Homework and fun in the same sentence? Impossible, kids would say. And somehow they’re right. A Metlife study pointed at a 45 percent of students, grades three to 12, spending between an hour and three hours a night doing homework. So, it’s quite natural for kids to see homework as a fierce enemy that steals their freedom, intervenes with their vacation plans, sleepovers or late night conversations with friends. But could we help them change their perspective? Definitely! Here’s how:
1. Set up a homework vlog
If your children are somewhere between 6 and 18, you’re probably aware of the YouTube vlogging craze. Tell them they can also get creative by recording themselves while doing homework.
All their opinions and ideas on their tasks and the subjects they’re studying would be online, easily accessible for colleagues and other kids all over the world. Offer to help with some video recording app suggestions and the vlog’s editorial calendar. Note to self: be careful to follow adequate Internet etiquette and remind children not to share details about their personal life online.
2. Build a learning laboratory
Just like in Dexter’s Laboratory, a private space your child can feel comfortable and creative. In the evening, most of us try to have the best of both worlds – help kids with homework while cooking, washing the dishes, watching the news and even discussing with our partners. Still, children get easily distracted by noise and unnecessary technology. For this reason, help them create their own learning space, something that represents them 100%. May it be a colorful wall, inspirational paintings, a reading nook, or anything in between, try to make it happen. Don’t forget books, paper and writing utensils so kids remember this creativity hub is mostly about learning and schoolwork.
3. Play the teacher-student game
We have the highest retention rate of what we learn when we’re actually teaching others. Encourage your child to teach you or his smaller siblings whatever he learned during the day, in class or while researching for homework. Have him focus on the most important information they should be teaching you. Ask him questions as if you were a student. Not only that your child will be reinforcing his knowledge, but he will feel in control and accomplished for being able to help others. The fun part is that he will be the one giving feedback and grades, not the other way around!
4. Use the “Mozzart Effect”
There is evidence that listening Mozart’s music is likely to improve kids’ spatial-temporal reasoning. People might argue and say that study demands for a quiet environment without distractions. However, classical music is peaceful and harmonious. Listening to ambient instrumental music would also be a good idea. It’s more modern than classical but with a similar effect. Sounds of nature such as rain, waves, jungles or animals, can also do magic on kids’ focus. Moderate volume is the key. The louder it is, the more it will distract children. Time-saving tip: create playlists in advance to avoid having to search for a new song every 4 minutes.
5. Put screen time up for sale
In other words, phone, Internet, TV and video games. Yes, kids can earn more of this with every completed assignment. Create index cards of five up to 15 minute intervals to hand out every time they “turn in” an assignment. Remember to set up clear tech time rules: absolute no-screen times on several occasions (during class and family time, at the table, before bed ), kids need to ask a parent’s permission before downloading and posting online, no disclosure of personal information, etc.
6. Get in shape at the brain gym
Yale University researchers have shown that “brain-activation” games used as a warm-up before learning activities can boost children’s focus. Kick-off homework time with games that kids love: video games, Sudoku, Rubik’s cube, chess, Mancala, Kakuro, word search, Scrabble, etc.
Your main aim as a parent shouldn’t be to help kids with their homework, but to make the process less of a chore.This is vital. Homework actually means learning, which is not a one-off event. It requires repetition and dedication. Making it fun help will keep kids dedicated in the long run.