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Get The Homework Done With Less Whining

Updated on July 15, 2013

Homework Woes

Every parent at one time or another hears it:

"I don't wanna do my homework, Can't I do it tomorrow morning? There's a good show on, I'll do my homework after it's over." Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!

It is tough to hear day in and day out. You want your child to have a good education, you want them to be intelligent human beings. They, however, have different wants.

The sticker chart works well for the younger ones. Each time they do their homework without complaint they get a sticker on their chart. When the predetermined number of stickers is reached, the decided upon reward is given. For example, if a child desperately wants that IPOD, this would require him/her filling up two or three charts of 30 stickers each. If they want a DVD or CD, one chart is good.

There are times that my child can spend an hour and a half on one sheet of math. One sheet! I'd start out by threatening, "You better have that done in twenty minutes or you're in trouble!" Does that work? Not so much. Then I tried setting a timer. I'd time them on one problem. If the problem took them 1 minute to complete and there were 20 problems, I'd give them 25 minutes to complete the page, throwing in the extra five for erase time, etc. Then if they complete the page in the required time, they get an extra half hour of play/tv time.

Spelling and Other Tests to Study For

There is always that ever so special spelling, math, science, history test to study for. There is always the putting it off till the last minute idea they come up with.

Flashcards work well for most of them. Whether they are young or older, if they create the flashcards themselves, it is half the battle in studying the test material. Once the flashcards are done, they can either quiz themselves or you can help. Incentives work here also. Give them the test they have created with their flashcards. If they get the card wrong, it goes in your pile. If they get it right, it goes in theirs. Whoever has the most in their pile at the end of the test gets what is up for the prize. (This is a sneaky way to get the hugs they are too grown up to give you Mom, if your pile wins.) If they win, they get another 2 stickers on their chart, or a cookie or whatever age appropriate prize you decide upon.

Reading Assignments

This is an interesting dilemma. Some kids love reading books and will jump in and read their assignments right away. Then there are the ones who think reading is a waste of precious play time and/or is too boring and just refuse to do it. I have to say tho, I've read some of those history, science assignments and I really can't disagree sometimes!

There are ways to make even the most slow moving, hard reading assignment a tad more exciting, but you need to get creative. You will need to read it with them. Teenagers are rather embarrased about this, but once they get into it, it tends to flow easily. After each sentence, have them tell you what they just read and what it means to them. Have them make up a sentence that says the same thing only with more pizazz. Before long they will be laughing at what they can come up with for each boring sentence.

The Homework Blues

Before long, if you keep to the incentive program and make it fun, this will create a pattern of enjoyable learning that should carry your child/children far.

The key in this whole thing of course is parental guidance. Yes, they do have to learn to do it on their own. No, you can't be there every second, nor should you be. I understand that homework time for them means much needed time for you to do all those things you haven't had time to do all day. Believe me, I understand that all too well!

Give them a few minutes per page, per assignment, per book, and they will give you a light at the end of the tunnel of homework blues!

Incentives

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