5 Tricks that can make Homework time much more fun!
As parents, and while checking or revising our children’s homework, we tend to focus on finding mistakes rather than on the right or correct answers. This is normal; it’s human nature, but this is also one of the biggest sources of homework power struggle.
Even as adults, we tend to feel judged and frustrated when someone focuses on our mistakes instead of appreciating all the effort placed. Imagine you’ve been working on a project at work in which you did everything perfectly but missed one little detail or had a mistake or two. If you had not been praised for all the good work and effort, the smallest comment about the missing detail or mistake will make you feel judged, angry, unappreciated and discouraged. The exact same thing happens to our children.
So here are some tips on how you as parents can help change your children’s mindset about homework and end the power struggle.
- Clear your head if needed.
One of the biggest mistakes parents do when helping their children study is doing it while feeling stressed and overwhelmed. In these stressful and frustrating moments, we tend to act in a way we would later regret. So before sitting down to study make sure you are able to control your actions if your child does a mistake.
- Focus on effort.
Train yourself to find any improvements your child is making and the progress achieved rather than pointing out the mistakes. This will help them recognize that you appreciate their work and effort.
- Start by commenting on the correct answers.
As soon as you point out their best work, or what they got right, your children will get excited and feel encouraged. Make sure you are not aggressive when pointing out the mistakes; simply ask them to show you how they reached their answers there, or why do you think this is the answer. You can even ask them to simply apply the same method they got right the first time into answering this one. The last one works great for math problems. By simply asking them how they reached their answers will allow them to go over their thought process and reflect on their way of solving. They can simply spot out the mistakes on their own, or better yet we can realize if there are any missed information or improper understanding of the subject. This is definitely a better way for them to use their creativity and learn!
- Encourage mistakes.
Through out the years, we have heard of countless mistakes that turn into brilliant inventions. Celebrate mistakes with your kids and make sure they understand that mistakes are a normal part of learning and innovation!
- Praise your child’s progress.
Rather than criticizing your child in front of your spouse or other family members, make sure you praise your child for all the efforts and improvement. This will give your child a boost in self esteem and would see you as a partner who invested in his/her learning and wellbeing. It’s also a good idea for your child to see you and your spouse as one strong front, as well as viewing both of you as encouraging and supportive parents.
This will not only help you avoid the power struggle and fights every time your child has a test or homework, it will also encourage them to try new things and to stop being afraid of failing or taking risks in order to learn. This will help you build creativity and innovation in your child as well as an interest in learning and discovering.