Ah homework. It’s a controversial subject for a lot of parents. Some love that their kids get it, some cringe and hate it. There are the inevitable fights said parents have with their children. Exceptional Parents feel the same way about homework for their children, though more often than not, it is a battle ground. It is already quite challenging for our kids in the classroom due to learning challenges and sensory issues, adding on homework pushes some of them practically over the edge. But it is necessary in many schools, and even helpful if done the right way. With Michael, he was excited to have homework at first, believe it or not. Yet finding the right time and mood to it in was another animal altogether.
We have now settled into a routine that works for us though. He does it right after snack usually, though the last two days we have been doing it in the morning as he has been getting up early. Prior to this, I had tried the snack, play then homework routine and it was disastrous. He was too tired to focus, yet also restless and cranky and it was too early for supper. Still, like with everything else, I am taking my cues from Michael as to his energy on a given night. As we all know our own children’s particular styles, I find the following tips work best to set good homework habits:
5 Tips for Good Homework Habits:
- Find a comfortable place: We use the dining room table and I have his markers, pencils and erasers all set to go in a corner for when he needs them.
- Make sure child is not hungry: This probably should be number 1. Think of how much you can learn or concentrate if your stomach is rumbling.
- Let the child decide the time (but with limit): As an example, after snack I gave Michael the chance to choose two routines: Option 1: snack, homework, play OR Option 2: snack, play, and homework early the next morning but no play time.
- Make learning fun: Depending what they are learning, try to adjust it to their learning style, if they need to move around find a way to teach and move with them, if they are visual and it is reading, try to use pictures to help them describe what it is happening.
- Praise them for a good job: Don’t be afraid to praise them for trying their best. This will help encourage them to want to do more.
Exceptional Parents, what have been some of the positive moments you’ve had with your Exceptional Children? It’s important to hold on to those moments when you are having a rough time in other moments in order to remember that things will get better. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods, and remember, give your child some choice, but with limits. Until next time.