I’ll never forget the first time I got assigned homework. I felt like an adult! And then, I never stopped getting assigned homework - which stopped being fun throughout middle school and high school. My parents, noticing the importance of homework and how it can contribute to the understanding of materials, implemented the following strategies to help me enjoy my homework rather than dread it.
1. Healthy snacks for reading time.
Kids pay attention more easily if they have something to snack on. Following advice from one of my Language Arts teachers, my parents would give me healthy snacks like grapes and Triscuits to snack on while doing my assigned reading. Not only did it help me look forward to reading time, but it was enjoyable to read with a light snack.
Some recent studies share that eating protein while reading or studying can help brain levels. Cubes of cheese are great for this.
2. Grade Incentives
Next, there’s no reason why homework shouldn’t get an A. Many homework assignments are completion based, too. I recommend making a “star chart” where your child gets a star for every A or A+ they get on a homework assignment. Then, perhaps if they reach 30 stars, they get to host a slumber party or visit a museum they’ve always wanted to go to.
“Since humans are happiest when making progress, your kids will feel more invested in the homework process and how it contributes to a larger goal,” said Callum Davies, CEO of Illuminate Digitl. “Working towards something that excites them will invest them more in the results, helping them understand the material better, too.”
The incentives will depend on what your child wants - maybe it’s even something big, like getting their ears pierced. This will also incentivize them to pay attention more closely in class so that the homework is easier for them.
3. “Family Work Time”
Finally, eliminate potential distractions by deeming a certain few hour block in the afternoon or evenings as “Family work time.” This means everyone works on what they have to do silently. Perhaps you can read a book or catch up on emails while the kids are working on their homework. Without their siblings running around or distracted, or the distractions of you coming in and out of the house or preparing dinner, the mood of the house will feel more focus-based. Think of it as a family study hall!
Helping your children enjoy homework is a lifelong skill that will serve them as they grow up.