Happy Homework

5 Tips for making homework easier and less stressful

It is the start of the new school year and just the thought of homework can already make us feel like we need another holiday. That ’s why the Occupational Therapists at Success Therapy Centre put together a list of tips that will help make homework a little less stressful for you and your child.

1. Get the workspace sorted

It is worthwhile investing in a desk and chair that is the correct size and height for your child. Make sure their feet can touch the ground and that their elbows rest comfortably on the table surface, without their shoulders hiking upwards. Making sure your child does not feel physically tired during homework time as a result of an uncomfortable sitting posture is the first step to success.

2. Get all the homework supplies you might need

Place all the stationary together that your child might need to complete their homework. Have a resident homework stationary tray or pencil case on the homework desk. Try and make this set as comprehensive as possible. It will save time looking for the eraser once you get going with homework.

3. Get a timer

A good old-fashioned stopwatch or digital countdown timer will do. Using a smartphone is not recommended as the chances of it causing a distraction is too large. A timer can be useful in many ways while doing homework. For example, you can help your child stay on task for a period of time (15-20 minutes for a foundation phase child). They can also estimate how long it might take them to complete a specific piece of work and then race against the clock. Even for an older child, this will help them study for a length of time before taking a “concentration break”.

4. Work according to a “To Do” list

From a young age, help your child take responsibility for what they need to do by writing it down. Let them prioritise homework items and start with the most important item first. You can also use this planning step to estimate how much time you will need to complete each task and set the countdown timer accordingly.

5. Be a mediator

As frustrating as it can be to see your child struggle, it is important to remember that homework is a learning experience. The whole thinking process is much more valuable than the answer. Don’t get anxious if your child can’t get through all the work; just communicate the reason to your child’s teacher. It is far better for your child to have done three sums with complete understanding than for you to give them the answer.

If you have any specific homework related questions with regards to your child please feel free to email us at info@successcentre.co.za and one of our therapist will gladly assist you. Happy homework!

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