Developing Healthy Homework Habits
Ah, the age-old struggle between parents and their children to do homework! Why is it that kids fight tooth and nail to get their homework done? How can you help them take ownership of their homework? The struggle is real! Try some of these tips for helping your kids get in the habit of doing their homework:
- Before asking your children to start doing their homework, have them eat a snack after school. Chances are, it may have been a few hours since lunch and they are hungry.
- Remind your kids that the purpose of homework is to help extend and reinforce their learning. Experts suggest that the key to successful learning, the secret to “making it stick,” is to recall the information learned from memory. Sometimes we need to recall the information in a different setting (school verses home) or even a different mode (listening in class verses drawing a picture of it at home). The frequency of recalling information makes it more memorable.
- Create a habit of taking care of responsibilities before enjoying privileges. This will teach your kids a healthy work ethic. Let your kids know that adults also need to follow this principle in order to be successful. Have your kids finish their homework and other responsibilities (taking are of a pet, practicing an instrument, etc.) before allowing them to play computer games, chat with their friends, or participate in another leisure activity.
- If your child truly needs another source of motivation, acknowledge that homework is work. And like adult work, there is an exchange of work for compensation. Imagine your home like a company and include “completing homework” as one of the job duties. Other job duties could include maintaining cleanliness of personal and shared space, speaking respectfully to their supervisor (you, the parent), and proactively seeking collaboration and cooperation with others (siblings, other family members). Have a weekly job review and ask your child to provide input on their job performance for the week and ask them what you could do to support them. Maybe they need help with time management or they need supplies to complete an assignment. To create an incentive for kids, provide a modest allowance (this will teach money management skills) and for bonuses, do a fun activity together as a family!
Wishing you well,
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