What to do when your child hates homework: Tips for Singapore parents
Read on to learn more about what you can do when your child hates homework.
When it is time to do homework, do your kids run to the study table or do they delay the task with a multitude of excuses or distractions?
In my household, getting my Primary 1 son to do homework is an immediate call to the battle zone. He would huff and puff with all his might to avoid going to the study room.
Along with this, he would assume a slouchy, tired posture (always claiming that he is tired, even in the morning, after 10 hours of restful sleep). Other times, he would suddenly have other ‘more important’ tasks — like taking a bath or eating lunch.
I’m sure I’m not the only parent out there who has a child who hates homework. (I can sense you nodding your head right now actually!)
According to Roderick Chua, consultant and head coach at Edu.Quantum Learning Systems, these are some of the signs that your child hates homework:
- Sloppy handwriting
- Takes 2 hours to complete a 15-minute assignment
- Gets poor grades despite studying or preparing
- Takes shortcuts in his/her work
- Poor body language at the mention of homework – big sighs, drooping body, furrowed brows
“There is a difference between learning and studying,” said Roderick, who is a 20-year veteran in tutoring and coaching youths. “Learning is enjoyable, while studying is hard work,” he continues.
But, unfortunately for our Singaporean kids, as soon as they enter the primary school system, homework becomes an immediate part of school life. While homework is a breeze for some children, others find it a real chore.
So how do we, as parents, get around this tricky predicament?
Roderick explains that there is a conflict of interest between the parent and child when it comes to homework. Most Singaporean parents are focused on the result, i.e. when it comes to homework, our objective is to get it done so our child can hand it in to the teacher.
But for a child, it’s a job that has to be done — thus becoming a chore as it is NO FUN. Hence, in his/her mind, the kid identifies the parent as the source of stress or a fun-killer when it comes to homework.
Also, lower primary students are generally very fidgety and hate sitting down for hours to do homework. The way to get around this, said Chua, is to offer some fun in the process of doing homework and allowing them some movement.
So, if your child hates homework, you need to try to make it as ‘fun’ as possible for them.
Roderick also shares that you cannot teach your child because of the child’s psychological barrier that YOU are the PARENT. He offers these tips instead, to help you guide your child during homework time:
- Offer parental support
- Sit beside them and work with them
- No drilling
- Do not demand or force them to finish their work
- Offer verbal encouragement to boost their confidence
- “You’re getting there.” Or “It’s almost done.”
- “Great handwriting!”
- Be understanding
- Give them a time limit.
- Understand that the span of concentration in a young child is short – around 15 minutes in duration
- Slowly extend the duration – 5 minutes at a time
- Be patient
- Revise the skills that they have learned (so the child does not have to repeat learning or doing things he already knows and gets bored or frustrated with)
- Use the homework as an assessment to understand their level of understanding
- Help them understand the concepts that eluded them eg. grammar or math concepts like more or less than
- Use reverse psychology if it works on the child
- Reward the child with praises
- Ask questions
- Add a little fun “competition” – “Let’s see who can get more correct answers?” Or “Who can add this sum faster?”
- Understand the child’s way of studying
Edu.Quantum Learning Systems is located at Blk 372 #02-372 Bukit Batok Street 31 Singapore 650372 Tel: 65668835.
Roderick Chua will be conducting a free talk and assessment for parents:
Saturday 18th Feb 2012, 2pm – 4pm
Venue: 5th Floor, Seoul Rooms, AIA Tampines Building , 3 Tampines Grande.
All attendees will receive a complimentary gift for their child. As seats are limited please register early.
To reserve your seats you can call Charlie Ng @ 94503487 or email to [email protected]