How many times have you complained about the amount of homework required by your child? Never? You’re lucky. But if you’re like most parents, you’ve entered the homework battleground with your child at least once in your effort to foster early childhood development. It’s awful, right?
I’ve tried many approaches; most of which failed, until my son came up with the perfect solution. Here goes:
• Doing the entire week’s worth of homework on Monday so he wouldn’t have to worry about it the rest of the week – bad idea. The workload increased week by week, making this an impossible task.
• Yelling at him until he buckled down to do it – This is obviously not nice and unfair. Score for making him hate homework and quite possibly school and stifling early childhood development.
• Doing it for him – What will I do when he’s taking calculus and I can’t do it for him because I don’t know how? (And I suspected the teacher could differentiate between my work and his.)
• Withholding favorite activities until the day’s homework is complete – I would bet this is the most efficient and effective routine for children. After all, if they do it right after school, they can spend the rest of the evening playing, riding bikes, etc. This didn’t go over with my son because he was tired after school and wanted (and likely needed) a break. (Uh, he’s been in school for six hours. What’s a kid gotta do to get a little “me time” for himself?)
• Finally, the answer!
• Doing it at after story time, right before bed. – Sounds ridiculous, right? When my son came up with this gem of an idea, I hesitated. Would he be too tired to complete it? And if he didn’t finish it, the workload would be double the next day, ugh. But it worked! So well, in fact, that he did more than was required each night. By the time Thursday rolled around, he only had one page of homework. When it was complete, he promptly stated, “That’s all? I want to do more!” I’m not exaggerating here. Seeing that his homework folder was empty, he grabbed a Thomas the Tank Engine workbook and started doing math problems.
I never would have guessed nighttime homework was a good idea, but it worked for my son. And when we’re desperately searching for a way to get our children to do their homework and boost early childhood development, we’ll try anything, right?