After a busy day at work the last thing that most parents want to do is sit down and write out spelling words, do timetables and complete projects. But this is exactly what our children need us to do to set them up for success as they progress through their schooling years.
Below I have listed a few points that will help you to establish good study routines;
1. Give them a break 6 hours at school is a big day for young children, particularly if they have been to before and/or afterschool care. When your children come home allow them to have some ‘down time’, this should be between 30mins and an hour. Read a book, play in the garden, ride their bike, play with lego, X-box, watch some TV or anything else that they enjoy doing. Once they have had this time then offer to help them with their homework.
Let them have some 'down time'. Image courtesy of Flickr - mikebaird
2. Start early - sit with them when they are young Starting a routine for homework can begin when your children starts day care or preschool. After day care I sit with my 2.5yo son at our kitchen bench and share some afternoon tea. We then do a drawing and write his name on large sheets of coloured paper with brightly coloured textas. I then start dinner whilst he continues to draw. We continue the discussion about what he is drawing and periodically I also add to his picture.
Start them early.
Give them a space The kitchen bench or table is a good place to start when your children are young, it is informal and allows you to watch and interact with your child whilst they are working (it also allows you to multi-task) . As they get older and their homework demands become more rigorous it is important to provide them with a quiet space to complete their work. This could be in a family study, in their bedroom or any other space where the noise is limited and the student feels comfortable. The space should be tidy as well as clutter and distraction free.
Study space should be tidy as well as clutter and distraction free. Image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Study_(room)
Limit their Time Young children often rush their homework and older children often get bogged down. Limit the time for homework to manageable blocks. For young children it may be 2 lots of 10 mins, 10mins for writing and maths and then 10mins for reading. Older children in high school will benefit from having a break every 30 - 45mins. For children who are studying for long periods particularly in years 11 and 12 they should get up from their desk and walk around and refocus their eyes on a distant object. The breaks should be short, 5 – 10 mins before the children return to their work.
These are just a few strategies to get your children on track with their daily homework demands. Remember after a full day at work the last thing we want to do is more work, kids are no different!