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3 Homework Helpers for Elementary School Children

Homework starts in elementary school and never really stops. With these 3 tips, healthy habits can be formed and used forever with powerful results. Let's jump right to it. 

1. Start and end with a quick game. 

Spend a second with them and play a brief mental or physical game. Examples for mental would be a couple tic tac toe rounds, a few moves to an ongoing checkers game, a two player game on a tablet, a riddle, or "war" with playing cards. Physical options include a 2-minute fun wrestling session, a couple challenging yoga poses, or a tickle fight. 

Anything that brings smiles and laughter, nothing serious or instruction based. This is great for bonding and associates fun with learning! When a child thinks of homework as boring or hard and comes with tension from mom and dad, years of struggle will be ahead. The habits created for study now may determine if any studying happens as an adult. This is VERY IMPORTANT! As parents, we are busy, but not too busy to spend a minute or two before and after homework with them. We can't expect them to focus during homework time if we can't demonstrate focus within our own schedules. This is a great way to chat about unimportant topics which keeps the line of communications open for when important topics arise.

2. Experiment with their senses to see how they pay attention best. 

Observe them with low light and high light, music and silence, snacking or not, and room to move or confined. 
It's worth the time to do this and each child will vary with environmental needs. If you have 4 kids, it is common that they all will require different things. (You may need a huge house. Just kidding) 

If sunlight isn’t available, full spectrum light bulbs are recommended for most people. It's common for people to switch much of their lighting in their house to full spectrum after they see the difference with one bulb. It's awesome for mood and learning! 

Ambient music in the background works wonders. Same with Baroque era music. Apps like Pandora and a mini speaker make this easy. 

Some people do better when a light, healthy snack is within reach. Single ingredient foods are best. For others, it's an unnecessary distraction. 

Fidgeting isn't terrible. Box some kids up in a tight desk and chair and you will see torture in progress. Some thrive in confined space though.

Again, it's worth it to invest time with these experiments. Middle and high school aren't very far away. You'd be giving them an incredible edge and encouraging them to understand that it is ok not to be like everyone else because we aren't like anyone else!  

3. Finally, before the short game when homework is finished, make sure they ask you to check over the assignments for completion. They must learn you won't except giving up before completing all the homework. They'll test us the whole way to see what they can get away with but that's they're job and boy are they good at it!

Bonus tip: Check out what colored filter sheets will do for reading comprehension. :)

Big thanks to all of you parents! Our future looks better and better because of the examples you are setting for your children! 

Your friend,

Derrick Maretti
Superkids Martial Arts

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