Homework, Homework, Homework! Kids get tired of this most of the time and parents even more from convincing their children to do their school homework. Though we parents need to encourage our kids to finish their school projects, assignments and readings, we too sometimes get weary in pushing them to do it. So how can we help them get over this sluggishness without you becoming stressed as well?
In order to deal with their negative approach towards homework, it is better to understand why they don’t like it in the first place. Addressing the concern through understanding their behavior would help us deal with the situation better than just pushing and expecting our children to just be a good kid and follow our command.
Reason 1: Too many distractions
Especially with the number of available entertainment ranging from the shows on television to gadgets, computer games etc. and having played some of the games myself, it could be really addicting and one that you could not wait to finish but also a never-ending game.
What to do: For this concern, limit their time in playing video games or watching TV. Instead use this as an advantage by giving it as a reward that if they’ve finished their homework they can watch or play their video games. Until, maybe, they’re mature enough to handle this, gadgets, computers and television should be in a family entertainment room and never in their individual rooms. This would help us parents also monitor what they are watching or playing.
Reason 2: Limited Time
This is still in connection to above reason. A reported study done by Kaiser Family Foundation shows that kids spend at most 7 to 8 hours a day in front of television, computer, smartphone or any digital device. This shows that the more kids are exposed to this entertainment tool, the more the distraction is and the more they would be irritant or only has half of their attention towards their assignment or homework so they could get back to playing or watching.
What to do: Limit their exposure to these entertainment tools and uncompromisingly monitor their homework. Do not give in just because they had finished their assignment. They might have completed it in a hurry so they could go back to playing but might not have fully understood the lessons that they are supposed to learn. Do some question and answer activity to check if they really understood.
Reason 3: Lack of Understanding for Studying
Most kids do not understand why they go have to go to school. Soon they will feel it is more obligatory instead of feeling it a privilege of learning. It becomes a routine that they could take for granted as it is given to them freely.
What to do: Parents should never get tired of motivating kids to have fun learning in school. Constantly (but not every day) excite them on what they will get from going to school. There had been a lot of studies to help us make our kids understand some of the reasons. As detailed by Manali Oak of Why Education is important you expand some of his lists: It gives knowledge, it leads to career progression, it builds character, it leads to enlightenment, and it helps a nation progress. To help them realize this, asking them questions like “So how was your seatmate today?” the response might even also help you learn the attitude of your kids towards other people. From there, you can do some encouragement. If from our example your kid responded, “My seatmate forgot to bring her pen so I lend her some of my spare pens”, you can always praise them and end it by saying, you can only find some of these experiences in school. This way, they will be more motivated to go back to school and eventually be more enthusiastic towards their homework as well.
Reason 4: Parents attitude towards their Child’s Homework
Sometimes we do not realize that the cause of our child’s lack of interests in doing their homework comes from our approach on it as well. It is understood that all those basic math problems, simple grammar build-up, chanting ABC, etc, can tests our patience as we are already way beyond that and our impatience towards this will reflect in our way of telling our children to study. Or as emphasized by the study conducted by Trent International, parents also tend to pressure kids to get good grades thus “he gets no emotional or behavioral support but just this feeling that homework is all in life, then he starts hating it. As such, children develop this hatred as reaction to parent’s behavior towards it.”
What to do: If you’ve set a specific schedule for your study time with your kid, before facing them, take a look at your mood first. Set aside any emotions brought about by pressures from work, unfinished chores, other matters that is outside of your child’s concern, etc. and be unselfish, like a different person altogether with the sole role or purpose of helping your child do better in school through his homework.
Reason 5: Homework is boring
Unlike the waiting gadgets and the entertaining shows on tv, homework, for kids, are tedious. All those worksheets, boring paper works are no match to their play thing. Thus making the kids hate homework even more because it banned them from playing their favorite game.
What to do: Improvise. Use all creative skills you got to help the learning process fun and entertaining. There are no rules that say you cannot use any other method of fun learning as approach to teaching your kids. So take out all that you got in your minds or you can research for more ideas and play! Make it light and interesting. It might help your kids love homework more because you’re bonding and learning at the same time.
Our role in of our child’s education is the very essence of your child’s growth. In his article Importance of Family Involvement, S.K. Adams Baronberg quoted “When parents are involved, students achieve more, exhibit more positive attitudes and behavior, and feel more comfortable in new settings.” Teachers might play an important role but it is our attitude of support that helps our children love schooling. As the Native American Saying goes “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.”