By Ghazal Alagh
So, you’ve survived sleepless nights and the terrible twos. Your child is finally going to school. But wait, that opens up a whole world of new challenges, homework being the most dreaded by both, the kids and parents. However, homework is a crucial part of their school life and doing the homework diligently everyday will not only ensure quicker learning at school but also instill a sense of responsibility in them. As parents, it is our duty to encourage them to finish their homework, mostly on their own, and before the submission deadline. Here are some tips on how you can manage your kid’s homework effectively in your busy schedule.
Keep a fixed homework time
Fix their homework hours and stick to it. Your kid must understand that the time is reserved only for completing the homework and they cannot indulge in any other activities during that time. If they continue to follow the same schedule for a few days, they will eventually accept those hours as homework time and will not be distracted by other activities. The schedule may vary for each kid, depending on their needs and individual attention span. If your kid feels drowsy after lunch, it is better to fix their homework time after a nap. Of course, if the homework requires long working hours, it is necessary to take multiple short breaks in between.
Teach your kids the importance of time management
This is an important skill, not just for completing the homework, but for every other task they take up in their life. You should encourage them to inform you about assignments and projects as soon as they get them and the first thing you should do together is to take note of the submission date. Then help your kid realistically decide how many hours will be required to complete a particular project and ensure it is completed within those pre-decided hours.
Make use of calendar apps and reminder services
Technology is here to save the day (and our time), why not use it to our advantage to get the homework completed on time? There are some projects that are required to be completed over a month’s time. Set a weekly reminder on your phone and check your kid’s progress every week. Calendars are a great way to keep track of deadlines of multiple projects so that you don’t have to struggle all night before the due date.
Get involved but not completely
You should let your child know that you will be there to help them whenever they get stuck but refrain from doing their entire homework. Let them figure out a solution on their own first, but if you notice that they’ve spent too much time on a particular problem without getting any closer to the solution, start by dropping a few hints. When your child is doing their homework, you don’t need to sit with them the whole time, go on to do your own work, just keep checking on them once in a while.
Your kids are very likely to follow the example you set. If you constantly whine about how much homework they have been getting, they will start dreading it too. From the beginning itself, encourage them to do their homework every day by taking interest in their assignments and tests, and making yourself available for their questions and concerns. Set up a homework-friendly area and keep distractions at bay. Don’t forget to praise them when they complete a difficult project on their own or do well in exams.
(The writer is Co-founder of MamaEarth.)