It is yet another school night, and you find the kids perched on their seats around the kitchen, staring at homework problems, utterly clueless. You groan inwardly as a whole hour of drama and tantrums await, yet again.
Homework is a much-dreaded affair for kids and parents alike for it has always been the root cause of major rifts and battles fought at home. While parents seem too adamant about making the kids getting their homework done on time, kids too, have their parts to play with unending tantrums and whines. If you are a parent with kids still in school, the chances are that you face this issues at home more often than you would like to admit.
However, you are not alone. Millions of parents all around the world face the same crisis at some point in their lives, and kids have their very own set of qualms and complaints about doing homework too.
Is there then simply no end to the battles fought at home over homework? The answer is: yes, but you need to gear up for homework truce at home before you can bring it about. Here are some of the best ways to tackle homework troubles at home that may just put you in the list of contenders for “parent of the year” award.
Homework comes before anything else. The kids simply must get this straight through their heads. To make sure that they do not meddle up their list of priorities, create a weekly or monthly schedule for homework.
Yes, there will be a fair amount of screaming and tantrums when you tell them that they have to finish homework before watching their favorite shows on TV. However, you can get rid of all such issues if you have a predetermined schedule that says when the homework hour is. You need to let your kids understand that there is a reason that you are so stern when it comes to homework, and a schedule is one of the best ways to do so.
Pro parenting tip: Start with a weekly schedule at first and gradually work your way up to a monthly one. But it is best to prepare and stick to a weekly schedule if you are dealing with a kindergartner or middle-schooler at home.
No one likes homework. The steady flow of weekly worksheets from school can be genuinely troublesome for the kids. However, since there is no other way to go about this, the best possible solution to the problem is to finish it as soon as possible. With the dreadful worksheet out of the way, your kids can concentrate on the things that they really enjoy doing, like piano or soccer practice. You would not want your kid to end up resenting homework tasks just because it was too overwhelming or time-consuming to finish.
As a parent, you should know the limits to which you can push your kid to finish their homework. If it has been a rough week with too many lessons and after-school practices, it is okay to let their homework tasks slide for a day or two. In that case, you can consider talking to the teacher to explain the situation in detail. Letting homework slide once in a while is just collateral damage towards winning the homework battle at home.
Kids quite often love to bring their school tasks in the kitchen where they can be around everyone. While this is pretty enjoyable for the entire family, make sure that they have a designated spot where they do their homework. You can turn a corner of the living room into a homework area by keeping a few comfy throw pillows and a roll-up rug handy.
Creating a homework space at home helps in making the kids understand that it is a routine task that they need to finish before moving on to other activities. They will be prompt with their work you have a clutter-free and inviting space at home where your kids can do their homework.
Pro parenting tip: Brightly coloured upholstery or throw pillows work wonders with kids. Designate a comfortable space at home as “homework zone” so the kids rush to that place after school to get their tasks done as soon as they can.
This one is a no-brainer, really. We all know how well kids work on incentives. This will get the whole "bribing them into doing homework" guilt trip out of the way. To make sure you nail this one, avoid those clichéd "an extra hour of television" or "an extra scoop of ice cream at dinner" in return for completed homework tasks.
Instead, liven up the entire incentives game with fun activities. You can get them to try their hand at baking if they finish their homework earlier than they are supposed to, for instance. Or if baking is not your thing, you can try an hour of board games with the whole family in return for finished homework worksheets.
This one works like magic for most kids. The lesson of accountability goes a long way, especially if they learn it at a tender age. Let them face the consequences of their actions once they declare they are not going to do the tasks. Focus on not losing your cool and simply let them go scot-free for that night. Once they have cooled off, they are most likely to do the tasks all by themselves, sometimes even without asking for or requiring assistance.
Kids are smarter than we think, and they are sure to look for answers to what may happen if they do not finish their homework. However, if they do not realise that in time, let them learn it the hard way when they get called out in school for not finishing their homework. Learning that homework matters thus one of the best lessons, you can instil in your kid.
Keep in mind that the homework battle is a long-drawn one and cannot be won in a day. It is a learning process for both the parents and the kids, so make the most of this time to harden up just like a battle-worn soldier does. By incorporating the suggestions in this post, you can make remarkable progress in making homework an enjoyable time for the family. Good luck!
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