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Because of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, 2020 was a dif­fi­cult year all across the globe, but per­haps in no set­ting were those dif­fi­cul­ties more mag­ni­fied than at home, when par­ents were try­ing to help their chil­dren under­stand and adapt to remote learn­ing and how they could get their home­work done and sent to school. The class­rooms’ super­vised set­ting van­ished dur­ing the pan­dem­ic in many coun­tries, and par­ents were forced to guide chil­dren through lessons while sit­ting at, per­haps, the din­ing room table after sup­per. It was­n’t ide­al for any­one, as edu­ca­tors, chil­dren and par­ents quick­ly discovered. how to get your kid to do homework l how to get child to focus on homework l how to get kid to do homework l getting kids to do homework l how to get kid to do homework Now, thanks to pub­lic health mea­sures like social dis­tanc­ing and mask-wear­ing, along with the roll-out of vac­cines right around the world, kids are grad­u­al­ly going back to school for their in-per­son class­es, and just about every­one has breathed a huge, col­lec­tive sigh of relief that, for the most part, things are get­ting back to some kind of normal. That means that your chil­dren are, once again, bring­ing home home­work, and they’ve got to get it done and sub­mit­ted often by the fol­low­ing day or week. They may not be see­ing their teach­ers online any­more, but they still have to com­plete assign­ments out­side of a school set­ting. And that means that the din­ing room table might still be the spot they land in order to get that work done in the evening. Is that ide­al? How can you help? What’s the best strat­e­gy for see­ing to it that your chil­dren suc­ceed, par­tic­u­lar­ly after such a tough year in 2020?

how to get your kid to do homework l how to get child to focus on homework l how to get kid to do homework l getting kids to do homework l how to get kid to do homework

We’ve got some sug­ges­tions for you, ideas that can help your chil­dren suc­cess­ful­ly com­plete their home­work with as lit­tle aggra­va­tion – from them and you! – as possible.  Try a few (or all), and you’ll see your child is calmer, more effi­cient at home­work, and just gen­er­al­ly less stressed out about school. And that’s a good thing, right?

1) Give Them An Area That’s All Their Own When It’s Homework Time

Your child (or teen) needs to be able to com­plete­ly focus on the tasks at hand. That means no tele­vi­sion blar­ing in the cor­ner that pulls away their atten­tion and dis­tracts them. If you can’t set them up in their own study or den, design a cor­ner in their bed­room that has a desk, good light­ing, and a shelf for books. While they are work­ing, be sure their devices are only used for research, i.e., an Eng­lish com­po­si­tion that requires cit­ed sources is a fine use of the Inter­net, but using their phone to stream music while they’re study­ing is a big no-no. Whether they agree or not, whether they moan or not, you’ve got to be strict on this point. Remind them that the soon­er they focus, the soon­er they’ll fin­ish – that helps moti­vate them!

2) Talk To Their Teachers If There Are Problems or Concerns

how to get your kid to do homework l how to get child to focus on homework l how to get kid to do homework l getting kids to do homework l how to get kid to do homework Does it seem that your child is strug­gling to under­stand an assign­ment or com­plete it? Nat­u­ral­ly, you don’t want to do the work for them, but it’s vital that you under­stand the task and what is expect­ed of your child. If they can’t explain it to you, chances are they don’t under­stand it them­selves, and that’s when it is time for a word with their teacher. Make it clear that you are not inter­fer­ing with the teacher’s lessons or expec­ta­tions; sim­ply explain that your child is hav­ing a dif­fi­cult time and go from there.

3) Ensure They Have All the Resources They Need

For a child to become inde­pen­dent, orig­i­nal thinkers, they need access to more resources than just the Inter­net. They need books! Get­ting them into the habit of read­ing ear­ly on in life means they are more like­ly to remain to be read­ers lat­er on when they need to do research (for exam­ple) for a term paper dur­ing senior high school or college. Good study habits devel­oped ear­ly become life­long, mak­ing it eas­i­er for them to suc­ceed at edu­ca­tion no mat­ter how many years they spend at university.

