My oldest son is in first grade this year, and although we’ve been lucky enough to have a teacher who does not give homework packets, she does want the kids reading each night. Their “homework” is to fill out a worksheet on what and how long they have read, as well as maybe draw a picture or write about one of the books. Her philosophy is that homework packets end up taking priority over the reading, and she wants reading to come first, which I totally support her in. Anyways, even with this little bit of “homework,” I’ve still been trying to figure out the best ways and times for Landon to fit it in with everything else we do after school – sports, art, playing with friends, etc.
Lucky for me, my assistant Jen is currently homeschooling her oldest, so I went to her looking for advice and wow, I just love the ideas she shared with me. So welcome back Jen to the blog with some great recommendations for making homework (however much you do or don’t have) a success . . .
Here in Northeast Ohio, September brings with it cooler nights, changing leaves, and all things pumpkin spice. School is back in full swing and whether you homeschool like we do or you send your children to a traditional school, getting kids to do their school work can be a challenge. Even my eager-to-learn daughter loses focus and besides having a lot of patience, it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are 3 of my favorite tips for making homework time a success:
1. Shake your sillies out!
Especially if homework is being done right after school, encourage your child to move their body. Moving their body motivates their brain. The same is true if your little monkey is struggling midway through their work. Often times we take a “brain break” and have a mini dance party ½ way through our lessons. It is a great mood booster and helps refocus my daughter on the next task. Other activities could include walking the dog, practicing a sport, or even doing an at-home workout with mom (it’s a win-win for you both). Check out Sara and Landon having a burpee contest – a great way to get refocused.
2. Create a homework-friendly atmosphere.
Our world and homes are so full of distractions. School work is hard enough for our kids & I have found having a dedicated homework area to be very helpful during school time. We are fortunate enough to have a homeschool room in our basement (created by my very handy husband – can we say keeper?), but any space can be turned into a quiet homework space. The best way to do this is to turn off all electronics that you don’t need for school, make sure other siblings are away from the area, use a well-lit spot, and have all of your necessary supplies within reach.
3. Fuel their minds with healthy snacks.
Our favorite snacks include homemade granola bites, apple slices with nut butter, almonds and cubes of cheese, cucumbers, and hummus, and whole wheat crackers & turkey pepperoni slices. It’s always good to have a glass of water available as well. Sara’s Fiber Filled Granola Bars are one of our favorites. I love them because they are free of refined sugar and are packed with protein.
I hope these tips bring you success like they have in my home. What other tips and tricks have helped during homework time for you?