Karen Rayner, founder of online childrens’ furniture store Childrens Funky Furniture, is guest blogging for The Parent Social with advice and tips to help stop homework being so arduous (for parents and kids).
Children are very clever. If you have a set time where you invite your child to the table to get on with some homework or reading, most likely you will get a very negative reaction. Children have something I call the ‘homework hunch’…they know it’s coming and they avoid it at any cost. Homework should be done with absolute concentration and by the end of this article if I can help your child enjoy their homework time then it is a win-win situation.
Advice and tips on how to get your child to benefit from their homework time
- Try not to have a set time where you ask your child to get on with some work. When I had set times for my two kids I realised they avoided me and even got into a bad mood long before I called them. When you can give your child some time ask them over without arousing their suspicions. This is more likely to get them used to the idea without them leaving their concentration behind. It worked a treat with my two children as I noticed that the mood swings decreased and their concentration levels allowed them to enjoy what they were doing. So, next time take them by surprise!
- Let your child choose what he/she would like to do. Don’t push them to do the maths homework or the reading assignment as it will drive them away from these activities. Get them to decide from a list and then once complete be sure to tick it off in front of them to avoid him/her asking to do the same thing twice. This is a sure winner when you want to get your child to have some fun when digging through the homework pile.
- Never offer incentives. This is the worst thing that any parent could do…they will always want something in exchange for a very long time! When my daughter wouldn’t concentrate on her homework I was at the end of my tether and offered her a chocolate if she completed her reading. From then on she expected a chocolate and refused to start any work unless I gave her something. This habit took a long time to break; it was filled with tantrums, stubbornness and lack of concentration. Rewarding them once in a while for their good homework commitment is acceptable and works with you rather than against.
- Keep them interested. Sometimes visiting museums or buying them a new book on a homework topic rather than dumping them in front of a computer screen can make a huge difference. When my son was given a research assignment on Roman history I decided to take him to a local museum where they had some great relics and information on the Romans. Not only this but I encouraged him to talk to some museum staff members and as I watched him it dawned on me that he was really enjoying his homework task. Safe to say his teacher was quite impressed when he handed it in!
So, if you fear your child’s homework ‘hunch’ then try out the above tips. It can make a huge difference to your child’s homework performance…it may even shrink their homework ‘hunch’ a little!
Former British Airways cabin crew member, Karen Rayner currently lives in Warwick with her husband and two children, Charlotte and Jack. She is the founder of Childrens Funky Furniture, an online furniture store which provides imaginative and creative furniture items that appeal to young children. Karen also writes extensively about how to create artistic and vibrant bedrooms that children can relate to and enjoy. You can follow Karen on Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.