I want to talk about how to make homework fun, because sometimes, it is frustrating. I don't know how it is in your house, but in our house, homework was synonymous with "no fun at all." In fact, homework might have even be the least fun thing imaginable - as it was accompanied by whining, tears and arguments.
As a mom and former teacher, I was tired of the nightly homework battles and really just wanted to make homework time more tolerable - for all of us. So, I came up with some ways to make homework fun...well, at least as fun as it can be! Here are my tricks!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEWORK FUN
Special Areas Make Homework Fun
I have always loved creating special nooks and areas to get the kids excited about getting work done. When they were little they loved to hang a sheet over the dining room table and make a reading fort or a special spot to play games. So, doesn't it make sense that in order to make homework fun, a special nook or area would be a great way to do it?!
If setting something up at home isn't your cup of tea, try heading to the coffee shop or a little outdoor bistro. Sometimes, when my son is feeling particularly overwhelmed with homework and I have a ton of work to get done, we grab our laptops and head out to work at our favorite diner. We order snacks and drinks and spend an hour or so working while munching away on fries. The change of scenery makes his homework (and my work!) a lot more manageable and fun! The park is another great option for taking homework if a coffee shop or diner isn't your thing.
Team Work Makes Homework Fun
A couple of years ago, my son's friend suggested they have a study date. Think of it like a preschooler's play date - except the kids are older and instead of playing, they're studying for a test or working on math homework. I was hesitant to say yes, because I thought for sure they'd spend the time joking around and would get nothing done. Surprisingly, they not only finished their homework, they helped each other out when the other got stuck. It was great teamwork and they had a blast. My son later said that he didn't feel like it was homework at all!
Now, my younger kids wouldn't be able to handle a study date, but we make homework fun by having me help them. Need to study for a spelling test? Let's break out the sidewalk chalk and write them in the driveway. Have a math quiz tomorrow? We can practice with flashcards while we're sitting in the hammocks. It doesn't matter where or what we do, the fact that they're not sitting there alone makes it a lot more fun!
Beat the Clock
On those nights when the amount of homework and the time it's going to take seems overwhelming, we play a game called Beat the Clock. I break out the plastic timer and the kids focus for short bursts of time to get their homework done. We create challenges like: How many words can you write correctly and neatly in 5 minutes? or How many math problems can you solve correctly in 10 minutes? They then race to beat the clock and get their homework done before the buzzer goes off. Sometimes we need to reset the buzzer, but that's okay, because homework is then a game and more fun.
Making homework fun begins with helping kids find the right mindset. Instead of viewing it as drudgery, when they think of it as a game or an opportunity to spend time with you, they're much more likely to do it and have fun. When you change their perspective about it, their entire approach to homework changes too.