A lot of schools are beginning to catch up with research stating that the value of homework is minimal; so you may not be struggling with homework anymore. But if you’re crazy like me and that’s why you follow this blog, you might be creating your own homework for your kid. …ok maybe not. But I really do. If I were a sane person, I might even homeschool to really take their education by the horns. However, I think I mentioned in an earlier post some of the many reasons why I should never homeschool.
Anyway, this homework I created combined with the math homework that was sent home was rockin’ my world. So I tried out a few things that worked well for my kid. Two of my favorites that I continue to recommend to parents are:
- Sticker Charts – they never go out of style and they are so easy. When your child completes their sticker chart they should earn something. This is where you tailor it to your child. Frequency in receiving an incentive, size of incentive, level of choice in what the incentive is, etc. is all determined by you Mama.
- Token Economy – your child earns a “token” for each part/ segment of their homework. If getting ready in the morning is your Achilles heel, it can be used for that too. The key is that everything about it must be predetermined. The incentive is chosen first and made visible. Then the task is broken down into 4-5 manageable parts. Your child then completes one part and they are given a token. They complete the next part and earn a token. This repeats until the task is complete.
When it comes to incentives, I prefer incentives that result in quality time spent with my kids over stuff:
- At-home manicures
- Choice of restaurant
- Movie Night and they get to choose the movie and popcorn
- Invite a friend over to play
- And my favorite… reward them with something that’s common place for other families or with something you were going to give them anyway. 😉 Then act really excited when you give it to them! #momhack
Pitfalls to avoid:
- Rewarding everything – you don’t want to end up in a situation where your child begins to expect a reward for breathing and blowing their nose. I’ve been there.
- Abstaining from a cocktail during homework time. At least grab a beer to help you chill out a little.
- Rewarding with food – just not a good habit. It’s not a good habit for you either Mama. Put it back.