How we wish homework could be fun — only if our kids also had a Doremon to help them with their studies! One of the biggest concerns of parents today is getting their child do homework and studies on time and effectively.
It’s quite understandable that homework sounds like a big task, uninteresting, and unrelenting, given the little time kids have to play, relax, and entertain themselves in this gadget-led age. Nevertheless, you’ll soon agree that it’s important to stick to a regular homework regime.
If you’re wondering why anyone would want their kids to bury their face again in notebooks and do homework every day, here is why:
5 Reasons Why Homework Is Important:
- Reinforces concepts taught in school
- Instils self-responsibility
- Exercises brain and improves concentration
- Self-discipline, time management, independent thinking and problem-solving
- Bring a sense of accomplishment and confidence
Now, the big question remains, how to get your child to study and do homework?
Vidya Ragu, psychologist, learning and development specialist from Chennai has an interesting methodology for parents to follow! It’s called the ‘2 Rupees, 3 Paisa’ concept! Want to know what that is? Read on!
The 2 Rupees, 3 Paisa Concept to help kids do Homework
Homework is an opportunity for a parent to be able to teach responsibility to the child. With the ‘2 Rupees 3 Paisa’ model, parents will be able to get children to do homework without a fuss.
‘2 Rupees, 3 Paisa’ which basically means 2 R’s and 3 P’s, is just an acronym for parents to remember every time they’re handling a child. So let’s look into each of it one by one.
Let Homework be your child’s responsibility
The first R is Role and Responsibility! Vidya explains, “In our experience, most of the parents just want the homework to be complete.
And they think it’s their responsibility that the homework should be complete and the child should do it in the best way.
Please understand it’s the child’s homework and we are responsible for enabling them to do it rather than actually sitting down and doing it.”
So what Vidya suggests is, instead of completing the homework for your child or shouting at them, encourage the child to understand that it is their role and responsibility to do their homework.
Nehal Roy, a parent says, I always tell my daughter, “You see we have money so that we can buy lots of stuffs” — she asks, “Where does this money come from?” and I replied, “Dad and mom bring that money after working hard”.
She tells, “I will also work hard and bring money to buy lot many stuffs”. Then I told her that money comes from hard work from your job and you can do any job smartly if you study well and finish your homework on time. So when she comes back from school, she freshens up, has her lunch and directly finishes her homework!
Let your child tell you what’s to be done, what is required, by when he/she should be able to complete it, and if he/she wants to do it independently — without your constant supervision and nagging. Gradually, kids will learn to own the responsibility of their homework.
So how about being a role model?
While your child is working hard at completing homework or studies, ensure that you do your homework—house chores, cooking, readying bed, reading, research on topics he/she wants help with, ironing school uniform, etc. Show him/her you’re hard working as well!
Says Vijay Gupta, a parent, “Kids have a habit of following footprints of their parents since for them their parents are the world. So we make sure to complete our work on time or ahead of time. It helps us to set an example in front of our children as a good role model when we understand the value of time.”
Sticking to Regularity & Routine — Makes Doing Homework A Habit
“When you’re talking of Regularity & Routine it’s about whether they have homework or not. They create a Routine of a certain time every single day where they know that that is Homework Time.”
So instead of forcing the child to sit down and finish studying and do all the homework in one shot, engage them for a 45 minute duration (average attention span of a child) and add a break after.
Vidya explains, “Make it a habit that every single day you decide, you discuss and you come up with a plan saying, “OK this is our homework time and we will do it every single day”.
Another very interesting thing that can be done is to actually put a timepiece in front of the child to let them know that until this is going to be there, set the time and say “in this time, you’re going to sit and do it”; they kind of know that there is no choice, and there is no point in fussing.
So they try to take responsibility for saying “OK, this is my time and it is a slow process, it will take a little time but it definitely works.”
For some, it works well if kids finish their studies before they’re out to play. Sometimes, it makes sense to finish homework and pack the bags before they’re ready for dinner and family time. Whatever it is, make sure you keep a consistent time and routine for homework.
Shruti Kapoor, a parent, shares her views, “I agree that it’s a task to make kids do their homework but the right strategy and time management works wonders. My Champ is a smart independent boy and enjoys doing his homework.
We have a timetable for weekdays and a different one for the weekend. I never insist upon doing homework immediately after school or lunch. Instead, we have a good chit chat first along with planning activities that would follow homework.
Happily and joyfully, with imaginary stories and characters, we complete the homework so that we can spend equal time in playing and doing different activities. I truly believe, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’”
Praise your child — rather than Reward
Now moving on to the P’s. The first P is Praise rather than Reward. Why? Because Praise is motivation.
“The moment you look at the child and say, “Wow you did the A very well; can you do the B as well?”, that’s a Praise!
But the moment you come and give a chocolate, the child is not doing the homework for the homework, but because of the Reward — and that becomes a habit”, says Vidya.
Make your child understand the consequence of not doing homework
The next P is the power of choice and the power of consequence. If the child is able to sit for 45 minutes and finish the homework (or do a good bit of it) — enable them to take on the choice saying “OK, so you’ve done this part of it, what do you want to do next?” rather than forcing, “your homework time is over, let’s do this now.”
“So take a back-seat and allow the child to come forward and exercise his power of choice”, suggests Vidya.
Then comes the Power of Consequence. “If the child does the homework one day but another day he does not, the child should be able to understand that there’s a consequence for it.
So in a week if 2 or 3 are not done, then the child will face a consequence of maybe skipping one hour of TV Time or skipping their play time or anything where they can appreciate that “there is a consequence to my action”. These enable a child to understand responsibility as an important factor in their life.”
Patience is key for parents to help kids do homework
The last P is for parents to have patience. Don’t get into the anxious mode and complain if your child is unable to do the work quickly.
Sometimes in the anxious mode we forget the priority — which is the child and not the homework.
Make Homework And Studies Fun For Your Child
Homework and studies should be fun. Everyday, ask your child what he/she did at school and if he/she has got some exercise sheets to revise it at home. When you discuss homework, show interest and eagerness, and not tension and anxiety.
You can also give your child thoughtful gifts like an exciting study table, good stationery, art items, calculator (if required), dictionary, or table-clock, etc.
Tell your kid to do the difficult part with your help first and then he/she can quickly finish the easy part when he/she is tired.
Give him/her tips to remember spellings and how to form spellings by breaking the words. Create jingles or thumb rules if telling something repeatedly doesn’t help.
For example, to teach your child vowels, create a jingle including letters a, e, i, o, u! Teach your kid cutting-pasting, taking a print-out, and make sure he/she picks up the skills to do it on his/her own the next time.
Ravichand Sankuru says, “Homework is an essential task for every schooling student, and it should be made interesting or fun rather than a task. We often pick a character which my kid likes the most at that moment, and we both get into the characters and try to do the task.”
Shivani Shourie, mother of a 7 year old states, “No fancy talks or frills. It is an arduous task to get my 7 year old to sit down and study. I do try to get her to initiate on her own but when she does not (which is mostly the case), we get into role play or should I say role reversal?
She does not like to study as a student but loves getting into the shoes of a teacher and teach me. While I sit and listen attentively, she reads out the chapters and writes the answers to teach them to me, hardly realising that she completes her homework in the process!
When you are a parent, only you know what works best for you and your child and you learn it on-the-job!!”
Wouldn’t you agree?
Hope you found this method useful! Do try it out at home and let us know in the comments section. If you have more ideas, do let us know! We’re sure it will be useful to other parents as well!
Article originally published on – July 6, 2015, updated on – February 09, 2017
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