7 Things to Do Before Reading (and Any Other) Homework
Creating a homework-friendly home is a great way to sidestep some of the big obstacles parents and children face with homework. Try these 7 tips to get started:
1. Feed your child's tummy and brain. I am dutiful about making sure my son is sent off to school with a good (some days only OK) breakfast because I know how important a full belly is for learning. After school a full belly is important too and not one filled only with sugary pantry items. A hungry child or one crashing from too much sugar is not a child eager to do his or her homework without a struggle.
2. Allow lots of fresh air and play time first, but no screens. After a long day at school many children need time to unwind. I have found that by allowing a lot of play time but absolutely zero screen time my son will play more, and get to his homework without struggle because he's had a much needed break from learning. Often my son will go straight for his homework to get it out of the way but on days when he doesn't the only rule that is not negotiable is zero screens before homework.
3. Have a designated place for all school things. No need for it to be fancy, the same spot by the door is perfect. Your child needs to be to be able to find the homework that needs to be done easily when it's time to get to work.
4. Have a designated place for doing homework. No need for a special room, just a spot that your child uses every day. Have everything your children might need within arm's reach so that when they are ready to sit down and do homework they don't start wandering about and getting distracted by everything else that is not their homework.
5. Clear your schedule if possible. Be available when they are doing their homework. You may need to be right there next to your kids helping, or nearby in case an issue pops up but try your best not to be unable to help if they need it.
6. Stay calm so your child will too. If your child has hit a roadblock attack the issue as a team. If you are frustrated, that will make the whole situation worse. Homework is something many children have daily and keeping the experience as pleasant as possible will help make this daily activity smooth sailing.
7. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Cranky kids are often tired or hungry. If you have given them a good healthy snack and they are still cranky, the next step is to take a good look at their sleep. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention school-aged children need at least 10 hours of sleep each night. Your child may need even more.
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