The new year is a great time to make changes. This blog post explains why you should use this new year to refresh your household's homework routine, and how you can do it successfully.
Keeping It Fresh
As human beings, when we get into a routine of doing the same thing over and over again, we tend to fall into a rut and maintain the status quo. Specifically, as parents, the routines we have with our children, like the breakfast routine, the bedtime routine, and the homework routine, don't usually change much over time. But, every so often, it's good to take a pause and evaluate - and potentially change - the homework routine. After all, our kids are always changing, and we should stay flexible to meet their shifting needs. Here are a few key tips for how you can use the new year as an opportunity to refresh your household's homework routine.
Tip 1: Do The Routine… Mindfully
When we do something out of habit, we tend to do it in auto-pilot mode, barely paying attention to what the task entails. That's why the first step to refreshing your homework routine is to do it, but mindfully, truly paying attention to each step of the process. This way, you'll notice if something is not working. You should also involve your children by pausing along the way and asking them if they have any feedback on the routine. Afterwards, you can make a list of any insights you've experienced and potential areas for improvement you've identified.
Tip 2: Ask Others about Their Routines
If you've always done things one way, you might not even be aware of some of the other approaches or alternatives that exist. It can be incredibly enlightening to talk to other parents about their household homework routines, identifying any ideas you hadn't previously thought of that you might be able to implement into your own system at home. Ask friends who are parents and your children's teachers and conduct some online research. You can also have your children participate by asking them to speak to their friends to see if they have any tips that sound like they're worth trying out.
Tip 3: Make One Change at a Time
What you might find after following our first two tips is that you end up with a list of several new approaches you want to try or changes you want to make to your household homework routine. When it comes time to implement and actually make those changes, make sure that you do so one change at a time - for several reasons. First, you'll ensure that your children (and you!) won't find yourselves overwhelmed by a sudden, jarring shift in routine. And second, this approach will allow you to pay attention to the results of each individual change and decide whether or not it's a positive shift worth making a permanent one.
To help you get started brainstorming, here's a list of a few factors to think about:
- Do your children do homework on their own, or do you supervise the process?
- Do you look over assignments before or after they're turned in?
- Do you review each homework assignment, or just some of them? How do you decide what aspects of the assignment to look at?
- Do you correct your child's homework?
- What time of the day do you dedicate to homework?
- Where do you conduct your homework routine? Is it a place that lends itself to concentration, or does it have distractions?
- How actively does your child participate in every step of the homework routine?
- How should the homework routine change as your children get older?
Now that we've got you thinking, it's time to turn those tips into action. Good luck!
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