Most children see homework as a tedious and mind boggling task. Most came from a background where if you are unsure of a subject matter, you are given tasks to explore the concept at home. If they are returned with inaccurate or incomplete homework, the consequence varied in negative consequence. Funnily enough, though there might be generational differences, many children still hold the same view. This has made it the responsibility of parents to assist their kids to have a more enthusiastic view of homework and help them develop healthy homework habits right from the start of schooling
We can begin by establishing a good environment and system in which to get it done. Children want to do well. They want to progress and be noted for good works, so if your child is hesitating or fooling around during homework time, consider the following:
Work that goes home should be such that the child has understood well at school and knows how to do it. S/he should simply practice more of it. If s/he is hesitant s/he needs more clarification. This could come from you, the teacher, or tutorials, if your school permits it.
Many schools offer extra tutoring during lunch hour. Ask your child’s teacher for such options. Once clear about content, just watch your child fly! To assist your child develop healthy homework habits, you could start by doing the following:
- Homework should be done in the same place every day
- It is suggested that homework should be done after a healthy meal and rest, before recreational or extracurricular activities.
- Homework should be done in a quiet space where foot traffic is low and interference is limited.
- Before beginning, bathroom visits, water breaks and a healthy snack should be done with.
- Once the child sits down, the homework should either be finished alone or packed up.
- Pressure, stress and sadness should not be connected to homework, rather encouragement and positivity. It is best to have a practical attitude to this task.
- As your child grows, begin to list the tasks to be accomplished on a white board or chalkboard first, prioritize according to deadline or largess of the task.
- Tick off what has been completed; this visual cue helps them to soldier on. Slowly they will begin to do this themselves, just like we do with our responsibilities, in our heads daily.
- Set deadlines for each task and factor in breaks of at least 15 minutes after every 45-minute stretch for older children and 20 minutes for little ones. This is when the bathroom breaks / mini healthy snacks should be available.
Remember the long term goals for providing homework in the first place, to teach children self-control, good decision-making, initiative, responsibility and time management. We want our child to understand that homework is their responsibility and must be made a priority by them hence the need to develop healthy homework habits from the start.