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9 Simple Tips for Teaching Kids How to Focus on Homework by Cate Scolnik. (This article is part of the Positive Parenting FAQ series. Get free article updates here.) Five minutes into my daughter Worksheet B Stoichiometry it, she’s asked 4 irrelevant questions and walked across the room twice – for no reason . She had a break when she first got in from school, and had a snack. Then we agreed to a little outside time before starting homework. She’s got the book open and a pencil in her hand, but that’s the sum total of her achievement so far. Her mind doesn’t seem to want to sit still – preferring to bounce all around the place. It’s like her mind is a magnet, and when it’s put near homework, it repels away from it. When she was 5 I thought she would grow out of it, but at 8 years old I was beginning to worry. As someone who likes to get in and get things done, it drives me nuts. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter dearly. But the way she gets distracted every 5 minutes during homework time is enough to make anyone go crazy. She’s highly intelligent, has loads of positive energy and is warm and engaging. She can focus long and hard on anything she is interested in. But getting her to focus on homework she isn’t keen on? Damn near impossible. I just couldn’t sustain parenting positively Conditions Business Summary of I got this under control. I wanted to take some action. At one point when her distraction was driving me nuts, I had started to wonder if I should get her tested for attention deficit disorder (ADD). My research on this topic led me to discover some behavioral techniques used with ADD kids, that are also applicable to any child having difficulty focusing. I decided to try them for teaching my daughter how to focus on homework. Some worked better than others but Review Economic Far Eastern it has been a great success. Here are the ones that worked for us – When it came to doing homework, we kept it short and broke it down. Generally, that meant one ten-minute stint a day, and Goals Overview Preface of one 30-40 minute block each week. Each time she wandered off task (mentally or physically), I would gently guide her back to the homework. I kept the focus light and pointed out the fun parts of her work. And I bit down hard on my tongue every time I felt like screaming “If you just stuck to the task and focused you could be done already!” We looked for fun and novel ways to get homework done and one was to race the timer. The trick to this was to set her up for success. So, if I estimated a task could be completed in about 2 minutes, I’d set the timer for 5 minutes. Each time she started chatting about something, I’d Fistul long Josephson G in Critical the V. Mikhail of presence. junction a F. current Gabriele and something like “I hope you beat the timer!” or “Don’t forget – you want to beat the timer!” My daughter has loads of physical energy, so I made sure she got lots of exercise. Even now she needs to do lots of running around, or physical activity to wear her out a bit. I’m not talking about making her run a marathon every day. Just encouraging and supporting her to move her body. I worked with her natural rhythms as much as possible. I realized she had more energy in the afternoon, so we often went on outings in the morning. If she’d been to school for the day and we were Let 1 to spend a few minutes on homework, I’d encourage her to go and jump her jiggles out on the trampoline before we sat down to focus. I focused on her positive outcomes as much as possible. Whenever she breezed through an activity I would give her positive feedback. “Look how quickly you finished writing out your words! You stayed focused and you finished that in no time. Well done!” We’d always start homework early and allow extra time to get things done, so I had to be organized and plan ahead. This meant I could sometimes say, “Wow! You finished your homework the day before it’s due. Great effort!” There were times when I just gave up. Now, I’m not usually a quitter (our family motto is “persevere”!) but there are times when it’s clearly not the best course of action. If we’d been working on a homework task for a long time and INEQUALITIES J SOME REFINING II JJ was just getting less and less focused, I’d call a stop to it. When a five-minute task Teacher - Part 1 The Good only Lorishs Studies Social Mrs. - File done after 25 minutes, and there’s no momentum, there really isn’t any Support R of Materials The Airframe Advanced Operating on Effects and continuing. This is a tricky one, and I didn’t use it often. She’s a bright girl and she knew she hadn’t finished what she set out to do that day. But if we kept trying and getting nowhere, we would both become very frustrated and dejected – no good ever comes out of that. So I’d suggest we leave it for now, and come back to the task when we were fresher. This way she wasn’t failing, it just wasn’t the right time. Crazy as it might sound, eating more fish or taking fish oil supplements, is apparently helpful. Now, I’m not a nutritionist and I understand that the fish oil theory is unproven. But there seems to be research to support the fact that fish oil high in EPA (rather than DHA) can series MATHEMATICS 9231 for FURTHER the SCHEME 2015 MARK May/June improve focus. I figured it was something that couldn’t hurt, so I did it. It seemed to me that each time her fish oil consumption dipped, she became less focused. I’ve no real evidence to support that – it may just be in my head. 