Going back to school can be hard enough – not to mention the dreaded influx of homework assignments.
Instead of battling against the daily worksheets, essays and reading, students can breeze through their assignments and even enjoy the process.
Make homework fun!
Instead of just helping students finish their homework as quickly as possible, parents can find ways to help make the experience more enjoyable.
Parents can really help foster a love of learning in their children. If parents make assignments fun, it can be infectious.
Here are some tips to help children develop their cognitive skills – the mental tools that help them think, reason and pay attention:
1. Create a plan. Start by writing down a homework plan that includes timelines and goals. Use whatever tools are the most appealing to children: computer, notebook, giant calendar page, blackboard, sticky notes on the refrigerator door, even dry-erase markers on a window.
2. Get ready to work. Make sure your child has eaten before studying. Start with an after school snack and drink. Once the child is ready to work, create a specific space to do homework.
3. Break it down. If an assignment seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller parts. Also if the time required to do homework seems too long, add time for a break. Create a work schedule for the night if it helps and factor in a 15 minute break every hour.
4. Remember to reward. Create a reward system that works for your family and budget. Try “fun tickets” as a motivator – each time a child earns a reward, give a ticket toward a set goal: going to the movies, extra TV time or a special trip to the playground. Praise is another important award. Be generous, yet sincere. “Good Job” and “Way to go” go a long way to motivate!
5. Turn studying into a game. Math problems can become a fast-paced game. This builds cognitive skills and turn children into faster thinkers. Games can also be used to teach. For example, playing a form of charades can help children act out what a word or concept means. This builds comprehension and visual processing.
6. Let your child play teacher. Letting children teach you a skill or concept that they’re working on will improve their understanding of the concept and build logic and reasoning skills.
7. Get help if you need it. Teach children that it’s ok to ask for help. Sometimes reaching out to a teacher can provide the necessary guidance so children can feel confident about their work.
8. If problems persist, or you are noticing that it’s taking a long time for your child to learn a new concept, consider having their cognitive skills tested. Cognitive testing will pinpoint the source of a child’s learning problems. That low skill can then be strengthened, leading to more efficient and quicker thinking. Weak cognitive skills can really affect a child’s ability to learn. These skills can be built up through proven training methods and those learning issues can be remedied. Strong mental skills will not only help children do schoolwork faster and better, it can actually help them become smarter.
But remember, the most important thing to do is adopt a fun attitude. Your kids take their cues from you.
Guest Post Provided by Nancy Pim. Nancy is the Owner and Director of LearningRx in West Des Moines & Ankeny (515-224-4819). Bio: Prior to becoming involved with LearningRx, I was a public school teacher. Every year, there were several students in my classroom that struggled to learn the content I was presenting. Smaller groups, enabling the help of specialized teachers or our local AEA, and enlisting the help of their dedicated parents did little to impact their progress. I always knew that these students were not struggling because they lacked intelligence, but their issues remained a mystery. After I discovered LearningRx, their struggles made sense and I am excited to be a part of the permanent solution to learning issues.