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It starts from the minute they walk through the door. The whining and complaining about homework is something most parents have to contend with on a daily basis. We don’t really blame our kids — we didn’t like homework either — but helping them ditch the attitudes so they can focus, learn and complete the tasks in front of them, can be a bear of a task. In a lot of families, homework time is something that often leads to arguments and tears. It doesn’t always have to be like that though. Luckily, there are services like those offered by Paper, that can help kids — and their parents — out with homework and other challenging school-related tasks.
As a mom of two elementary schoolers — one in fourth grade and the other in kindergarten — I’ve learned that it’s not possible to stave off every homework-induced after-school meltdown, but it can be avoided at least most of the time. Keep reading to see some simple tips brought to you by Paper, that you can start using today, to help make homework time with your kids less stressful.
Establish a Routine
Kids thrive on routines. If we’re honest, most adults do too, which makes this tip helpful for parents and for their littles. “Just like adults, children feel more confident and secure when their daily activities are predictable and familiar,” reports the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center. If your kids know exactly what to expect when they get home from school, it’ll be a lot easier for them to transition into the homework stage when the time comes. At our house, we have a snack, unpack backpacks and go through anything that was sent home from school. If it’s nice outside and we have time, the kids go out and play for a bit, but most days they start on their homework as soon as they’re fed and hydrated. Be sure to pick a homework time that works best for your family.
Offer Your Kids Yummy Snacks
To my previous point, most kids really need a balanced snack when they get home from school. Children have faster metabolisms than adults and need to eat more frequently in order to avoid feeling lackluster and grumpy. Plus, any parent of a young child can attest to the fact that not a whole lot of food is actually eaten at lunchtime during school because of time and distractions. Try to offer a snack that features both carbohydrates and protein for a great energy boost. My kids usually finish whatever they’ve brought home in their lunchboxes and then eat fruit, nut butters, yogurt or even eggs, if they’re still hungry at that point.
Be Available for Support
If you can be there for your kiddos, be there and be present, or consider finding someone who can be. Being available to help and support your children when they’re doing homework, will give you the opportunity to offer any extra help they may need and also clue you in to any issues they may be having with academic concepts, so that if you yourself are unable to help, you can reach out to a teacher or tutor who can.
Use Every Available Tool
In today’s world, there are countless resources available to help us support our children’s learning. From YouTube tutorials and educational podcasts to online tutoring services like those offered by Paper, that are available 24/7, there are various tools we can turn to to help our children understand academic concepts they may be having a harder time with. We are often shamed about screen time and letting our children use technology, but those things give us access to invaluable resources that can help our children tackle tough school subjects, learn more effectively and get through their homework without all the anxiety. For example, Paper offers one-on-one tutoring from trained professionals who can help them figure out concepts, step-by-step, without all the distractions of a school classroom.This is especially helpful for busy, working parents who don’t necessarily have the time or energy to re-learn certain concepts and methods so that they can help their kids get through homework. If your kiddos get stuck on something, they can just log into Paper and get help from a tutor who knows exactly how to do it and can explain it step-by-step. It’s really empowering for kids too! They’ll know that if they’re struggling with something, they can be proactive about getting the help they need on their own, without having to wait for a school teacher or parent.
Use Patience, Positivity & Rewards!
Instead of nagging and pestering, do your best to be upbeat, smile and push the positivity during homework time. Your kids may already be feeling negative about the experience, and those negative feelings will only increase, if you don’t balance them out by being patient and projecting the positive attitude you want them to adopt. Not to suggest that this is possible every day. None of us are perfect, but overall, we should be doing our best to model the behavior that we’re seeking from our kids at homework time. Your mood has the power to cheer them up and help them see the bright side. If they see that you don’t think homework is that big of a burden, hopefully they’ll internalize that. And if all else fails, you can always offer rewards! Stickers for positive behavior, an extra half hour of TV time or even one more story at bedtime, can all be huge motivators for kids.
To learn more about how Paper can help you and your children better manage homework time with the help of trained tutors in all content areas, that are available 24/7/365, visit Paper here.