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In This Episode:
1st Tip: Routine
Is it difficult to fit homework into your busy schedules? Have you ever been up with your child at 10pm or later struggling to finish homework?
Scheduling a set time each day, preferably right after school, can help tremendously. Routines help people feel secure, safe, and in control. This holds especially true for children with focus issues struggling with homework productivity. A solid routine should look, feel, and sound the same each day.
- 4:00 pm Eat Snack, Drink Water, Take Shoes Off
- 4:10 pm Set Up Homework Materials (paper, pencils, pens, books, etc) in the same, distraction reduced/free place each day
- 4:30 pm Take a 1-2 Minute Stretch Break , Walk Around (Set Timer)
- 4:32 pm Resume Doing Homework (20 Minutes Later Take Another Break)
2nd Tip: Enjoyment
Do you ever feel like a “tyrant” parent at homework time? Yelling, threatening, and shaming your child into completing assignments, only to realize that success is costing you and your family happiness and feelings of his self-worth?
Upbeat, positive support during homework time makes the tasks easier to deal with, while utilizing energy for homework itself. Remember, our children will often reflect our mood as their own. So doing our best to keep itmpositive and cheerful can result in the same from them. However, the same is true for negativity. If we are grumpy, our child will likely mirror that as well.
3rd Tip: Visual Timer
Has your child ever continuously asked “When can I be done?” so many times that it inhibits her ability to focus on the task at hand?
A visual timer can help. Provide your child with some type of a visual timing device (i.e. clock, timer, etc.…). This reduces the distraction of time, which enhances focus. Here’s one that I recommend… Homework Time Tracker * an affiliate link for a product that I love!
4th Tip: Organized Space
Do you struggle to find a spot for your child to do homework?
Clutter can destroy motivation and productivity! Block off 30 minutes to create an organized space that minimizes distractions, allows for comfort, and is clutter free. Simply put, people are more productive in such environments. This will be time well spent.
5th Tip: Managed Movement
Do you ever find yourself continuously asking your child to sit down and get back to work? Do tolerance levels decrease while frustrations go through the roof?
Allowing your child to move can help. Sometimes standing at the table can help, sitting on balance ball chair, allowing for wiggling in the seat can help, especially for children with Attention Deficit Disorder. Some people have great success with putting painter’s tape to create boundaries for the child to move in, while remaining at their work station.
*here’s an affiliate link to an excise ball that I use with my kiddos Balance Ball Chair
6th Tip: Frequent Breaks
Have you ever tried to power through homework time, only to realize that it took 3 times the amount of time you estimated?
Frequent breaks can help. The benefit of frequent breaks should not be underestimated. A 1-2 minute stretch break can make children’s ideas flow more freely, allow for a release of pinned up energy, and help the brain to function more efficiently. Movement is SO helpful for brain function, especially for children with Attention Deficit Disorder. Time well spent, for sure!
7th Tip: Proximity for Productivity
Have you ever walked in to the room to find your child goofing off, when they were supposed to working on homework or studying?
There is no substitute for being physically close (remember to be respectful of his personal space) to him during this time. The amount of closeness varies depending on his needs, but in general there is no substitute for being there. Closeness demonstrates support, reduces the temptation to go off task, and allows you to help redirect and refocus as needed. It is important to know that some children thrive with 1 on 1, while others my just prefer you in the same room. Remember, to keep the closeness as a positive, not something to use as a punishment or shameful remark.
8th Tip: Distraction Free Zone to Increase Productivity
Does your child seem to take forever to finish a simple task or get easily frustrated when asked to get back to work?
Well, taking away distractions such as cell phones, tablets, televisions, games, people, etc… can be especially helpful. A distraction free workspace increases productive, on-task behaviors.
9th Tip: Positivity for Long-term Happiness and Self Worth
Have you ever yelled hurtful things to your child during homework time, leaving you feeling guilty, inadequate, and empty at the end of the day?
Well, you are not alone. As human beings, we are subject to our own emotional overloads as well. Knowing this can help you to mentally prepare for this time by saying positive statements to yourself and your child. Statements such as “I will remain calm”, “when I am calm, it helps her to be calm”, “I will do everything I can to set myself and my child up for homework success, but I will not expect perfection”, “Trying your best is all that I expect of you”, and such.
10th Tip: Praise vs Specific Statements to Repeat Wins
Do you ever find yourself saying “good job” only to wonder if it helps?
Specificity, makes a difference. Generic praise can sound fake and not produce the intended result of letting the child know that you like what they did, with the hopes of similar behavior in the future. Specific phrases such as, “You chose to finish your homework, now you get to go outside to play with your friends for an hour” not only lets her know exactly what to repeat, but it also teaches her that their choices have consequences good and bad, which is a wonderful lesson to learn.
11th Tip: Water / Healthy Snacks to Boost Brain Power
Has your child ever been cranky, sensitive, or unproductive during homework time?
Providing a healthy snack such as a fruit and/or vegetable, energy bar, and such can give him the extra needed boost to get them through the homework tasks. Many children on medication report not being hungry during the day, but by the time they get home they are famished. Also, water is essential. Skip on the sugary drinks. Water hydrates the brain, which helps her perform at her best.
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