Homework may seem like an endless task, but parental help can make a difference, writes Colm Fitzpatrick
With the school once again in full swing, students will arrive home en masse for a hot meal, comfortable clothes and lots of homework. The task of most children, the task is seen as a barrier to complete freedom, a freedom that can only be achieved by completing this mundane and monotonous task. While it can cause tears and tantrums, homework at best can be an enriching experience for your child, so it is worth exploring ways to make it fun and practical. With this in mind, here are seven tips to address the sadness of homework:
Establish a regular homework schedule
When it comes to homework, routine is essential. Without establishing a designated time for your child to start and finish all his work, his attitude towards him can be lax. In general, it is recommended that your child begin work after dinner and before playing. This means that they will be energized and focused to tackle the task at hand, while encouraging them to complete it so they can relax later. Depending on the age of the child, it is feasible to assign school work late in the afternoon, but if this means staying up late at night, it is no longer a sustainable option. It can be difficult to enforce this deadline day after day, but after a short period of time, your child will get used to the routine. Eventually, they will begin their homework without parental intervention.
Create a comfortable workspace
It is common in many homes for children to do their homework in bed or on a sofa in the living room. However, these areas are full of distractions, whether from television, other siblings or the temptation to fall asleep. To be completely productive, a child needs to sit in a comfortable chair at a work desk. A study room is the optimal option, but if there is little space, they can work at a table in the kitchen or bedroom. It is vital that the room is well lit, otherwise your work could be affected by writing in the dark. Instead of having his books scattered on the floor or in his lap, a desk allows your child to properly place all his study material, as well as any necessary stationery. An organized and quiet environment will allow your child to work as well as possible.
Encourage your child.
Homework is not just a responsibility to put on the shoulders of a child without any communication or help from a parent. After a school day, homework is the last thing that interests a child, so it is essential to motivate him to start and complete it. This does not mean imposing it dictatorially, but empathizing with them and recognizing that it can be a struggle. Once your child realizes that you are on his side and that he only wants the best for him, he is much more likely to jump to the task at hand. Encouraging them means offering solid words of support, as well as physical affection such as hugs or clashing the five. If you find a particular question difficult, don't ignore your frustration. Instead, sit with them, explain that they are capable of doing so and point them in the right direction so that they can respond to the problem themselves.
Don't do your children's homework
It can be easy to fall into the trap of completing your child's homework without even realizing he has done it. The process can begin with a difficult mathematical equation that perplexes your child and requires the help of an adult to fully understand him. This in turn causes the father to do the entire exercise while trying to explain his logic to a boy with a blank face who has fallen further into a pit of confusion. If you want to clarify a principle or idea, write a similar question and use it as an example to explain your point. This is particularly useful in subjects such as English and mathematics. Once it is clear, see if your child can apply what he has said to the question he is struggling with. Otherwise, repeat the process or use an alternative method to teach them. Whatever the case, make sure you don't answer all the problems for them.
Learn what they are learning
At first, the work your child takes home every day will be easy to understand, as he grows, the material will become much more difficult and complicated. He may think that he knows how to make a long division, conjugate French verbs and find the area of the circle, but he may be deceiving himself. In this regard, familiarize yourself with your child's curriculum, including what is expected of them and how they should progress. Your child will feel much more confident in his work if he knows that an educated parent is monitoring them and is at hand if they are struggling. A child can also become apathetic towards his work if he acknowledges that his parents are not well informed on the subject; The "don't need to know, then I" mentality will prevail. Taking the time to learn the subject material will make a difference in your child's progress.
Praise your work
Everyone loves to be rewarded for doing something good, whether passing a test or winning a race. Similarly, children should be commended for completing their homework well. This does not mean giving them a bag of candy every time they finish their work, it would be excessive. It is definitely worth considering the creation of a rewards system, perhaps giving them a gold star every time they finish their work with a high level with a prize when they reach 25, it is an option that you can explore. Methods such as these reinforce your child that completing homework is worthwhile and that achievements should always be praised. This will undoubtedly encourage them to finish their work, even on the most tired days. An opposite attitude towards work can be harmful: if a child is no longer congratulated for a positive action, then he can be discouraged from carrying out more.
Talk to a teacher
All homework should challenge your child, but if you feel you show signs of anxiety or confusion about it, talking with your teacher is the best way to address this problem. Each year, schools hold parent-teacher meetings, but waiting until this time comes is impractical if you want the problem resolved immediately. Organize a meeting with your teacher and explain that your child considers homework to be too difficult or heavy. The conversation can give you a new perspective on your child's academic skills or at least let the teacher know that you are worried. The teacher will also advise you on how to address this problem.
These tips are not exhaustive, but offer an idea of how to address the issue of homework. It should not be treated as a job or a domestic task, but as another part of a child's daily routine, such as brushing teeth or dining. With a healthy attitude towards homework, reinforced by an encouraging parent, your child can thrive psychologically and academically … even if there are some problems along the way.