I remember when I was in first grade and I’d ask my teacher for homework. It sounded so “grown-up” to have “homework”.
But it didn’t take long for me to learn that homework was no fun. Like most kids, I began to dread it. I joined the armies of kids fighting their parents to watch another show and put off homework a little longer.
Now my oldest child is in first grade and already I’m hearing, “I don’t want to do my homework.”
Personally I was shocked to find out that these days six year olds are actually sent home daily with homework. In the old days, I was just a six year old liking the sound of the word. Some parents buy educational toys for their kids, but I wanted to find a way that does not cost money.
So over the last few months, I’ve been reading ideas and tips from homeschooling blogs to inspire my own “teaching” creativity.
I’m pleased to report that (most days) we’ve been having success.
Here are three tricks I’ve found to work:
1. Invent Games
Julia’s main homework task these days is learning spelling words. Each Monday she brings home a list of ten words to learn for a test on Friday. Thanks to inspiration from Pinterest, I continually make up new games with the words. For example, making a deck of matching cards with the words and playing Go Fish. For older children, you could together create a trivia game with their history homework and watch your children enjoy beating their parents. It takes some creativity on your part, but if you can turn the learning into a game, homework time can be family game time.
2. Bring In The Family
Depending on your family size and children’s ages, you may be able to crank up the fun by involving other family members. For example, tonight I had a tough time with Julia complaining that she didn’t want to do her homework. So within earshot, I asked her four-year-old sister if SHE wanted to play Julia’s homework games. We started to play and I called out to Julia that Sophia needed her help. She came over and we finished the game.
3. Be Flexible
At the early ages, I think the most important lesson is that homework is fun. The more kids feel forced to do it and punished if they don’t do it on schedule, the harder it will be to motivate them. It’s ideal to pick a routine time to do homework, but if something interferes or the child is exceptionally tired, work around it. Avoid a homework war.