by Rachel Wells
It’s wonderful when kids sit nice and do their schoolwork, but for kids, schoolwork really is work, and often they would rather be doing anything else. So, if you have a reluctant learner who spends more time complaining than completing tasks – how can you help?
First things first, start with a conversation and ask your child why they don’t like doing their schoolwork and if there is anything they would like to change at home to make completing schoolwork easier – this keeps communication open and lets them know they have a voice. You may find the problem is something simple like “I’m hungry” “I’m too tired” “I just want to play” “My little sister is making too much noise” – all of which can be easily solved.
While every child is different, and what works for one is not guaranteed to work for another, the following ideas can make schoolwork a little easier for everyone.
Here are ten ways you can make schoolwork a little more fun and cut down on the complaining.
Use a checklist
Make a list for your child of what needs to be completed that they can physically check off as they go. This gives kids freedom because they can complete tasks in any order without forgetting anything, and it’s all laid out ahead of time.
Use fun supplies
Don’t underestimate the power of glitter pens or smelly markers. Sometimes just switching up supplies can really make solving math problems or writing spelling words a lot more captivating.
Some kids may work better in the morning, and some may work better in the afternoon. Talk to your child about when they think they are best able to focus and compromise on a schoolwork time that works for them.
Brain breaks are good for everyone. Give short 5-minute breaks after every 30 minutes of schoolwork your child completes.
Snacks can make a world of difference for kids in being able to focus on schoolwork. Try setting up a special snack bin with favorite treats that are only available during schoolwork time.
Chewing bubblegum while studying has also been proven to help with focus and retaining information.
Take it outside
Who said schoolwork had to be done indoors? Head outside and do some work under the shade of a tree or on a blanket near a park. Bring some chalk and you can even do your work on the sidewalk instead of on paper.
Kids weren’t meant to sit still for long periods of time. Incorporate some physical activities into their schoolwork.
- Have your child do a jumping jack for each letter they say when they practice spelling words.
- Hide math facts around the house like a scavenger hunt for your child to find the problems and solve.
- Use songs that teach skills with movement.
Set a routine
It takes time to create study habits, so it’s important to create a schedule that works for your child and most importantly – stick to it!
Break it down
Some kids do much better when “chunking” a project down into smaller steps, or spreading an assignment out across multiple days.
A light at the end of the tunnel
Plan a fun activity to do together when your child finishes their schoolwork. It’s a little reward for both of you!