Help your child focus on homework when you start following this super simple habit!
It’s been a super long day for everyone. The last thing your child wants to do after school is more school work. There might be tears or even yelling.
Either way, you and your child end up frustrated and upset. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be at all. Right now, you’re searching for answers. Starting this one new habit could totally change your homework strategy!
How to help your child focus on homework
Instinct might tell you to dive right into the homework when your child steps into the house. Resist that urge!
Put yourself in their shoes. You’ve just come from a long day of, well, work. When you come in the door, are you ready to sit down and do more of your work? I know that I absolutely hate diving right back into grading or lesson planning!
Your child is the same. They need a break from school work! The bus ride, car trip, or walk just isn’t long enough.
A complete break can help to reset your child and make getting through the night’s assignments so much easier. It might seem counterintuitive, but taking a complete rest from school can help your child actually do better on their homework!
Fuel Their Brain
Start off with a healthy snack. Learning is hard work and their bodies need a chance to refuel.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate. Apple slices or carrot sticks with peanut butter is perfect! The most important thing is to put something healthy and real into your child right after school.
Involve your child in selecting healthy fruits, veggies, and other snack foods. You could make a list to take with you grocery shopping or pick out the freshest produce together.
At home, store your snack items in easy to access bins or drawers. Preslice fruits and vegetables if possible. Put individual servings of dips, like hummus or peanut butter, and non-perishables, like nuts or pretzel sticks, into containers. Keep whole fruits, like oranges or bananas, on lower shelves. When you make the healthy snacks easy to get to, your children are more likely to eat them!
Ditch the Screen
Technology is a big part of education today. SmartBoards and computers are in every classroom, with some schools providing enough devices for each child.
Even though your child might be tired, it’s important to skip more screentime after school. Since they’ve been using technology throughout the day, watching TV or playing a video game isn’t really a break. It just feels like more of the same.
Make a point of scheduling a good chunk of time after school when there are no screens out. Even better, make school nights 100% screen free except for actual school work.
When the weather is nice, try to go outside. Even just a few minutes of time outside is a great way to reset. Take a brisk walk together or play with the dog. Encourage your child to just play, without scheduling or structuring this time.
In fact, you could take a break, too. Bring a book outside and sit back while your child gets their wiggles out.
Having sports practice after school could be a good chance to sneak in this outside time. But I would caution against scheduling sports every night after school for elementary age children. Organized sports are still a structured activity that requires children to exercise control and attend to learning. Their brains are still engaged in school-mode.
Tailor this after school break time to your child’s interests. Allow your child to pick the activity or switch the routine as needed. Reading a book, drawing, or just zoning out to music is 100% fine. As long as your child is skipping the screen and doing something other than homework, it counts.
Really, the most important thing is to disengage from learning for a while. Give that brain a break!
How do you help your child relax after school and focus on homework? Share a favorite tip with us!
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