1. Be present in the moment! I now sit down at the kitchen table with them while they work on their homework. For the most part they don’t need any help but if they do I’m right there. I have also seen that they stay more focused and get finished quicker with me sitting at the table. Trust me when I say there are 100 things I feel like I should be getting done at that time but I’m realizing they like me there with them! What has surprised me the most is that we actually are having more meaningful conversations! It’s a more relaxed atmosphere one-on-one so the dialog flows more freely. I get to hear about who chased who at recess and what so-and-so had for lunch. Though those things are silly, I’m learning more about my girls during this time and I love it.
2. I have 2 girls that need to get their homework done and in the past I made them sit down together to do their homework. Well, most days just didn’t go well. They are a year apart from each other and so competition is their game. It usually ended up with one of them crying. So this year if they have to do it at the same time I separate them and have them go into different rooms. It has made all the difference in the world!! If we have a busy afternoon then I will just go back and forth to help them at the same time. But if we have a slow day I sit down with them one at a time. I want homework time to be calm so if it means spending more time at the table than I’ll do it happily.
3. Think outside the box for homework times. I used to demand that their homework was to be done AS SOON as they got home from school because I wanted it out of the way. But my kids come home and they act like crazy animals being let out of a cage. Seriously! I’m talking loud voices, jumping off the walls, and giggles galore. So making them sit down to focus wasn’t happening and that was creating a lot of our tension. So I made the choice to listen to what their little bodies were telling me. THEY NEEDED A BREAK. And actually I don’t blame them. Their mental energy is gone right after school and they just want to play. So now we do homework right after dinner. They are required to read 20 minutes a day so instead of them doing it right after homework (as in years past) they now read before bed (which is helping them go to bed better).
4. Use positive thinking! This has been key for me. Not everyday is going to be magical! On those days I try to think about 3 things I love about them and it gives me more patience to deal with the situation!!
I realize that these tips might not work for everybody but hopefully it can help a few of you! I would love to hear of any tips you might have that are working for your home!