2020 has been rough for everyone, but parents have been particularly tested this year by unusual circumstances. Working from home, working on the front lines, or looking for work are all stressful enough, but add in e-learning or unconventional school schedules plus a cooped-up kid, and things suddenly get a whole lot more challenging. With so much going on, many kids are having trouble concentrating, which makes homework even more of a chore. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can make homework fun for your kids, and maybe even for yourself!
How to Make Homework Fun for Kids
Every kid is different, so some of these may work better than others for your kids depending on their ages, abilities, and personalities. Don’t be afraid to try new things until you find the homework tips that work best for your family!
Use positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement modifies behavior by rewarding good behavior as opposed to punishing poor behavior. It works with kids, adults, and even pets! Think about it, you’ve probably felt a lot more motivated at work when there was a commission, award, or some kind of benefit to be had. The threat of punishment usually only motivates people to do the bare minimum.
The same goes for your kids. Think of ways to motivate that make them excited to do it. For instance, let’s say you have a family fun day once a week here at Rainbow Roller Rink. You track your child’s homework every day and for every assignment completed on-time and up to snuff, they earn an additional arcade token to use at the end of the week in our Game Zone.
If your child is a visual or tactile learner, they might benefit from writing out their “to-do” list for the week and checking it off as they go.
Do homework together.
One of the best ways to make homework more fun is to do it together! With younger kids, that might mean sitting with them and helping them do it; for older kids, just working in the same room with some good focus music will make the work go faster. You could do some “adult homework” like paying bills, clipping coupons, or reading a professional development book while your kids work, or tackle something like meal prep.
Take it one step at a time.
It’s well known at this point that people are more productive when they take regular breaks than when working non-stop, marathon-style. Try using “power hours” to get your kids to focus on a particular task. Set an egg timer or your phone for one hour, and when it goes off, everyone gets up to stretch, go for a short walk (or skate), play a quick game of catch outside, or eat a healthy snack on the porch.