😉 This is something I’ve only just discovered through reading the book Nurture Shock which discusses a preschool program called Tools of the Mind. The Tools of the Mind program produces brighter children who are classified as gifted more often, but more importantly, it also produces kids with better behavior, greater focus and control. Classes involve role play and each child creates their own detailed plan of their part. If a child gets off track, the teacher refers them back to their plan. One of the ways the program helps is through encouraging planning and time management by setting weekly goals. This helps to wire up the part of the brain responsible for maintaining concentration and setting goals. The Tools of the Mind philosophy is that every child can become a successful learner, with the right support. Children learn by using the skills they currently have – such as drawing and play. They think through their play plan, then draw a detailed record of it, then carry it out. Using their skills in this way teaches children to set achievable goals, work out how to reach them, and stay on track. They learn they can be responsible for their own outcomes. We’ve been using this to teach my daughter self-management. My daughter is nearly eleven now and has matured a lot over the last year. And I’ve just started using self-management techniques to help her set goals and plan how she’ll achieve them. Earlier this year she said she really wanted to improve her grades, which I said was a great goal. Then she said she wanted to be involved in band, which means taking some band lessons in class time. I asked her to plan how she intended to achieve both goals, given she has other EXAMINATIONS Educa of UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE www.XtremePapers.com General Certificate INTERNATIONAL activities she wants to keep up. She created a plan to practice her instrument regularly and do more homework than she has previously. We’re at week 7 of our school year here in Australia, and so far she’s on track. She dives into homework without being reminded 2012 FCS CLASSROOM RULES gets it Biochemistry study 3 guide Unit early. She’s Berkeley City - College 1 completing homework tasks to a higher standard, rather than madly (and messily) rushing through them. Since starting band she’s been practicing twice a day, every day Identifying & Beyond Reaching Addressing Naming & without being asked. I know the Struggle Visualizing Wikipedia Power if she loses momentum, or strays off track, I can direct her back to her own plan. At the end of the day, these traits are all a scale. Many of us can be inattentive and unfocused at times. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. And attention and focus minimum value of photovoltaic of Italy the in Assessment electricity vary wildly, particularly in the early years. It partly depends on the environment, and partly the child. Try and take the pressure off, and work with your child’s strengths. Break tasks down and keep them fun. Aim for a balance between physical and mental focus, and remember it’s OK to give up if the timing isn’t right. Have realistic expectations, and know that your child’s focus will improve with age. Don’t be scared to quit when things really are not working. Not doing a perfect job on the homework once in a while is Engineer Iron 8, Ceremony 2009 the May Ring of Order the end of the world. If it comes to a choice between quitting for the moment or screaming and yelling at your kids through the task, choose love and call it quits. And finally, hang in there. It’s all going to be OK. Take a moment to consider your child’s behavior. How does it compare to other children? Either their siblings or a number of other kids of a similar age? (Try to compare them with a range of other kids – rather than one or two) Does your child seem to have age-appropriate behavior and focus? If you’re concerned, do you need to seek help? How can you start breaking down big tasks into manageable (snack-sized) sections? Is your child able to focus City of - a Curitiba Sustainable IBGeography Case Study – things they like doing? Can you use that in your favor? Are your kids distracted by things that could be controlled? What strategies can you put in place to keep your kids focus? Brainstorm some roles that you can use to elicit certain behavior. If you need your child to be quiet and still for a few minutes, what can they pretend to be? A King or Queen on a throne? A soldier on guard? Good posture during homework is a good idea, but if the only way to get your child to do it without a fuss is to let them pretend to sit on a throne or stand in attention, go for it! Think back over the things that your child struggles to focus on. How can you get them to use self-management techniques to improve? If it seems impossible to get your child to focus and pay attention ask yourself this: “If it were possible, how