Is your child struggling with homework? Is your kid finding it tough to start and finish the homework? Is your kid constantly distracted by their smartphones and tablets, among other things?
If you’re a parent for whom the answer to all the aforementioned questions is ‘Yes’, then you’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out how you can help instill in your kid a habit of doing their homework regularly and diligently.
Understanding the problem
Every parent is plagued by this question- why does my child find it boring to do homework? Understanding this will go a long way towards understanding your child, and thus solving this problem. Kids are playful and love to engage in activities that make them enjoy. Homework doesn’t provide any enjoyment to them. They find it to be a boring, tiresome and mechanical task.
What not to do
Before deciding what to do, here are few things that you should not do:
- Don’t force your kid to do homework
- Stop nagging your kid.
- Don’t project on own insecurities onto your kid.
- Don’t punish your kid, as it won’t help.
- If your kid argues, don’t argue back – rather make them understand your point of view.
Forcing, nagging, yelling at or punishing your kid tends to program your kid negatively for the future. Your kid might just develop a lifelong hatred for books, studies, and education. If you really want your kid to develop a genuine love for learning, then follow the tips given below:
Create a homework routine
Children are better at habit formation than adults. So if you establish the habit of doing homework in their formative years, you’ve established a habit that will last the entirety of their academic lives.
This brings us to the next question.
How to create this routine?
- Sit with your kid to prepare a list of assignments or tasks to complete.
- Get a clear understanding of everything to be accomplished.
- Determine the time required to do the homework
- Sit with your kid to help understand how to do homework.
- Do this daily, without fail, to build the habit in your child.
- Create this routine right from the first day of school if possible (or the first day of a new school year or semester).
Over time, a schedule will imprint itself in your child’s mind: Go to school, come back home, get all the homework done, and then play.
Schedule homework wisely
When you schedule homework, consider the following points:
- Can your kid start homework immediately once home?
- Does your kid require sleep before doing work?
- Is your child hungry?
- Is your kid too tired?
- Does your kid require occasional breaks?
- What is the attention span of your kid?
- Can you schedule play-time between your kid’s homework/study sessions?
- Can you teach your child to self-manage themselves?
Your child’s behavior may fluctuate on a daily basis. The decisions you make need to take this factor into account.
Create and maintain an exclusive space to do homework
Another important aspect of routine is to dedicate an exclusive space for your kid to do homework. This helps your kid understand that once they are in that ‘homework corner’, they need to get down to business. Here are the benefits of having an exclusive space for homework:
- It helps develop the habit.
- It gets incorporated into the routine and further reinforces it.
- It helps your kid develop focus.
- A quiet ambiance helps your kid avoid disturbances and distractions.
Things to keep in this place:
- A small marker board to write down tasks, and strike them off once they are done.
- A small bulletin board to pin up things.
Things to keep away from this place:
- Gadgets like video games, smartphones.
- Gaming consoles.
It is best to consult your kid while preparing this space. Some kids love to sprawl across the floor and work with their things strewn around; while others might prefer to work at a desk. Definitely take those preferences into account, so that you may create the most conducive ‘homework space’ for your kid.
Reward your kid when she finishes the homework
If you really want to positively reinforce your kid’s homework habits, give them some reward every time they complete their homework. For instance, give your kid a break to play every time they complete a task. Be a little careful with this strategy though – you don’t want your kid to work only for rewards!
Talk with your kid
What most parents don’t understand is that kids will listen to them because of something very significant – trust. Kids trust their parents. This trust is established right after birth. So talk to your kid, explain the benefits of good homework habits, and express your expectations. Your child will definitely understand where you’re coming from. Far too many parents have failed because they’ve tried to coerce their children, rather than making use of this established bond of trust.
Finally, if your kid fails to do homework, don’t be too harsh. You can’t expect immediate results from this strategy. If you are patient enough, you will see gradual, but definite, improvements over time.