|Child Sleeping At The Desk|
Illustrated by Koay Joo Bee
By Koay Joo Bee
Does your child have trouble completing his homework? Does she dilly dally, have trouble concentrating, plays with his stationery or starts drawing cartoons during homework time? If your child is having trouble focusing on homework, here is a checklist on why he may be restless during homework time.
1. Is He Getting Enough Sleep?
One of the easiest ways for a child to lose focus is due to tiredness. So make sure your child is well rested. Make sure he goes to bed early if he has to get up early to go to school so that he won't be too tired to do his homework in the afternoon or evening when he gets home from school.
2. Take Away Distractions
Is your child distracted by the things around him? Is the television on in the background? Are his gaming devices, tablets and smart phones lying nearby calling out to him? Remove all distractions including siblings. If you have several children, separate them if necessary to concentrate on their own homework.
3. Are You Over Scheduling Your Child?
Morning rush, then rush off to school, followed by rush to music class, swimming class, taekwando, speech and drama, ballet etc. Your child's day may be so full of activities, he has no chance to wind down completely so he or she is always fretful and unable to focus because of the constant rush. How can he concentrate when he has so many activities in a day? Does he have enough time to complete his homework? Take a re look at his schedule if your child's day is too full of activities.
Routine helps a child know what to expect and do the expected. So have a routine for homework, for play etc. Remind him or her that work comes before play, then make a timetable and discuss your timetable with him or her. Teach him to be mindful of the time by placing a wall clock nearby or a cute alarm clock on his table or use a timer if you need to. Plan and structure his time so that homework is for the part of the day when he is most fresh, not just right before bedtime or nap time. He will also need to wind down before sleep.
5. Make It Fun
A young child will be able to concentrate better on something he enjoys doing. So if it is math that he can't concentrate on? Make learning math fun with practical real life examples instead of just letting him memorize numbers and practicing sums.
6. Is The Task Too Hard?
You child may be tuning out because he has trouble doing the task. Check to see if the work he is given is too difficult for him. Break it down into smaller tasks if need to. For example, complete one page of work and then have a 5 minute break and praise him for completing his work. Is memorizing 10 words for spelling every week too hard for him? If so, break it down to 1 or 2 words a day.
7. Get Rid Of Devices
Is your child getting addicted to devices? The smart phone and iPad may have his "focus" for long periods of time but they're not really helping to improve attention spans. Get rid of devices. You will find that he will be able to concentrate much better on homework if the iPad is completely banned accept for weekends or holidays. If tablet time is offered as a reward, it will only result in your child rushing through his work carelessly just to be able to play, so at times a complete ban is better. If your child has time, reward him with books and time playing with puzzles and toys instead.
Writing line after line of sentences may be so boring to your child he prefers to play with his stationery, twirl his pencils, line up rulers or throw his erasers up and down. Sometimes boredom arises because the child is weak in the subject. Help your child get ahead by helping him in problem areas. If being weak in the subject is not the problem and discipline is. Instill discipline in your child to sit still and complete his homework during the time you have set aside for them to do so. Then praise him for completing his work.
9. A Place For Homework
For homework, make sure your child has a special place to do it, then place him or her there at the same time everyday. It doesn't matter if you do not have a special study table or desk. You can set a place on the dining table for doing homework but make sure your child does his homework at the same place every day. Make the place as quiet and conducive as possible.
10. Too Much Homework?
Is your child getting too much homework for his age? If so, speak to his teacher if possible or if he is attending tuition, reduce homework from tuition. Get his tuition teacher to help with homework instead of adding on to the homework load.
Finally, homework shouldn't be a battleground between you and your child. You can win this battle too by practicing the tips above.