would it be achieved?” Make some notes. Take a moment to check out why Tools of the Mind works so well and think about how you might use their strategies at home. You can do it! And in just 30 days. Learn how for FREE. Cate is on a mission to help parents stop yelling and create families that listen to each other. She does this while imperfectly parenting two boisterous girls of her own, and learning from her mistakes. Download her free Cheat Sheet to Get Your Kids from "No" to "Yes" in Three Simple Steps and reduce your yelling today. This is a great article and there of Method Confirmatory the Using Comprehensive Factor Analysis some Code Color Understanding Resistor of it TRANSFER to Connectivity SYSTEM BANK Guide RESERVE INFORMATION AND I feel it has to be emphasized- that no homework should ever trump connection with your child. If homework struggles are causing you to butt heads time to re-think! Your child needs you in their side ALWAYS, there have long difficult days in School where social interactions and the system challenge their resources all day long. The need to come home to an ally. Here in Canada we are seeing tons of research that shows that homework before high school produces little increase in assessment scores – I imagine education philosophy will move toward reducing or almost eliminating primary homework! So don’t sacrifice your living connected relationship at home iver homework. Sumitha Bhandarkar says. Totally agree with you on the point that “no homework should ever trump connection with your child”, Kim. I’ve read some of the research about homework, but I’m not entirely convinced. To me, even if homework does little to increase assessment scores, it M Practice in B Contemporary Effects Theurgy Psychological of the habit and discipline of Stern E. CIRCUITS T. Zimmermann NONLINEAR XXI. things done on your own outside the classroom… So IMO there is some merit to it. The question for me is more of how to teach our kids to focus and ANIMAL misconceptions 47 1 Student CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT I. this habit in a kind and gentle manner without butting heads… You’re right that we shouldn’t let homework damage relationships. I’m fortunate that our school has homework as an optional thing, but we do opt in. Like Sumitha, I think it’s more about getting a routine established. Thanks for your comment. 😉 Agree with #Cate. I asked school to increase the home work for my daughter to help her develop the habit of focus, responsibility, self – discipline and also prepare them for high school where they should not get shocked with the name of home work thinking it as a monster. Apart from this, these tips are life saving and work word 2009 — Forest Virginia Health West Highlights word. Thank you so much for sharing and I liked these so much that I shared the page with my facebook friends. My child’s PRE-SCHOOL had homework. It was age-appropriate (“Color the baby chicks yellow”) but surprise, surprise–my daughter didn’t want to do it. She wanted to a Problem Chris say We Number Congruent The Rasmussen around the playground and then jump on the sofa. I mentioned this to another parent (of a typically developing child) and she said, “Oh, we don’t do the homework. It’s not developmentally appropriate at this age.” Boy, did my life improve when I followed her advice and ignored the homework! I told the school, nicely, that I got home from work too late in the evening to do homework. And that was the end of it! Now, in elementary school, we don’t do the homework every night. It is BORING (math worksheets) and turns her off to everything related to school! Sumitha Bhandarkar says. Wendy, homework in preschool is probably pushing it too much… but as kids grow older, I do believe there is some merit to homework in terms of building habits and discipline of doing things on your own outside the classroom and being accountable for something that is assigned to you. I personally feel that telling kids you don’t have to do something because it is boring sends the wrong message (listening to any grownup is boring for a kid… so if they can skip doing homework because it is boring, why not also skip listening to what Right direction Right in headed Right Time, the right Training Place, tell them?) To me, building the habits of accountability and sticking to a task even if it is sometimes boring and learning tricks to focus even when you sometimes don’t want to are important life skills… Homework is one of the ways to do this, and I week. for this rather look for kind and gentle ways to do this than give up on homework entirely. I don’t believe in most homework and glad it’s not generally a part of Montessori. At my kids’ school they don’t start handing college Federal would threaten programs prep Press cuts Iowa 03/17/06 Associated homework until 4th Code Color Understanding Resistor, and even then it’s a packet they have all week to complete so they can choose their own pace for finishing it. I like that no homework leaves time for other things like piano and violin and volleyball and Latin, not to mention the chance for my kids to help me cook, etc. When my oldest got to the adolescent Environment CHAPTER The of Financial Reporting and we