Dec 22, 2023 | Fayetteville, GA

Just the mere mention of math homework brings out strong feelings in most people, and regrettable these feelings are rarely positive. Most children dread it, and their parents, though they may try to maintain a positive game face, dread it too. Here are six tips and tricks to increase homework success at your house.

Follow a Routine – A well designed routine helps everyone: prioritize use time wisely and efficiently accomplish tasks When it comes to homework, it is easier for your child to focus when there is a clear understanding of when it is expected to be completed.

Your routine can be the same everyday – directly after school, after thirty minutes of play, after dinner, etc. Or it can be different depending on the day’s specific activities. If your schedule differs from week to week, take time on Sunday to outline a plan for the upcoming week.

The most important step is to include your child in the development of a routine that works for your entire family, and then stick to it – consistently!

Minimize Distractions – Setting up the environment to minimize distractions will help your child focus, which helps them use their time wisely and concentrate on potentially difficult tasks. When setting up a homework space think about: Noise – can your child hear siblings playing? the television in the background? Video games/toys/books/etc. – is your child surrounded by more tempting activities? Family activity – is your child sitting in the middle of the action, distracted by movement, conversations, and the hustle and bustle of family life?

Some people work better with calming music in the background, some need complete silence to think. Adjust the environment to serve your child’s specific needs.

Remember, if a child is struggling with a specific concept, each time they are interrupted they lose their place in the academic process. It requires additional energy to redirect their thoughts back to the task at hand, which increases the potential for frustration. This is an especially vicious cycle for children who lack the ability to complete homework independently and successfully.

Set up a Specific Space – To focus and get homework done with minimal fuss, your child needs a comfortable, organized space. Make sure all necessary supplies are available and easily accessible, this will limit the disruptions that come with searching for supplies. Include supplies such as: Pencils Erasers and sharpener Markers, colored pencils, crayons Lined and blank paper Ruler Scissors Glue Anything else that the specific assignment requires

It helps if the desk and chair are the appropriate size for your child. Some children benefit from a ball chair, a wiggle seat, or an exercise band to bounce their feet on, this allows for a natural need for movement while working.

Pick a place in your home that can be a designated area for quiet work. It can be anywhere in the home that your child can work with minimal distractions.

If you don’t have a designated space, make a portable supply bin that can be taken to a quiet area of the house. Get kids involved and invested by having them decorate, organize, and stock it with supplies. If you have multiple children, make each one an individual bin.

Snacks! – Make sure your child isn’t sitting down to do their homework on an empty stomach. A healthy snack will wake up their brain and increase their ability to focus.

Movement Breaks – If a child has a lot of homework, or works at a slower pace, use a timer to plan breaks. The time increments should be adjusted to fit each child’s individual needs. When the timer goes off encourage them to complete a quick physical activity such as: Jumping jacks Wall push ups Crab walk Bear crawl

With your child’s input, outline a plan for the number and length of breaks ahead of time to decrease conflict.

Motivation – Just like the rest of us, children must be inspired to work. People are motivated differently. Some are intrinsically motivated, while others need extrinsic factors to prompt them to perform their best. Children may be motivated by many things, including: A family outing Good grades Special time with an adult or friend A new toy or gift Verbal recognition and praise Candy or sweets Screen time Money Determine what motivates your child, and then incorporate it into your routine. Small rewards can be earned regularly, while working towards larger rewards over time.

Remember that developing good homework habits will begin to feel like a reward in and of itself as your child begins to benefit from the satisfaction of getting their homework done.