Education is such a vital aspect in my family’s home that may be overlooked when considering the health and overall nature of fostering healthy learning. Our worlds are so technologically driven that even the most necessary evils, computers, e-books, and e-learning environments can be damaging or even cause a hindrance for our children’s learning curves.
Luckily my seven, soon to be eight, year old son has not reached the peak of technology based learning for which I am ever so grateful. He is still at the stage of the essential basics for communication both written and oral that will foster healthy learning for his teen and adult years and something I will rally for through those learning years. However, while he is still in his elementary learning in life his dad and I do what we can to create an environment at home that is conducive to his learning and would be parallel to his learning in the educational institution. So each night when he comes home we ask if he has homework, even though we know the answer, we feel that asking him promotes the desire to learn and excel.
When homework is confirmed we like to create a healthy learning environment. Now most parents may think to clean off the table, maybe clean their room as to be free of distractions, maybe turn off the TV, some form of “cleaning” to create a healthy homework environment is perceived by a majority of parents. But as parents to a school aged child, and two more on their way into the educational system, we have found that the healthiest environment is one of consistency. Here are a few tips we offer as parents for creating healthy homework habits for our child(ren):
- Homework should be done immediately when they get home from school.
We think that by completing homework right away is the most effective. The material is still fresh in their minds, they have not had the opportunity to decompress from their learnings and thus let this vital knowledge slip away from loose play with friends and or by joining the mass of zombies who log onto video games.
- Homework is completed in a quiet and or relaxed environment and or setting.
As a parent to three children,Â of which is a set of troublesome three year old twins, finding a quiet spot in the house is much like building a rocket to land on Pluto. Fuhghedaboutit! However, we do get the twins involved in the quiet time by asking their big brother to read out loud to them if he has a reading assignment. This is a very healthy habit as he gets into the routine of reading aloud to hear himself say words and learn to speak clearly in front of others. Not to mention the captive audience of a pair of rowdy troublemakers who will learn by example.
- Get involved!
Sometimes this is easier said than done with parents. We have busy schedules that are driven by work, kids,extracurricular activities involving the kids, PTO meetings, travel, dinner, and theÂ rigmaroleÂ of Â everyday life. But if we ask our children, “does your homework involve….(fill in the blank)” whether it be reading, writing, spelling, and or math we are showing that we too care about their homework and their continued learning path and no separation exists between school and home. That the two are congruent with one another. In fact, years of research have shown that when parents are involved in a child’s learning, through homework and school interaction, that children have “Higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates, better school attendance, increased motivation, better self-esteem, lower rates of suspension, decreased use of drugs and alcohol, and fewer instances of violent behavior” (Michigan Department of Education: Education.com, 2007). Those reasons alone should be a powerful initiative to get involved with our children and their learning.
Whatever your habits may be, make sure they are healthy for your child’s learning. Kids thrive on routine and positive affirmations. Really their homework time should not be a burden for them or for you. What would you say are some of your family’s healthy homework habits? What would you share with other parents that may foster healthy homework habits that will have a positive effect on their child’s learning?