If you are involved in your child's education in any way, then you know that homework can be one of the worst things invented. What seems like busy work for points really is a learning process, and you should be involved in some way. Google can be a great help, but if you want to make homework a fun challenge instead of another task on your to-do list, read on to discover creative and insightful ways to instill in your child a sense of responsibility and learning.
1. Let your child explain things to you
Instead of trying to play boss and tell your child what he or she HAS to do, let your child explain the project for the night. By letting him be in charge of his own homework, maybe he will be more likely to want to finish it for himself instead of for you.
2. Don't try to do it all at once
If there are five different subjects to tackle in three hours, don't feel overwhelmed. Do a little bit at a time, starting with the shortest and easiest pieces of work. That way you will feel a sense of accomplishment. You will get more done and still have time to crack down on the harder assignments.
3. Don't breathe down your child's neck
If she has a worksheet to complete, don't scrutinize every little detail. Let her make mistakes on her own and be patient when explaining concepts or ideas. Set up a distinct working space away from distractions and interruptions.
4. Offer rewards
After a certain number of assignments, provide some treats or a snack to keep your child energized and excited about finishing things. If your child has to read a long chapter, place a gummy bear on each paragraph that your child can enjoy after reading one paragraph at a time. Small motivation can produce big results.
5. Take your time
When you rush through big projects or poster boards, things become messy and your child may feel unprepared and underappreciated. Continue to give verbal praise each time your child does something right, and don't use any condescending names or phrases such as, "This is so easy" or "Why aren't you getting this?"
6. Check in regularly
If your child doesn't need constant side-by-side attention, let him be on his own for a little while. Then, come in and check on him every so often and stay alert. Giving him a pile of work then going up to bed will not help anyone. He will feel alone, so make sure homework time is a time for both of you. You finished school a long time ago, but your knowledge is necessary if you want your children to grow and appreciate learning.
Use your resources and stay positive when working through homework time with the kids. There may be tantrums or complaints, but when those are heard, stay strong and push through the problems. If it is too late into the night to be working, write the teacher a note and explain that the homework load was just too much. After a tearful night of stress and pure pain, my parents sent me to bed with homework unfinished. The next day the teacher apologized and asked the class if he had assigned too much homework. Teachers are learners, too. Know your limits and most importantly, know your child and be a part of the learning experience.