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Positive Parenting: How to Ease the Pain of Homework
By Emma Grace Brown
Sometimes the best way to help your child with homework is to understand your feelings about it. Before you jump into a new school year, think about your attitude toward homework. Do you view homework as another chore on your to-do list? Do you cringe at the thought of homework? Maybe you have flashbacks to your own homework days.
Whatever your attitude, it impacts how your child views homework. Take a moment to evaluate your feelings. It may not be a pleasant experience, but you will be in a better place to implement the following painless homework strategies.
As Kids First Pediatric Partners explains, homework is not just about learning, but also about responsibility. Your child -- not you -- is responsible for completing her assignments. That doesn't mean you can't help.
Online help is available for a myriad of subjects at all grade levels. There are apps, tutorials, and videos designed to help students understand the material without parental help. If your child is more of a visual learner, look for help that shows rather than tells how to solve a problem. For younger children, apps can help them learn a concept by doing. You’re sure to find the perfect solution with a bit of surfing!
Also, to avoid frustration on both your and your child’s part, make sure you have an appropriate device for making use of these resources. For example, the latest iPad 10.2 is an excellent device for homework help. It has a generous, clear display, long battery life, and as much memory and power as a desktop version - but is small and lightweight for optimal portability. Just be sure to get a durable case that can offer enough protection in the event of drops and spills.
If an Apple product isn't for you, there are plenty of Android alternatives to choose from, such as the Surface Pro. Laptop Mag points out it offers a colorful, bright display, long battery life, and comfortable keyboard so users can choose between the touch screen and typing.
There is an abundance of options out there, so examine your child’s needs and priorities, and ensure there are tools to match.
Set a Routine
As Verywell Family explains, it’s important to give your child a say in her homework routine. She may be a child who arrives home and is ready to tackle her homework right away. Don't be surprised if she needs some downtime. Maybe a snack if she's hungry or some playtime to decompress.
You may need a different routine, depending on the day. Your children may have after-school activities that require adjustments to the regular routine. Make sure those are accounted for in the homework schedule. A weekly routine may be a better option than a daily one.
Talk it over, and write down the agreed-upon routine. Then make sure it is available for caregivers as well as family. Ask your child to put the schedule somewhere she can always find it. Remember, every child is different, so you may have multiple routines to incorporate into an overall family schedule.
Take a Break
Homework meltdowns are sure to happen. Even you as a parent may experience a meltdown or two! When meltdowns happen, it's time to take a break. If you find your own emotions topping out, take a break. Let your child know you need a break and why. Then, step away until you’re in a better mindset. How long is needed depends on how severe the meltdown, but ten minutes is an excellent place to start.
Crying is nature's way of saying I've had enough. When your child bursts into tears, a hug may be sufficient to settle her down. Once your child is settled, ask her where she is having difficulty. Explaining the problem may be enough to get your child back on track. If your child needs to vent, don’t talk and just listen. Don't try to fix the problem; just let her know you understand.
Homework can be challenging to parents and kids in many ways. Ensure you have the tools and resources necessary for success, set a routine, and maintain a healthy attitude. With these strategies in place, you can count on things going more smoothly overall.