4) Monitor Them From a Distance and Motivate Them at Every Opportunity

Chil­dren hate feel­ing that their par­ents are hov­er­ing over them at home­work time, but there are moments when they gen­uine­ly need some help. Encour­age them to ask when those moments arise, and if you (or your part­ner) can’t help, turn to a source who can.  Sim­ply ask­ing the teacher for clar­i­fi­ca­tion on an assign­ment is often enough. But if your child needs more help in one or more sub­jects, con­sid­er hir­ing a tutor one or two days a week. Tutors are worth every pen­ny of their fee, and it’s an invest­ment in your child’s scholas­tic future.

5) Develop a Schedule, And Has Your Child Stick To It

how to get your kid to do homework l how to get child to focus on homework l getting kids to do homework l how to get kid to do homework Some kids, par­tic­u­lar­ly teenagers, take a casu­al approach to home­work, squeez­ing in an hour of it before sup­per or after a sports practice. That is not the ide­al way for them to get the work done con­sis­tent­ly. Instead, help them decide when they are at their “atten­tive best” for home­work: right after school, before din­ner? After they’ve had an after-school snack? Or lat­er in the evening, after din­ner but before going to a movie with friends? Design this sched­ule with their input, and insist that they stick to it. Oth­er­wise, assign­ments will pile up, and before they know it (and you!), they’ll be work­ing all day Sun­day just to get the home­work fin­ished. And chances are it won’t be of a qual­i­ty that earns high grades because it’s been rushed and maybe sloppy!

6) Explain How HomeWork Applies To Life Lessons

Doing home­work is a chore to many kids, par­tic­u­lar­ly when they become teenagers and would rather be out with their friends or on their social media accounts. You might hear some­thing like this: “why do I need to learn spelling when my com­put­er has a spellcheck function?” Explain that spellcheck and gram­mar check on com­put­ers only gets them so far and that know­ing these skills is vital for their future careers. Give them an exam­ple of that impor­tance in con­crete, sim­ple terms they’ll under­stand. For exam­ple: when they fill out their first job appli­ca­tion, chances are they won’t do it with a lap­top handy, and they’ll have to rely on their own skills to do a good job. Kids take to home­work bet­ter if and when they under­stand how it applies to “real life.

7) Resist The Urge To Do It For Them.

Every par­ent in the world has the impulse to check their chil­dren’s home­work and cor­rect mis­takes they might find there. Big mis­take! Going through a doc­u­ment and help­ing them under­stand where errors are is one thing. Fix­ing those errors and rewrit­ing the doc­u­ment, or writ­ing down the cor­rect solu­tions for math home­work, just so the child gets a ter­rif­ic grade, is anoth­er thing entirely! Allow­ing your son or daugh­ter to earn an “hon­est B” rather than an “assist­ed A” sets a far bet­ter exam­ple for them, and they will be tru­ly proud of the work if they’ve done it on their own. Chil­dren may not be out of the nest while they’re in school, but the more you fos­ter inde­pen­dent think­ing and work, the bet­ter off they will be in school and life. That even means allow­ing them to fail once in a while if they must! Mak­ing mis­takes and fail­ing can be vital tools for learn­ing some­thing thor­ough­ly, though admit­ted­ly, it can be hard on every­one. But if your child fails an assign­ment once, chances are they will not want to repeat the expe­ri­ence and will try hard­er next time. And that, in itself, is a valu­able lesson.

Last but not least

Doing home­work is an impor­tant part of your child’s edu­ca­tion­al devel­op­ment, and while you should keep an “arm’s length” atti­tude to it, it’s impor­tant that you set them up to succeed. Make sure their envi­ron­ment is con­ducive to learn­ing. Help them if they ask for it, but don’t solve prob­lems for them – demon­strate how they can solve them instead. If you are tru­ly wor­ried about an assign­ment, con­tact the teacher and get it sort­ed out. Give your child the resources they need, and then let them get to it. And don’t hov­er! Once all the ele­ments are in place – peace and qui­et, good light­ing, a desk, and no dis­trac­tions – your child has all the tools at their fin­ger­tips to do well on home­work. Just stand back and let them get on with it!

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