Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Turning homework struggles into a game

The first year my daughter consistently got homework it was a bit of a struggle to get it done as she was used to coming home and playing with her toys.  Needless to say, it was exhausting for us all.  One night however, I had a light-bulb moment. 

She almost always played with her dolls and she loved to play school. Why not combine her homework with her play time. I suggested she teach the questions to her "class" and write the answers down. She'd likely get extra reinforcement of the concepts by explaining them out loud and her homework would get done. It worked!

Now she is a little older but she is still using schoolwork for teaching her class.  Instead of always teaching her dolls her current homework (of which there seems to be less and less) she has started creating her own worksheets using a word processing program and pasting images from Google.  It can take her over 30 minutes to create each one and get them just right.  She even puts a name and date header at the top of each page for the "students" to fill in.  I can see her using creative writing concepts from school, different math approaches and the best thing is, she makes 4 copies and has each of her "students" fill them in.  She isn't really aware that she is now doing the work 4 times instead of 1 and coming up with different ways of approaching questions by answering 4 different ways.  I also love that she is blissfully unaware of the computer skills she is honing too.

It may not work forever as her homework gets harder and her love of playing school diminishes but for now it is working well in our home and the homework struggles have been put to bed.

How do you handle the haunting homework hour?

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