When it comes to doing homework at the end of a long day, it can be a bit of a mission to motivate your kids to be enthusiastic about what has to be done. They have already spent hours in class with pens, pencils and paper and now they must do more of the same.
I often talk about being a source of magic, wonder and surprise for your children — not every day, but from time-to-time, and when you are wearing your homework motivator hat, this is the time to pull a cat out of that hat. Now here is the trick to keep up your sleeve for those desperate moments — change the medium!
By this I mean, if the homework doesn’t have to be done in a specific book and handed in to the teacher the next day (such as times tables, number bonds and spelling), then ditch the pen and paper and use something else. I can guarantee you will have your child’s attention on the job in an instant and they will also think you are a hero (not a bad position to seek every now and then). So here are some creative ideas on changing the medium:
- Sprinkle flour on a tray or on the kitchen table and get your child to write their spelling or sums in the flour.
- Window Crayons are a great find – yes, twistable crayons specially designed for use on glass and are easy to wipe off. They give a wonderful sensory experience.
- Use pavement chalk on the driveway, which also give lots of sensory feedback due the roughness of the surface.
- Use bath crayons on the tiles or side of the bath. My son has even written his spelling words on the bottom of the bath while sitting in the water.
- Make a fan with a piece of paper and get your child to write a different spelling word on each space.
- Use whiteboard markers on mirrors, windows or sliding patio doors.
- Use a flipchart or whiteboard with coloured pens.
- Even writing spelling words with a ballpoint pen down legs and arms will be a memorable experience.
Rather than having a meltdown over homework, why not choose to have some fun by changing the medium and perhaps reaching superhero status at the same time!
- Be a source of magic, wonder and surprise.
- Change the medium – ditch pen and paper!
- Think out of the box.
- Create multi-sensory experiences.
- Have fun.
- Create a memory.
This is an extract from Nikki Bush's ebook Parenting Matters which you can find at www.nikkibush.com
NIKKI BUSH: Creative parenting expert, inspirational speaker and co-author of Tech-Savvy Parenting (Bookstorm, 2014), Future-proof Your Child (Penguin, 2008), and Easy Answers to Awkward Questions (Metz Press, 2009) Contact Nikki at firstname.lastname@example.org