Guest Post by Lorraine Salvi
As a new mum to the schooling life (Kindergarten this year) I am finding the ‘School’ experience somewhat overwhelming, especially the process of undertaking homework in the afternoons. Now the sad thing with all of this is that my daughter actually likes homework and wants to do it. I do think in Kindy that it is a bit early for Homework, however I agree with setting good habits and want to help her with it, yet some days we get busy doing other things and I simply forget.
In some ways, I want to blame life for being too busy; along with my 5 year old I have a 3 year old and a 5 month old, so let’s face it –some days I am doing well simply to be parked and at the school in time for drop off and pick up! Yet that doesn’t excuse me and it really isn’t a good way to set an example for the remainder of her school years. Homework provides a number of benefits for your children so the importance of developing and following a daily homework routine is important.
Benefits of Homework:
• Extending the skills learned in class to the home environment
• Creating and building good work ethic
• Involving the parents in the children’s learning process
• At a later age, homework will help your child to understand time management and stress in coping with deadlines.
Here are some tips on how to develop a routine encouraging your child to not only do their homework, but also to excel at it.
When to do it
Depending upon your child, they may wish to do the homework straight away and get it out of the way or later after they have unwound and had a play. Determine what works best for you as a family. Really active children may need a break to let off some steam before they sit down again, while those that are tired may need to get it done right away before they become over tired and upset by it. If your child struggles to do homework then you may want to stop them from watching TV or playing on the computer until they do the homework so that the TV or computer games act as a motivator.
Where to do it
Help your child create a special space for their homework time. This could simply be through clearing a spot next to you at the Kitchen table or by giving them their own desk/area specifically for their homework items. Special pens or pencils may help to convert a reluctant child.
How to do it
As the parent helping with the homework, you will achieve a greater result if you can dedicate the time to that child and their needs. Switch off the computer, phone and other distractions and focus solely on them, watching their minds learn while internally they are proud to show you their abilities or can easily ask you for help if needed. If they don’t want you with them, be nearby doing paperwork or bills so that you can offer assistance if you notice the need. Take a positive approach to homework as it is then more likely that your child will view it in a positive manner as well.
What to do when…
You’re on Struggle Street. Try to think of interesting and unique ways that you can make the homework or learning’s more fun. A mum in our class is playing ‘hide and seek’ sight words with her boy to encourage his learning process. What about Alphabet iSpy? If the homework becomes a major hassle and point of argument between you and your child, perhaps turn to some other people/resources your child can go to for help with homework.
Talking to your child’s teacher is also a great tool when it comes to your child’s homework as it can shed light on how to address problems that you have noticed and/or to understand if there are any issues they have noticed that they would like you to focus on.
Ultimately your goal as parent should be to continuously encourage your child, praise them for the work that they do and encourage them to solve their hurdles. Help them to think of interesting and different ways to solve the problem. If they are struggling with something in particular think of how you can utilise examples relating to this in your everyday lives. For example, asking your child to tell you how many people there will be for dinner if you have your family plus the grandparents or as my child is learning a new language I am saying Good morning and asking how she is or what her name is in the mornings to help reinforce the teachings. As a parent, remember to focus on the work that they put in over the results that they get.
This article was written by Lorraine Salvi; owner and Founder of MumsDelivery – providing solutions for Busy Mums. Lorraine is a Mum to 3 young children and a recent recruit to the joys of being a mum with school aged children.