Friday, March 9, 2012

How to Get Children to Focus on Homework Without Losing Patience

As the hot seasons approaches, and particularly at this time of the school year, children begin to show signs of restlessness and being tired when it comes to completing their daily homework. As parents, the idea of helping your child with homework is often easier than the actual task. After you’ve spend the day at work and your child spends the day at school, attention spans can grow shorter and so can patience. Helping with homework can and should be a positive experience for both you and your child. By helping children focus on the homework assignment, you can provide assistance and positive reinforcement, and avoid losing your patience.


Ø Work together with your child to set up and maintain a daily after school routinethat includes time for snacks and meals, homework, free time and bedtime. Ensuring your child has enough time for everything will help him focus by removing stress and the need to rush.


Ø Provide a snack and drink before you sit down together to do homework. A growling stomach and dehydration disrupt concentration. A healthy snack provides your child with fuel needed to concentrate.


Ø Set-up the homework area in a location of the home that's quiet and contains as few distractions as possible. Televisions, video games, music or a view out of the window can distract your child. Experiment with what works best until you and your child find the ideal homework location and setup.


Ø Block out distractions on the actual homework assignment with blank printer paper. Children with organizational difficulties are easily distracted by other math problems on a page or too many words and paragraphs. Use printer paper to cover up all but the math problem that's being worked on. Place a ruler under the sentence that's being read and have your child move the ruler down with each sentence to help guide his focus.


Ø Get up and walk away for a few minutes. Once your child has begun the homework assignment, leave the work area and allow him to work alone for a few minutes. Help him stay on task by letting him know you'll return in five minutes to check on his progress and see if there are any questions. If your child feels too pressured by your presence, it will be difficult to concentrate.


Ø Take a deep breath. Sometimes homework gets frustrating and both you and your child lose patience and motivation. If you sense you're about to lose it, walk away until you calm down. Consider whether or not your child can use a short break to refresh.


Ø Praise your child for each accomplishment and achievement, especially if homework is a struggle. Your encouragement can provide just the motivation your child needs to stay with the homework assignment until it's done. Giving your child praise helps boost self confidence.

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