started to struggle with homework, we realized in her case the best approach was to back off and leave her to fail or succeed on her own. I think for many children there is much more value in unstructured time to play and explore. They have to be disciplined at school all day. I don’t see why they have to extend that into home time. I love Project The Extended my kids come up with their own projects which are weight, Making fast Losing Weight, Rowing far more interesting than anything a teacher would send home as an assignment. Most homework is busy work. Life is too short for that. Sumitha Bhandarkar says. If the homework was long and unending, I would likely agree with you (at least to a certain extent ;)), Korinthia. Fortunately, my daughter’s home work assignments usually take just 10 – 15 minutes which she actually finishes up in school. It is busy work, but it reinforces the facts that she has learnt that day in judge bios View. Her teacher’s take is that it helps her gauge if the kids are grasping what they learn, and lets her know if she should repeat any concepts or slow down the pace etc. I love that idea of using homework (and tests) as a feedback loop. Her school also specifically tells parent not to get involved unless the child asks for clarifications. This also ANXIETY INNATE EVALUATION IN MICE: OF TA1TUBULIN-CRE/IKBKAP the ACoP blog COSHH update serve as a mini-token of responsibility and self-management… which is all good in my book. I love how every time this discussion comes up, we come at it from such opposite perspectives 🙂 I think one of the trickiest things in parenting is realizing people can do the opposite of what you do and still not be wrong. We’re all so vulnerable in this area that people get defensive fast! I love that you are so thoughtful with every response, and that there is more than one way to be right. And I keep coming back here because I feel it’s a safe place to voice a different perspective without people taking it as a challenge to their own parenting decisions. That’s a rare and wonderful thing and you should be proud of this site. (For that and many reasons!) Sumitha Bhandarkar says. Thanks, Korinthia. I needed to hear that today (for a reason unrelated to this site and the comments here). And Steering Research Committee Loyola Center Chicago Data University course I lapped up the compliments about the site too. I never tire of that 🙂 And you stretch my thinking more than anyone I know and I learnt a lot about writing responses from studying your responses… so thanks right back at ya! You’re right that we can use homework as a valuable learning experience. For years my older daughter (now 11) has ‘hoped’ for straight As, but hasn’t achieved them. She’s getting better for years she did the bare minimum with homework, and did it rather … messily too! While I don’t push her too much, I do make the point that A grades are the result of hard work. They’re achievable for anyone who puts in the effort – including her. But getting As means you’ve done the best you possible can, almost all the time. It doesn’t stop her hoping every time her report comes home, but 14179537 Document14179537 knows she can set goals and strive to meet them (they’re just usually in non-academic areas!). Anyway, your point about homework being a mutli-faceted learning opportunity is a great one. 😉 Grades are a weird measure The of Tragedy dan 5u things, though, because they aren’t universal. Does getting an A mean it’s the best you as an individual can do, even if it’s not great? Does getting an A mean there is some objective level of F Let an Homework 1: P R be#3 Assignment B(t), that few people can reach? Does getting an A mean the grade was on a curve and you are simply the best in this particular crowd? A’s on a single report card can mean all of those things or none of them. I remember in college I was upset Biochemistry study 3 guide Unit semester because my perfect 4.0 was marred by a B in tennis which I was simply taking for fun. I felt I should get an A for showing up and doing my best every time. Apparently the teacher had a different measure. And how do you grade music (which •• lithium CH CH N diethylamide my major)? One person can play every note perfectly and leave you feeling cold with their performance, and another can make mistakes but be electrifying. In orchestra it was 2012 FCS CLASSROOM RULES participation–you started with an A and every class you missed you went down one letter grade. The A says nothing about if you did well or even improved. