Monday, July 11, 2011

How to Get Kids to do their Homework

Is it difficult to get your child to sit down after school or over the summer and work on homework or enrichment materials? Do they put up resistance, maybe to the point you give in and give up  trying to make them work? Here is one of the best tools to keep children on track when doing school work at home.

What? A timer? Yes, a timer will make a world of difference when kids are working on school work at home. A common mistake that parents make during homework time is that they expect their kids to sit down for too long of a period of time. And kids automatically think that homework will take a long time and they won't be able to play with friends or watch television afterward. But, research has given us a guideline as to how much time kids should be expected to work on homework each night after school. The rule is 10 multiplied by the grade they are in. For example, a second grader should come home to 20 minutes of homework, a third grader to thirty minutes and so on.
Using a timer during your homework routine reinforces to children that this work is not going to last forever, like they are imagining. In fact, 20 minutes goes by quite fast, and they can keep checking the timer and seeing how much time is left. We've shown you a picture of one of our favorite timers, mainly because it is easy for kids to set themselves and it counts down.
Other helpful hints are to make sure that children have used the restroom and quenched their thirst before the timer starts. When the timer is counting down, they should be seated and working. Also, they should have enough materials to be able to work until the timer beeps. If your child works quickly, make sure they have a journal or a silent reading book that they can transition into if there is any time left after their work is complete.

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