at the Halloween stores! The friend asked his son, how he could he work there if he doesn't know math? How will he run the cash register? The son got motivated and starting doing his math homework!
2. Build a Routine Around your Child’s Daily Rhythms
Does your child like to do homework in the morning, right after school or in the evening? Each child is different. Don't fight your child's nature daily rhythms. Some are early risers, some stay up late. Find out the best time for them to do their homework.
3. Create a Daily Structure
Create a structure by sitting and strategizing the day’s homework with your child: How much has to be done? What looks easy? What looks hard? Keep it simple. Eliminate distractions.
4. Break Down the Material
Often children have difficulty breaking projects into manageable “chunks.” This is why studying for a major test or a large project becomes an insurmountable task. Sit down with your child and a calendar and divide up the material he must master. Break it down to their level, not yours. Find out what your child feels is doable.
5. Start a Homework Group
Invite one or two kids from your child’s class to come over and do a little homework together. Maybe, it is your car pool kids, or your child's friends. Your child can learn from other children's studying strategies and habits, and the chance to play with their friends while doing homework is an added incentive to get homework done.
6. Reward Accomplishments
We believe in small, tangible rewards for small, tangible accomplishments. Finish your math homework, and you’ll get a cookie. Finish all your homework, and you can go play. With the assignments your child really hates, sit down with her to help her navigate through it. Find out why she hates it. It is often bad teaching at school or a complex concept. And then reward her for sharing her problems and working through them.
7. Don’t Over-schedule
If you fill up every afternoon with activities, then as the evening arrives, children will get tired. How about moving some of these activities to the weekend? Does your child take a nap after school? When she wakes up, that might be a good time to schedule the homework.
8. Get Them Moving
If your child is having problems focusing, get her moving. Physical activity increases alertness for mental activity. Encourage your student to walk around the house reading aloud from a book. Chances are, she will soon settle down and be able to focus on her work.
9. Give Them Regular Breaks
The brain is a muscle. It needs to relax, so after half an hour of study, give your child a 5 or 10 minute break. That will increase his productivity and reduce stress.
10. Talk Out Loud to Solve Tough Problems
Experts have pointed out that, when students are required to explain their thinking, elaborate their ideas, or defend their position, they tend to gain a better understanding, and be more efficient at the problem they are solving. Talking out loud is a great method for you to move through a problem you are facing in a systematic way. It slow things down and helps with focus. It also prevents you from skimming over a particularly hard section, or skipping necessary steps.
11. Get a Tutor
If you are busy and/or having trouble getting your child to do homework, get a tutor! Often, children would listen to another adult and most tutors have more experience in teaching than the average parent. They simply have seen many more kids and do it all the time. Save your time and hire a tutor. Call us at Hillview Prep and we will be happy to match a tutor for your child.