The school year has started and with it the battle to get energetic kids, ready to play after a long day of school, to sit down and do their homework. This battle can be particularly difficult with restless children, so here are some homework tips some parents have found to be helpful.
Top Homework Tips For Parents With Restless Kids
1. Help Kids Release Some Energy
Whether a child has a lot of energy or struggles with paying attention, providing an outlet for that energy and impulse to get up and walk away can do wonders at helping a child focus on his or her school work. Try having your student sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair at the desk or table. Other options would be to tie an exercise band on the desk or chair where the student can pull and play with it with their feet or perhaps giving them some chewing gum, which has been found to organize the nervous system. Whatever you try, make sure it is a small movement that can be done subconsciously, so your student is able to give full attention to their homework.
2. Provide Motivation
We all need motivation to get tasks completed, especially if the task seems difficult or boring. Avoid bribing or begging your child to do their homework, but rather, set clear ground rules for when they get home from school, such as they can play with their friends after their homework is done. If your son or daughter seems to struggle with time management in particular, try setting a timer for 30 minutes and asking them to see how much they can get done before the timer goes off. When trying this approach, be sure the quality of the work doesn’t suffer, but rather the time limit serves as a motivator to focus and work in an efficient manner.
3. Be Available
Frustration at not understanding a homework assignment or being unable to get help can lead to stress and feelings of helplessness. The best way to help with this is to be available to your student as they are doing homework, so they can ask questions and get help when they need it. If your child is unwilling to accept your help, they may benefit from a tutor or homework buddy who can answer their questions.
4. Limit Distractions
Distractions are particularly problematic for kids with ADHD or other learning disabilities. Try to set aside a quiet room with few visual distractions for your child to work in. Classical music and white noise has been found to be helpful in some situations. For teenagers, take away the cellphone and social media until their homework is completed. Giving students a snack with protein and complex carbs will keep them to focus on school work not an empty stomach, and most importantly, keep the TV off.
5. Adapt to Your Child’s Needs
Every child learns differently, so the most important thing to remember is to adapt to your child’s needs when figuring out how to help them get homework done. Perhaps your child would benefit from online tutoring or educational apps if they enjoy computer games. In addition, talk with your child’s teacher about the homework load. Sometimes the amount of time a teacher is thinking an assignment will take ends up being twice as long, so let them know if it is getting to be too much. For students with special needs, a continuing conversation with the teacher as well as counselors will go a long way to ensuring a happy school year both for the parents and for the child.