The Homework Struggle Is Real: How to Help Your Child Win
by Tina Martin
The battle between home and homework is one parents know all too well. After seven hours at school, most children would rather come home and veg out to their video games than suffer through a continuation of their classroom learning. But unfortunately, homework isn’t always optional. Though screen time should be allowed, it’s important to establish a solid homework routine that your kids can follow before playtime. Consider the following tips from Summer Camp Online.
There are four types of kids when it comes to homework: the perfectionist, the procrastinator, the disorganized child and the underachiever. Here are a few tips to help each personality overcome the battle of books:
- The Perfectionist. The perfectionist child may sideline homework thinking they simply can’t live up to their in-school standards on their own. This can create a gridlock situation where the child fears failure. Set a good example by letting your children watch you handle your own mistakes. Let them know that growth is only achieved by identifying and experiencing inadequacies. Scholastic offers more advice on helping a perfectionist child manage anxiety.
- The Procrastinator. The procrastinator will leave no rock unturned looking for things to do that don’t involve homework. They will suddenly remember their sock drawer needs organized, the dog needs a walk, or they have to watch a video their best friend’s uncle’s next door neighbor’s nephew posted on Facebook.
Give these children something to look forward to such as an activity that you can do together as a family once homework is complete. Some fun and reward-worthy outdoor activities include viewing wildlife at a park or nature center and playing a game of tag.
- The Disorganized Child. Believe it or not, disorganization is actually a trait associated with intelligence. Many of the world’s greatest minds, including Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and Thomas Edison, were known to keep a messy desk. Unfortunately, while the adult brain can mentally organize their workspace – even if it’s a visual mess – a child cannot.
Set them up for academic success by giving them the tools they need to stay organized. This might mean a printed checklist of materials they should bring home each evening or a binder with folders for each subject.
- The Underachiever. The underachiever is often mistaken as having a learning disability. In reality, this child likely doesn’t want to do their homework due to lack of confidence. Sometime around the fourth or fifth grade, children begin to compare themselves to their peers academically. They will begin to notice when other students outperform them and may take this as a sign of failure. Help this child learn to celebrate his or her accomplishments and maintain an open dialogue about what they’re learning.
Psychology Today suggests encouraging them to push themselves. Also, let them explore their interests and point out areas where they excel. If they are into geology or archeology, for instance, let them head outdoors for an afternoon of fossil finding or rock identification. Geology.com explains how you can take part in this fun activity without breaking any rules.
Set them up for success.
Regardless of your child’s personality type, there are a number of strategies you can implement that will make homework less of a chore. Give children the opportunity for physical breaks, such as exercise or grabbing a quick snack, and help your children learn to make connections between the real world and their homework assignment. Take steps to ensure they have a clean and comfortable workspace with plenty of natural light and few distractions. If you lack enough room to offer them space to study, it may be time to move, especially if your growing kiddo needs more space to be independent. There are plenty of apartments for rent in Denver, and all you need to do is filter for your preferred amenities, size and budget.
Let them have screen time.
Don’t forget to reward your children for hard work. Rewards are essential for encouraging kids to stick to their homework routines. If your kids want to watch TV or play video games, let them. If you’re looking to buy a new device for the whole family to use during playtime, tablets are a great choice due to their portability, and many of the latest models run just as efficiently as a computer. Newer tablets like Apple’s iPad 2.0 have a powerful system when it comes to playing video games, so your kids will be kept entertained during their scheduled playtime.
Finally, perhaps the most beneficial thing you can do as a parent to keep your child on track is to step away when it becomes too much of a struggle. While academics are certainly important, your child may be more motivated to do their homework if given the opportunity to do it on their terms.
Summer Camp Online specializes in offering live, interactive small group classes during the spring and summer. We have a variety of classes, from educational to creative. Check out our lineup today!
Image via Pixabay