How To Make Homework Time Fun
A genius is a talented person who does his homework” – Thomas Edison
If you had to classify homework as pleasant or drudgery, chances are, you’d put it in the drudgery category. It is essential, though. The purpose of homework is to push the student further academically.
It doesn’t have to be drudgery.
If you need ideas to put fun back into homework, we have them for you. And they’re even backed by science.
Work with a Partner
Working with friends is more fun than working alone. Homework is supposed to be productive, so while studying with friends will most definitely be more fun, it may not always yield scholastic advancement. Friends can get sidetracked and lose focus when studying together, but they may help each other do the opposite. Keep an eye on the partnership. If it works, encourage it.
The partner doesn’t have to be a friend, it can be you, mom or dad. You can come alongside and help your child study.
My favorite study partner was my sister who is five years my junior. Even when I was in college she was my best helper. When she visited me, I knew I’d do well on tests because of her study techniques.
Are you interested in her study strategy? I’ll share that next.
Silly Study Techniques
I know when Portugal gained independence from Spain. Do you? A great many years ago, my sister said, “Portugal gained independence from Spain in the 1600s because everyone in Portugal is 16.” We laughed so hard over that one, and it found a permanent home in my memory. She could always come up with the funniest associations.
Memorization using association is recognized as an effective strategy. Sure, you could come up with associations that make sense, but if you want to put some humor into it, say something crazy.
Make a Nice Space
Three-time gold medalist and king of the halfpipe, Shaun White, said, “I couldn’t do my homework if my room wasn’t clean.” Turns out Shaun’s personal quirk was on track with science. A Harvard study showed that students were able to focus for seven and a half minutes longer while working a clutter-free workspace. If clutter is distracting, it’s not fun. Clean up the clutter and make a focus-friendly area.
While we’re talking about the location of doing homework, let’s also talk about the screen your child is looking at. Posture affects assertiveness. Another Harvard study made a correlation between the posture that naturally occurs when using a small electronic device such as an iPod, phone, or tablet and being less assertive than when using a larger screen such as a laptop or desktop computer which resulted in a more confident attitude.
If your child needs to use the internet, set up their work station around a computer and make sure their chair supports a healthy posture.
Breaks are critical. Younger elementary students will usually be able to crank out their entire homework assignment in one sitting, but as they get older and homework takes longer, use a timer to ensure your child takes breaks during the homework session.
Breaks are linked to greater productivity. It’s a win-win. Taking a break is fun and it boosts performance.
Use a Timer
While using a timer to plan for breaks is appropriate for older students, your timer can still come in handy for younger children. I have found that whenever I want my kids to do something, the biggest motivation I can give is, “See how fast you can…” They focus and they accomplish.
Find Natural Light
Sunlight improves mood. An improved mood makes everything more fun, even homework. A fascinating study conducted by an architectural firm discovered that children progress by as much as 20 percent faster in math tests and 26 percent faster in reading tests in classrooms with the most daylight.
It’s only reasonable to assume that homework will go better with natural light.
The verdict on listening to music while studying is a hung jury. For some people doing memory tasks, music – regardless of genre – boosted their results. For other tasks, the music hindered performance.
Typically, people enjoy listening to the music they like. So, if music makes homework more fun and doesn’t interfere with the task, it can be a great tool to boost enjoyment.
Who doesn’t enjoy a piece of gum? Did you realize it can help improve visual and auditory memory? Studies have proven that chewing gum helps with memory. No one knows for sure why this works, but it does.
Start with the Hardest Task
Okay, so it’s not really fun to start on something hard, but stick with me. When your child finishes a hard task, the accomplishment will feel rewarding.
It’s psychology. Knowing that the hard stuff is out of the way is a relief and will make the rest of the homework more fun.
Keep a Good Attitude
I’m talking to parents, here. Your attitude toward homework will affect your child’s attitude towards it. If you can stay positive, it’ll help set the tone for enjoyment. It’s proven that parent’s beliefs, thoughts, and feelings impact their children.
There have been numerous studies that have established a clear relationship between the attitudes of parents and the development of children. Shift your mind away from the task of the homework on to the goal of the homework, which is for your child to learn.
Help your child focus on the goal, as well. Set up the environment in your home to help your child enjoy learning.
Homework will best accomplish its purpose when your child is excited about digging into it. By trying these techniques, you can help your child have the best homework experience possible.
Melanie Musson is a writer for Carinsurancecomparison.com. She and her family live life on the go and enjoy traveling throughout the U.S. and especially in the Rocky Mountains they call home. She believes learning should be fun for everyone and tries to make it so for her own children.
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