Most kids prefer pretty much any activity over homework. In most homes, it presents some form of argument or negotiation to encourage your child to complete the “dreaded task.” Experts say it takes 3 weeks to begin to form a new habit, so for the next 3 weeks, if homework is a battle, try to implement some new techniques consistently.
Children (and adults) focus more when they are able to read or see directions. Try utilizing a visual cue, such as a schedule or checklist, to serve as a prompt for your child. This cue helps them set a beginning and end point of their homework, and feel more accomplished and confident in finishing their assignments.
If your child is an escape artist, and can find any excuse in the book to avoid homework, try to limit their requests. Make sure you have a snack and water set up for your child before starting homework. Make sure all of their homework “tools” are set up (pencils sharpened, extra erasers, etc.) Try to eliminate any distractions, such as background noise and televisions that may affect your child’s focus.
Finally, if your child struggles with sitting and focusing for long periods of time, try breaking their homework into short, manageable steps. Write out a homework schedule with breaks for them to get a drink, listen to their favorite song or take a brief walk. Make sure it is time limited, so they are able to transition back into their homework without a fight. If they know they are going to have to do math problems 1-5, and then get a 2 minute break, they are more likely to get through problems 1-5.
Visual Cues, structure and breaks=homework managed.
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