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Cool Strategies for Helping Kids with Homework

It happens in every family. At some point, children get the idea that homework is optional. They may be frustrated with their workload or simply confused by new learning processes taught in classrooms. Or perhaps they are just at a point where they want to blow off homework for TV and video games. Whatever the reason, avoiding homework early on sets your child back regarding their scholastic career. On the other hand, developing good study habits helps children retain information better while providing a foundation for success as they enter high school and set their sights on college.

Establish a Routine

Kids thrive with routines. They provide children with a sense of security while also teaching them how to self-discipline. Adding study time into your child’s daily schedule teaches your child to carve out a piece of their day for intellectual stimulation. They can do homework when they have it, but just because they don’t have any school work doesn’t mean you should eliminate the activity for the day. This special time of day can also be used to do things like read a book, practice an instrument, or perform a science experiment that helps them develop an interest in STEM subjects. You can even try out some learning activities outdoors if the weather is nice enough. Of course, these are all alternatives. Homework should always take first priority!

Designate a Study Space

Having a little space just for homework helps your child get into the learning mindset when they sit down to do it. Keep the space simple and free from excessive objects that can distract your child from the task at hand. However, simple doesn’t have to mean boring. Let your child lend their own sense of style, and help design their study nook. Look for second-hand desks in your area and help your child pick a paint color to make it over. Set the desk up with a comfortable but sturdy chair and a lamp to make reading easier on the eyes. You can also consider adding accessories that help with concentration such as a radio or aromatherapy machine. Stock their desk with plenty of school supplies, including pencils, highlighters, and a calculator.

Provide Healthy Incentives

When it comes to motivating people to work harder, incentives work. Of course, you don’t want to spoil your child with excessive material possessions or food. It’s better to offer incentives regarding fun activities and hobbies your child is interested in -- that way they are motivated by the incentive, but their reward contributes to their overall development in a positive manner.

Some great ideas for activities include:

  • A weekend trip to a kid-friendly museum.
  • Learning an outdoor skill like bird watching.
  • Swimming at your local natural body of water.
  • A nature hike with the whole family -- dogs included!
  • Attending a movie during your next free night.
  • Going to the park for an extra play session.
  • Cooking a special dish together.

Talk with your child about their weekly homework goals or help them come up with some yourself. They may want to get all A’s for a week or learn a few words a day for a spelling test. Offer them an incentive experience when they meet one of their goals and enjoy them together as a family.

At some point every kids decides they hate homework, but studying everyday teaches kids about discipline and sets them up for success in high school and college. Establish a routine where your children have a study time they must observe even if they don’t have homework. Let them set up their own space where they can do homework -- it can be creative, but don’t allow decorations become distractions. Finally, use healthy incentives to motivate your children toward their goals. Material possessions and sweet treats aren’t great incentives. A better idea is to offer a fun experience that helps your child grow.

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