Did you know I taught school for seven years before I had my kids?
I taught seventh grade history and eight grade health…and I loved it!
Switch gears to having my own kids, I have found that doing homework with your own kids, is similar to teaching in the classroom.
Here are some tips that may help you out at home.
- Be near them but don’t hover. Kids need their freedom to do work on their own. I always stay in the same room, and help my child understand the concept, however, when my child gets to work on their homework I don’t stand over them the entire time –so that my child feels that they are able to accomplish on their own.
- Praise, Praise, and Praise. Even if your child does something wrong on their homework assignment, correct them, but correct tactfully and find something to praise them with. Such as “we need to re-do this, but your handwriting looks great there.” It’s amazing how much confidence or lack of confidence comes from school work and when we stay positive with the childs learning abilities, it not only motivates the child to work harder, but it reminds them that even if they make a mistake they are capable, intelligent people.
- Be willing to give your child breaks while working on homework. We all know it’s idea to sit down and get an assignment completed. However, for some kids, having breaks while doing homework keeps a positive environment. Yes it takes a bit more patience for the parents, but if the child benefits from breaks, give them some time to complete the assignment.
-Make a point to stay near the child that’s doing homework, and yet work on something yourself. Again, it’s hard not to hover .. and it’s good to keep them on track … but if they can see that you are THERE and PRESENT if they need help that’s great. Even more, if they see that you are cooking or writing in your journal close by… this might create an opportunity for your child to work to solve homework problems in their own .. which is a great thing. As the parent, stay productive yourself while the child is working on homework close by you.
–Put away the phones : Parents and the child doing homework should have their phones’ sound turned off and the phones should be away from the parent and child so as to not cause major distractions.
–Serve up some snacks. Sometimes it’s a bit more enjoyable to get through homework with some snacks to munch on. These snacks shouldn’t be sugary and unhealthy treats.. but more so, some food that’s healthy and tasty to the child.
-Be consistent with setting a homework routine. Kids crave routines and truly work extremely better when there is an expected routine in place. Find a designated time and area of the house to do homework and be as consistent as possible.
-Have your child teach you. As a former teacher myself, I found that I learned more from teaching than I ever did in college. Why? Because when you teach a topic or subject you truly have to know and understand the topic and be an expert in that area. Having your child teach you—the parent, a concept they have learned can be a positive way to enhance the child’s confidence. Also, having the child teach the parent can help the child understand topics and subjects at a much deeper level.
-Make homework fun! Now I’m not saying you have to blast music, but as the parent, have a smile on your phase, make sure your tone of voice is positive and cheerful. Most of all, if we as parents are encouraging and positive .. your child can enjoy their time doing homework, versus dreading homework time. Attitude is everything when it comes to homework.