Saturday, January 18, 2014

Here are some ideas for keeping your child focused during the large holiday beaks from Stowell. Sign up for homework tips through Stowell Learning Center

Happy Holidays!  The calendar has finally caught up with the TV commercials!

So what does that look like for kids still in school for another two to three weeks and families still dealing with homework?
Younger children get increasingly excited.  Teens get busy with social events.  Class routines get disrupted with art projects, assemblies, and special program rehearsals.
All good stuff! 

Except when it comes to homework! 

For the next couple of weeks, it will be hard for kids to settle down to do homework and harder to find time to fit it in.
This is NORMAL!
Below you'll find three suggestions to making this time of year easier.
Here's to having the very best school year ever.
3 "Golden Keys" to Keeping Students on Track During the Holiday Season
  1. Keep your Homework Routine
    If your homework routine has begun to fall by the wayside, re-establish it and make it non-negotiable.  Students fight things less when things are "set in stone."  Have a set time and place for doing homework.

  2. Acknowledge; then Move Ahead
    Kids will naturally be more distracted and excited at this time of year.  We can't make them not feel that way and really don't want to "s" the excitement.  So it's important to acknowledge where they are and then move forward to what they need to do. 

    Here's how this might look:

    For a younger student:
    "You're super excited aren't you?  This is a fun time of year.  Right now, it's homework time.  How about if I help you get started?"

    For an older student:
    "You're anxious to talk to Sara about the party Saturday night, aren't you?  It sounds like it's going to be really fun!  Right now, it's the time we've agreed on to do homework.  Why don't you put a reminder on your phone to call Sara as soon as you're done?"

  3. Make it Fun
    Take advantage of the season

    For example, if you're studying times tables, spelling words, or vocabulary with your child, you might write each one on an index card and then separate them into Santa's naughty and nice piles.  Be a little silly.  Put the cards the student knows in the "nice" pile!  "Yea!  That one gets a present this year!"  "Awesome!  This one goes in the nice pile!"

    The ones the student doesn't know go in the "naughty" pile.  "Boo, he was bad this year!"  "No presents for him!"  This takes the emphasis off of the student not knowing certain facts or words and puts the blame, in a fun way, on the fact/word itself.  Be sure to go back and practice the cards in the "naughty" pile to try to move them to the other pile.

    Other examples:
    "How about if you try these cookies I've been baking after you finish this assignment?"

    Play Christmas music in the background.

    Read a Christmas/holiday story for the nightly reading.
Be creative, have fun, acknowledge and enjoy the excitement, all the while sticking to your homework routine!  Happy Holidays!

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