I just wanna help!
Are you that parent? The one that just wants to help your kid finish their math homework and can’t figure out how? Even if your child LOVES math and is doing great….staying on task to just finish can be like a game of Tug-of-War, followed by comments made under your breath, and your child’s tears hitting the table. This is just not the way you want to or need to spend those few precious hours that you have with your child each evening. So, what’s a parent to do?
Tips for doing homework happily:
- Set priorities – Bring your little student in on this decision-making process. What 2 assignments are the most important? Start with these. Mommy and Daddy can do the same thing! What are 2 things you need to do that you’ve been avoiding?
- Set a timer – Homework should never be an all-night affair. Find out how long the teacher intends for students to spend on homework. Break that time up into 10-minute segments. Kids have been at school all day, mostly sitting and following rules,…then to dance, soccer, and/or piano. Focusing is hard work, especially at the end of the day. And you are in this process, too…What will YOU accomplish in your 10 minutes?
- Set goals – Set a goal for each 10-minute segment based on the 2 priority assignments. Let your child set the kitchen timer and get to work to meet the goal! When the timer goes off, reset it for 2 minutes and let your child have a mini-break – do some jumping jacks, pet the dog, see who can make the funniest face in the bathroom mirror….. While your child is taking this mini-break say, “Okay, what’s next?” Then, do the cycle again. If your child finishes before the timer goes off, say, “What are you going to do with all this free time?” Try to keep it light and encouraging.
- Be an encourager – Be specific. Find something that is finished. Something that was done well. The more specific you can be the better. “Good job” is not specific. But, please, be truthful. Don’t make it up! Your kid sees through fluff!
- Be okay with stopping – Yeah, I know. My family is not made up of quitters either. The paper is due tomorrow. The test counts 1/2 of the quarter grade. But you know what….you won’t remember that project a few months/years for now. But, you will remember the heartache and hurtful words, and so will your child. Choose your battles carefully. If your child consistently can’t complete homework, make an appointment with your child’s teacher and the counselor from the school. Make a plan to meter the expectations that the school, you, and your child have.
What’s MathTree got to do with helping your child complete homework? MathTree has been around long enough to have campers who have completed our camps, gone to college, and come back to be summer instructors. Elizabeth is one of those “campers-turned-instructors”. Recently I asked her, “When you were a camper, how specifically did MathTree help you?” She answered, “I never felt like I was very good a math. It always seemed to take me longer to get it than it did other kids in the my class. But MathTree increased my confidence. Even if I didn’t remember every little thing I learned in the summer camp, during the school year topics were more familiar to me and I remembered that I had learned them – which translated to me that I could learn them again! MathTree helped me keep trying and I got better at math!”
As Dory in “Finding Nemo” says, “Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!”
Guess what!? Tomorrow night you get a chance to do it all again! 🙂