Utilize break times
Most young children have short attention spans, and when they become frustrated their ability to problem solve is greatly reduced. Give your child 15 – 30 minutes to work on their homework in earnest, then break it up with an activity that requires some amount of movement or shift in thinking. Once they’ve had 10 – 20 minutes away from their assignment, encourage them to return to it. This will allow them to approach it with a fresh mind. As your child gets older they may be able to work uninterrupted for longer periods of time. Be mindful of them as they work, and if they seem to be overly stressed or anxious, remind them to step back.
Work in intervals. Take a walk in between, do exercise, yoga. Make a chart indicating times for everything including homework, creating a to-do list that can be checked off.
Make the timer the competition
At the beginning, my daughter looked at her packet of homework and burst into tears. She insisted that it was too long, too hard and she could never finish it. We broke out the timer. I suggested, “Here, we will set the timer for five minutes. You try to finish as much as you can in five minutes and then take a break. Sound good?” Then, it becomes a competition. How much can she get done before the timer runs out? I just turned homework into a game.
Use a timer. Designate how long homework time is. If you have a 2nd grader it can be 20 minutes long. Set the timer. If your child finishes in 10 minutes she must sit with her work until the timer goes off. She can proofread or learn to go slower and avoid careless mistakes. Instead of you being The HomeworkCop, let the timer be the target of your child's fury.
Let your child set the agenda
Allow your child to set the agenda... which is about letting them do the subject they want to do when; but monitor it as we need to ensure we cover all subjects, not just the fun nor easy ones... but in essence let your little ones have strong input into what subject and tasks they want to do.
Setting up a regular homework routine at the start of the school year is a key component of organizational success. Some children enjoy completing their homework as soon as they get home, to “get it over with” and move on to more “fun” activities. Others need a small snack and are then ready to work, while many kids need a few hours to fully wind down before they are ready to work again. The key is to help your child determine a routine that works for him, then keep it consistent. Do what you can to help him stick with this routine. For instance, if he prefers a small snack before getting to work, try to have that snack ready for him as soon as he walks in the door. If he prefers to eat dinner before working, aim to have dinner ready at the same time each day. Consistency is key, as it will ultimately help him maintain his homework routine.
With these suggestions in mind, you and your child can plan out a timed homework period with ample breaks.
That's not all -- you can find more homework avoidance tips here! Learning Success System can also help you find which micro-skills need strengthening and increase learning ability -- take our free assessment here!
This is part three of a four-part series.
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