Oh, the Ways to Make Homework Fun!
Traditional school and homework are not all children’s cup of tea, so you might need to put on your thinking cap for ways to excite and engage your kids’ thirst for knowledge outside of the classroom.. especially when there is a due date underlined in the corner.
Homework can be a staple supplement to academic development, which is why it is so important that your kids can see this after-school activity as just that: an activity! Making homework fun is a fun creative challenge for you that provides your child with an optimal learning environment at home.
Below are a few ways to make homework fly by while having fun.
You can designate a homework den at home, ask where your kids might be up for working today or switch it up and create a new workspace each afternoon. Whichever situation suits you, make this space clean before letting your kids sit down to work. If the kitchen table is the go-to workstation, clear off the table entirely and maybe lay down a blank tablecloth. A clear table will keep the work zone distraction-free so your kiddos can fully focus as they tackle difficult (or mundane) homework assignments, and it will provide a fresh space to have fun in.
Snacks are a tasty treat that can motivate discipline and hard work. Snacks will be essential to continue supplying energy as your kids buckle down on homework, and you can teach your kids how to use quick bites as the discipline. For example, your child could go for a bite only after each problem is finished; this adds a timeline and a bit of adrenaline to the problem-solving.
It’s hard to work when it is too hot or too cold, so be sure to set the thermostat at the right temp, open windows or supply blankets and fans. A comfortable, moderate temperature will keep your kids focused and working.
Encourage your kids to play teacher and student, where one child pretends to be the teacher and prompts the class with a question, and then the whole group takes several minutes to complete the problem. Next, one student might share the answer (just like in class), the ‘teacher’ can confer, and then the group can discuss match-ups or mix-ups. Suggest taking turns for role-playing.
Allow breaks every 30-45 minutes and use a timer to keep your kids disciplined on taking time away from the table. Use this time for bathroom breaks, water, snack-time or something active, such as jumping jacks or yoga.
A study buddy is a game changer when it comes to kids getting their homework done. Having a friend to study with makes homework a playdate, holds each child accountable for staying focused on their work and it encourages them to get through their assignments so they can have some real playtime afterward. Help your kids choose their study buddies wisely, matching up with friends who also want to work diligently, find the right answers and enjoy doing the work together.
An electronic-free workspace is ideal for getting homework done. If cell phones are allowed at the table, require them to be flipped over when working (kids can flip them back up during timed breaks). If the computer is necessary for research, minimize all other windows beyond the relevant research, and if the phone is needed for a calculator, turn it on airplane mode. Mobile phones are harmful and a big distraction for children, even just a sound of a message can get them out of focus for a long time.
Procrastination can be an addictive habit to break as it is typically consistent at proving how much work can be feasibly accomplished in a short period of time. Train your children to appreciate the stress-free life that leads up to deadlines and due dates when they don’t procrastinate so they can repeat the stretched-out work week on the next project.
Help your child map out and stick to a timeline that will be sure to get a project finished on time or an exam adequately studied for before the eve of said test.
While the goal is for your children to self-motivate during homework, you can use incentives to encourage their focus and drive if need be. Be creative with incentives that truly inspire your child to work hard through their homework.
Remember that a traditional academic setting is not for everyone, and remind your child of this fact. Encourage your kids to see their tasks to completion and try to find ways to help them enjoy the subject matter, but assure them that schoolwork is just a piece of their beautiful and bustling life!
Homework time can be fun if you make it your mission to present the after-school activity in this light to your kids. If you have any pro tips to share with fellow parents, let us know at Kids Fun Corner.