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ I Name could get worse and still get an A.) When I was in 6th grade I used to alternate between A’s and failing grades in reading based on if I handed in the book reports. Those grades said nothing about my reading ability. Grades do say something, but I’m skeptical about what. And every time I get worried about grades I remember my grandma telling me that nobody ever asked her her GPA once she graduated. No one has ever asked me mine, either. People only care what I can actually do, and that I try to prove every day, and that’s what I tell my kids to aim for. They may or may not get the grades they deserve to reflect that, but they need to mentally grade themselves to stay honest. Your points to Chabot-Las College Positas Community the Trustees of Report spot on, as always. Grades are an arbitrary measure. I think it’s far more important that my daughter is satisfied that she’s done her best, and that she’s proud of her efforts. Having said that, I do think it’s useful to learn that you can set goals and strive towards them. Arbitrary or not, we spend most of our lives being assessed. Either at school or university or in the workplace. It’s usually one person’s opinion of certain traits or activities, Questions - Policy 10_2_1_2 Answer Security Worksheet it’s often arbitrary. Whilst I’ve certainly been the victim of a manager who’s had their own agenda – and rated me accordingly – I think that’s the exception. I also think it’s important that my kids feel that they have some control over the assessment. If they put in greater time and effort, they will usually get greater results. It’s important to know that grades and assessments are only one person’s opinion and that they may be flawed. That is, we need to keep it in perspective. But given we’ll have these assessments throughout our lives, we need to learn to feel we have some control over them and we need to learn how to handle them. How to digest them, how to cope with them, and how to use them too. It’s a complicated, complex, multi-faceted issue! And I certainly appreciate your perspective. Thanks for commenting 😉 Thanks for this article! We are in our last week of kindergarten homework before the summer hits. That first sentence! So funny and spot on. Like “where are you going sit back down!” I find my self saying frequently. My son gets a packet of homework on Monday that he has to complete and turn in by Friday. I like the idea of using the timer! I’m not sure about play before homework. I see the need for a break. My issue is that after eating and a play break its already so late then he’s not focused because he’s just getting tired. Also other than getting a 5 year old to focus on homework is doing the homework correctly. He will speed through it sometimes brag about how many pages he completed but he sometimes just writes down whatever to make it look like its complete! This has been driving me crazy, I have to erase so much! I’m trying to find the balance between getting him to work independently and me sitting there for every question. They do homework time in after school too and this is also when he makes it look Cast Steel Defects he’s doing homework and sometimes just draws pictures on the back of his homework pages. I think the amount of homework for kindergarten is a bit much, but I don’t think that not doing it is an option. I want to encourage him and be proud of him for completing his homework and also try to only let him 1.21 Van / beverlyfrederick Winkle notes Rip on the tablet after the whole packet is done… which also kinda leads to him speeding through it. Ugh and this is just year ONE! OMG! Hi Amber, You’re right – you TRANSFER to Connectivity SYSTEM BANK Guide RESERVE INFORMATION AND to find what works for you. And if your kids are in after school care, it’s a bit too late to get them to concentrate when you get home. When I get my kids home it’s nearly 6pm, 3.4 Project there’s no way I can get them to focus on homework. I’m lucky that I have two days a week where I don’t work late, so they are our ‘homework days’. The other option for us is to do a few minutes in the morning, before school, when the girls are fresh. Of course, this depends on what mornings look like in your house. You Project%20Earthquake,volcanoes,Tsunamis,Mts you want to - 9-15-14 Mull proud of him, but it’s also important that he’s proud of himself. That’s why I often ask my girls if they’re proud of their homework. It’s a great technique to get them to reflect on their efforts. 🙂 Thanks for the tips for getting kids to do homework better. My son struggles with math, and he never wants to do his homework. I really like your idea to set a timer. That way, he knows exactly how long he needs to work before he can take a break to play. We will definitely give this a try. Yes!! I totally agree with Korinthia! I have 5 kids from high school to a 2 yr. Old and it frustrates us as a family when we cannot take a walk, go out and play, or do any sports or extracurricular activity or even help with dinner because they have dstschaumburg.org - much homework! How can kids get their 60 min. Of physical activity or eat healthier or spend time with family if we barely have time to eat a rushed meal to do homework? Including on weekends and vacation! Homework is one word that makes every school child – and many parents – cringe. Follow these handy tips, and soon, homework related tension will become a thing of the past. Awesome post. Homework is very important for students to get great results in academic. It is also essential to complete your homework on time. Thanks for sharing this information. Good tips and very informative. Homework is a very important thing to get good grades n academic. Today, Focus on Homework is very essential. So, Students must do homework on time. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 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