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Monday, June 30, 2008

Some tips to help your child to do homework.

In my house, most of the home work help has been offered by mom all these days but now since we have two school going kids and also the older is becoming strong willed, mom thought that it might be better for dad to help out the older one while she helps the younger one.

I just started helping Lydia in her homework and found few tips (well….you may already know some of these) that I thought you might like to incorporate in your child’s home work also.

First, I figured that her concentration is one hundredth of a millisecond and we wanted to address that. We did three things. Sitting away from the TV in a quiet and secluded place to do homework, closing her eyes (blocking the visual stimuli) when required to concentrate on something, and also waking up in the morning to do her homework.

Second, breaking down the complexity of homework. My daughter finds it hard to concentrate on complex tasks. For example, we have been teaching her phonics to learn to spell in English but she finds it hard when the word gets lengthier. We reduced this stress by doing two things. Breaking down tasks and doing associations. For example to learn a word PLANTS, we had to break the word “PL” and “ANTS” because she knows ‘ants’ spelling already and when associate and say “There are ants in the plants”, she got the word fairly easily.

Thirdly, learning by visualization. I figured that my daughter’s mental comprehension on verbal command is limited compared visual display. For example, when she was reciting a word based on phonics, we decided that she is going to do it five times. I held up five fingers and kept folding one finger each time she recited the word. When I forgot to fold it, she said “Daddy fold your finger”. She enjoyed keeping a tab on me.

Fourth, learning with positive reinforcement. Well….you may remember our high five moments experience, now it is becoming a routine that every time they do something they want high five’s. It is so simple, yet has tremendous effect on the child to think that her effort has been appreciated.

Lastly, you need to have lot (I mean plenty) of patience to help a child to do her homework. Incorporate play, being assertive are few other qualities that you might find it helpful.

Let your child also understand that going to school is not to pass but to learn. You can do this by saying: “I want you to give a good try but If you don’t get all the spellings correct, don’t get mad at yourself or at your teacher”. When I said this, my daughter’s response was “you won’t be mad at me also?” This is important because you don’t want to set a stage for your child to fail when she doesn’t perform for any reason.

Failing is part and parcel of life and passing is not everything.

How is it in your house? Do you have any ideas to share?


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