Back to school: 5 easy ways to make the homework routine more fun
It has been a long break from school, routines – and homework.
And now it is all coming back with a bang – whether we are ready or not.
If you are fearing the homework stress in the afternoon (we know we are!), this might be the saving grace for all of us.
The good news is that making homework time a little more fun for everyone involved is not hard. And carving this chore into something you all will enjoy doing together, is bound to make homework time both more inspiring and productive - for them AND you.
Here are five things to try for a more tear-free and happy homework routine:
1. Create a cool workspace
Sitting down to do homework in the same space every time will help your children focus. It will also make it easier to keep pencils, paper and crayons to a minimum other places, which is always a good thing. And remember that our surroundings are important, so try to make the space, even if all we are talking about is a little nook in your kitchen, as inviting and fun as possible. Cute or cool stationery, a comfy chair and clips for hanging reminders and artwork are always a good bet.
Try to tailor the space to your kids' ages as much as possible. While younger children need more space for arts, crafts and DIY project involving glue and glitter, older kids will love a more grown-up and teenager-y style, with more focus on desk space and ways to organise time and deadlines.
2. Use visible boards and lists
Kids - like yourself - love the gratification it gives to be able to cross something off once it's done. DIY a timetable (one for each child if you have more than one!) where you write out homework due in or other things and tasks that have to be tackled. PS: Typing up and posting some encouraging messages (or little jokes!) are a sweet way to keep their motivation topped up!
3. Winning tickets
We all love to win things, right? So why not make homework (and other chores!) even more enticing by giving out little prize tickets for completed work? Your kids can spend these on rewards like iPad time, TV-time, baking with mum, a trip to the cinema, or even save up for other rewards.
4. Brain warm-up
To ease into homework time, why not set aside a few minutes for a little puzzle or game to get you started? Story cubes (shop-bought or home-made) are brilliant for getting kids to use their imagination, and alphabet puzzles and other similar games will work on their reading and spelling.
5. Make time to move
Kids - and adults - spend way too much time sitting, and not enough time moving our bodies. So make sure you schedule in breaks between assignments where you all do some stretches, a few jumping jacks or even a round of head, shoulder, knees and toes! That will get your blood flowing to limbs and brains, and as a bonus: it burns calories too!