When it comes to homework, timing is everything. Children need a break when they arrive home from school. They need afternoon tea, time to unwind and then, after some play, it is time for homework. If your children are too tired, postpone the reading until the morning. Children love to be in the midst of things, so it’s worth choosing a homework spot that is not isolated. If you’re nearby or doing something alongside your children, they will be easily persuaded to get stuck into their work. Doing homework in the same place each day, i.e. at the dining room table, formalises the activity with a time, a place and a setting. Some children are motivated knowing that after their homework is done, they can choose something else they would like to do.
Parents sometimes need to remember that they are not the ones doing the homework. Offering to help if it is needed is fine, but doing the work for your kids so it looks good is not setting them up for their own success and sense of achievement. Opportunities to learn are everywhere. Following your child’s interests can bring out the most wonderful discussions and learning because kids are curious to learn about things they find fascinating. They may pick up a dead monarch butterfly on the way home and, before you know it, they are asking questions, reading about life cycles and wanting to get their own swan plant.
Children pick up excitement and optimism when parents talk about school in a positive light. Your confidence is infectious. When children have love, support and the sense that they will do just fine, school can be a wonderful time in their life.