How to Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with Homework
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It likely comes as no surprise to most parents that their kids hate homework. But whether they enjoy it or not, completing homework is an important part of learning concepts discussed in class. Here’s our parents’ guide to improving your kids’ views on homework.
Work with your kids.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you’ll do every other of their homework math problems. Instead, bring your own work to the table with your kids. Answer emails, outline a memo, or calculate your taxes – it doesn’t matter. Kids are more inspired if they don’t have to work alone.
Break down homework time into more manageable chunks.
While many adults want to get their tasks finished and out of the way, kids don’t have as long of attention spans. Therapists suggest that kids can focus on a task for as many minutes as their age; i.e. a seven-year-old has a seven-minute attention span. So, help your child plan their homework so they can regularly change tasks or take breaks for snacks, fresh air, and exercise.
Let them do something fun in between school and homework.
Just like adults, kids can’t go, go, go all the time. While some parents might encourage kids to finish their homework before dinner, most kids need a break before diving into more hard work. That doesn’t mean they should flop down in front of the TV. Instead, let them do a STEAM-inspired activity that will get them thinking without growing overwhelmed with (oh no!) learning.
LittleBits’ Avengers Hero Inventor Kit lets kids experiment with STEAM concepts while having fun. The various tools included in the kit let deck themselves as super heroes. Kids will release energy with the kit, but it also gets their minds prepared for homework.
Offer positive feedback.
Homework is going to be a part of kids’ lives forever. After all, eventually, homework turns into just work! This also means that you’ve got to remember that kids develop positive homework skills over time. So, be sure to praise them for what they do well, rather than criticizing them for what they ought to do better. For example, your kids put their homework in the right folder, or finished a task without getting distracted.
Let your child plan their own evening and weekend schedules.
Math is present in allotting time for various activities, so let your child plan their own homework schedule. If they have soccer practice for an hour on Tuesdays, they’ll have to finish their homework for Wednesday on Monday evening. Letting a child budget his or her own time can be a valuable learning process. You could even get the “Art” part of STEAM involved by letting your child create a colorful calendar.