Elementary Homework Help | Homework Ideas
Often parents get fed up trying to help their children with homework. Hair gets pulled, tears flow freely and nobody feels like doing anything. Next time you find yourself with a handful of hair and a bucket to catch your own tears, try some of these tips to make homework enjoyable.
1. Chocolate Pudding. Yes, everything is a little more interesting when it involves chocolate pudding (or whatever your favorite flavor is). Try making a fresh batch and plunking a tray of it in front of your elementary aged child. Imagine their grateful eyes when you inform them that today, they will be practicing their spelling words by using their finger to trace the words in the pudding!
2. Act it Out. This strategy works for many different activities. I like to use it for children who are kinesthetically gifted but are having trouble remembering something. Try adding hand motions to a poem to be memorized. Or having your child act out a word problem, use props and make sure s/he is having fun.
3. Go on a Mission. This one is so much fun that you child will not realize they are learning. Gather 5-6 items your child needs to memorize (sight words, multiplication facts, vocabulary words, etc.) and go on a "mission" with your child. Perhaps you have to unlock the "princess" from the "tower" of the "evil castle." To accomplish this task, romp through your house slaying dragons and fighting off bad guys. The catch is, to unlock the door, your child must read the sight words. Go on several "missions", allow your child to be creative and use every chance you can to slip in something about what they are learning.
4. Reverse Roles. Have your child teach you about something that they are learning about. For example, let your child "teach" you how to tell time, your role is to ask lots of questions, such as, "How do I know what this hand does?" and "What does it mean if the big hand is here?" Pretend to "forget" what they just told you so that they will have to repeat it. If they give you incorrect information, stay in character and try to correct the error with more questions.
5. Bring in a "Friend". Nothing brings out more laughs or sets up a more enjoyable environment then dad leaving the room and reentering, asking his child, "Excuse me, have you seen your dad? I am a friend of his and wanted to ask him some questions." This lightens the mood and children will usually play along if you simple deny the accusation that "you" are dad. Don't forget to leave again to get "dad" and come back as dad. Allow your child to tell you everything they learned with "dad's friend".
6. Bring in Another Friend. This time bring a puppet to the table (a stuffed animal works fine) give the puppet a unique voice and allow it to ask questions to your child. Set the puppet's intellectual level one step lower than your son or daughter. This way it can "ask" clarification questions that your child can explain to better his/her own understanding and so that you can gauge where their understanding of the concept is.
7. Go Undercover. There is nothing more appealing to children than being able to read, practice, or work under a table. As long as this this does not cause too many disruptions, allow, and even suggest it! Your child will jump at the chance and really, what is it hurting?
8. Open a Bakery. Bake words by mixing paper letters in a bowl, dump them out onto a cookie sheet and allow your child to arrange them into words. Bring the words to the "oven" (it doesn't have to be the real thing) and "eat your words". You can also literally "eat your words" by doing the same thing with cookie dough. Allow your child to make "cookie words" at the beginning of homework, bake them, and enjoy them together after homework is finished.
9. Slap Attack. Arrange a variety of answers to multiplication problems on a table (or really any answers to anything). Challenge your child to a game of slap attack, they will compete against the above-mentioned puppet to "slap" the answer first. Make sure the puppet is almost always one step behind your child. Be fun and a little bit "tricky".
10. Go Fishing. Remember that carnival game where you cast a magnetic fishing line over a wall and out came a prize attached by a paper clip? Do the same but with material that needs to be memorized. Cut each word or problem into a "fish", attach a paper clip and scatter them on the living room floor. Gather up some yarn, a small magnet, and a wrapping paper tube and fashion a fishing pole. Tell your child that they must stay in the boat (couch) and catch the fish. Make sure they answer each problem or read each word as they catch them.
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