There are very few people, that I am aware of, who enjoy homework. For most, homework is a tiring, stressful, painful and every other negative connotative feeling you can think of. After a long day at school, it can be fairly annoying to come to more writing, reading, studying, research and project work. Also, considering the fact that a person cannot possibly be passionate about every subject he is taught, it is difficult to cultivate the motivation to even start homework. But there are a number of ways to get kids pumped up for homework time, and these are rather simple, minimal and easy ways too.
- Attractive Work Space
I think everyone likes beautiful or pleasing aesthetics. Being in a bright and visibly attractive workspace motivates children to study. For younger kids, bright, colourful and vibrant spaces make them enthusiastic. Whereas, for the older children, making adult like work spaces with a lot more desk space and sleek, neat looking accessories help motivate them. Working in an area that is pleasing to the eye has been proven to push kids to sit down at their table and study.
- Pre-Homework Games
Kids are easily distracted; maybe a warm up will work well for them. Getting them to play some educational board games, card games or word games (depending on their area of interest) can get them enthusiastic enough to want to study. If they do well in the games, they will feel confident enough to sit down and complete their work. This will help them focus on their work since they will have just finished playing a game. It is difficult to go from having fun outdoors to sitting down and doing homework which is why an educational game offers a good buffer system.
- Activity Breaks
For hyper-active children it is key to give them enough breaks to just run around and be kids. Usually kids with ADHD/ADD find it difficult concentrating on one thing for too long. In order to make sure that they focus fully whenever they do study, give them breaks in between each assignment that they complete to vent out all their pent up energy. This will prove to be rather effective with kids who have a hard time sitting in one place for an extended period of time. Activity breaks can include an educational game as well, just so that they do not lose focus completely and it keeps them in check. Do not let them forget that they still have work to finish.
- Use Boards
It is rather easy to get bored when doing homework which is why boards can be helpful. A soft board with fun stuff stuck to it makes it easier to remember not only what work is to be done but also makes things colourful and fun. Whiteboards can be used too to keep a track of things. Having a board segregated into ‘to-do’ and ‘done’ sections can be more than slightly satisfying. Ticking things off or jotting them down in the ‘done’ section of the board will leave kids leaving accomplished. Also, when they see the ‘to-do’ section shrinking they will want to clear it up as soon as possible.
- Do Not Push Too hard
Every child has varying potential. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, but sometimes it isn’t as easy and some children find it hard coping or catching up with certain assignments or subjects. When this happens push your child to do their best but never push them too far. When you have seen that they have put in their best effort but they are still unable to progress, allow them to give up for the time being. Take a break, sleep on it, and take a walk; allow them to get back to it later with a fresh mind and a new point of view or approach to the subject. Never give them more than they can handle at a time.
- Screen Time
In the age of technology one of the best rewards for a child is screen time. After each assignment they complete allow them some screen time. Be it a game or a cartoon; allow them to do their favourite thing as a reward for a job well done. Kids always work better when they know there is a reward waiting for them at home.
Just like an overpriced gaming parlour hands out tickets for achieving a certain score or level in a game. Hand out tickets for every assignment completed in a week. For five tickets maybe they get a fancy pen or pencil, for fifty tickets maybe they get a new case or bag, for two hundred and fifty tickets they can get something they have been wanting for a really long time. When they earn the things they really want, they appreciate it more. It always gives them a goal to work towards.
- Using Music
Many kids work really well with music. For younger kids educational songs work because even though some of them think they aren’t paying attention, catchy tunes help them focus and remember words and numbers, etc. Many older teens and children enjoy listening to music while completing math homework. The music in the background helps them focus on what is in front of them.
- Instilling Reading Values
Studying is comparatively a lot more fun and a lot easier if you love to read. This is why it is necessary from a very young age to instil the love for words and reading in a child because they will always be curious about facts and words and this will help and encourage them to enjoy homework time a lot more. If they dislike reading, studying and completing assignments becomes ten times more difficult than it usually would be.
- Sticking To A Routine
While most kids are haphazard, routines are absolutely essential. Creating and sticking to a routine will keep them grounded and get them into the habit of doing regular homework without a complaint. Make sure that their schedules revolve around their homework and meals once they get back from school. This will ensure that no matter how much fun they are having, at a certain point, they will have to come back and complete the work for that day.
- Group study
While it can be distracting, once kids get set into a routine, group study is rather beneficial. They help each other understand things that the other does not know and manage to keep homework fun and a lot of the time complete work a lot faster than expected. This is usually more beneficial for older kids since they have a greater capacity to focus and concentrate, whereas younger children get distracted a lot easier.
- Create a Helpful Environment
Do not scare your kids into thinking that they cannot approach you. Be fun and welcoming and make sure that they understand that they can come to you when they do not need know or understand anything without being afraid that you may reproach them. Do not do their work for them but explain certain things to them they have difficulty understanding. Try to make it as fun and interesting as possible and understand their weaknesses so that you can assist them better and root out problems.
- Having Fun Teachers
Kids loving doing the homework that their favourite teachers assign. They have fun in that class and understand and are able to communicate with those teachers better and thus those teachers instil a love for a particular subject in their students. Having good teacher’s helps in creating responsible and focused students who intend on achieving their dreams. This kind of support system is essential and if you see any animosity of a child towards a teacher, tries to find out why and tackle the situation appropriately.
- No Yelling
Do not force your child or yell at them to do their homework. This may work for a while but eventually they will become stubborn and they will never produce their best work. Everything will be subpar when they are capable of a lot more quality in their homework. Encourage and motivate them the best way you know how. Make them want to study instead of having them do it simply because they see it as a compulsory thing to do and there is no way around it because eventually they will find a way around it.
- Break it down
Teach your kids how to summarize or break down certain topics into points. This will make things a lot easier to remember. It will look like a lot less work as well and they will feel willing enough to complete it.
Above all else, remember that each child has a capacity of their own and you must find a way to work according to and around their strengths and weaknesses. This will help them find a way to do their best work and not feel like homework is work at all.