How to get your child to finish his/her school homework? #MondayMommyMoments

homework-624735My daughter began her schooling in the United States where the education system is not as strenuous as it is in India. We moved back to India last year in June and she went straight head-on to the traditional education system. Just like the ones we studied in! Except a tad more rigorous than our times. While we began cursive writing much later, kids in India begin schooling with cursive writing. I remember subjects that were taught much later to us, being introduced early on in the curriculum for kids today. The pressure and competition has definitely mounted on in far greater measures than ours.

As a mother, my focus has always been to see that my child enjoys the process of learning. So, that way, I really liked the stress-free style of education in America. The parents have no clue when the tests are being administered and they are given to the child in a candid fashion. The child doesn’t go through any pressure of learning. However, as a parent, I did make sure that my child stays not just abreast but ahead of what was being taught in school at home. I used to teach her English, a bit of Math and even the basics of Hindi because I knew we were going to go back to India. So, she had the luxury of the best of both the worlds. A fun education learning process at school and at home. I really liked her teachers there, the style of teaching and more so, the free arts, gym and music classes. Those extra curricular classes were amazing.

Back in India, my daughter had a tough time adapting in the first 2-3 months. Apart from cultural belonging, she found the system drastically opposite to the education system in America. She couldn´t dress in clothes that she liked and had to wear a uniform. She couldn´t style her hair in any fashion or paint her nails or grow them long. She found it very restrictive. The classes were rigorous and the home-work even more so. Thankfully, post 3 months, things have been getting better and it´s okay now. But one thing still remains, her dislike for home-work. Ha-Ha! I try to make it as less strenuous as possible for her though. How

I attended my daughter´s first Parent-Teacher meeting last month for this academic year. Things have begun looking a bit more positive this year. The Telangana Government has put a cap on the the weight of bags carried by schoolchildren and issued a strict notice to all schools to follow the same. This is a much-needed move. At the PT meeting, we were given forms to ask us, parents whether we wanted homework for children. Another step in the right direction, I thought. Until I saw that I was the only parent who signed up for no homework. Every other child´s parent in the class voted for regular daily homework. And, I instantly knew I was standing on losing battle-ground here.

Personally, I think our children go through enough learning, revision and activity in school. I am not against home-work per se but it needs to be thought over. Most of the time, it is a repetition..writing the same word or sentence many times or sticking pictures. I remember one home-work activity pretty clearly which was cruel in my personal opinion. My daughter actually scored 10/10 for dictation and yet, she was still asked to write those set of 15 words, 5 times each. That meant she had to write the words 75 times. She was in a state of immense fury. And as a parent, I felt helpless and sorry for her. I questioned the logic of such homework. It makes sense for those who scored less but for those children who scored full marks, writing these words were nothing short of torture. But, can you fight the system as a parent? Or even the traditional mindset of the majority of parents. The answer is ´No´, unfortunately! 

Here are some of my strategies that I use to make my child complete her homework

  1. Make the torture fun – This idea stemmed from my dislike for doing certain chores. As a stay-at-home Mum in America, I detested ironing clothes. But, I learnt to eventually go through the weekly ordeal in a fun manner. I would listen to a podcast, listen to a Youtube video or music and Voila! the task would cease to be so torturous. I use this strategy for certain homework which I feel is pointless as a parent. Repetition homework like writing the same thing a zillion times falls under this category. I let my child listen to her favourite songs on the side while completing the task.
  2. Explore and revise – This strategy comes in handy for the homework that truly matters. Some of the homework tasks given are quite productive. So, before my daughter attempts such homework, I make sure she revises her class and text notes before doing it. Some homework assignments are truly innovative. It gives the parent and child the opportunity to go beyond the school curriculum and dig deeper for some fun facts. Have a mock quiz at home. 
  3. Appreciation – There is nothing more affirming and soothing for a child than appreciation. So, when the going is tough and our tough children get going, I make sure to appreciate her hard work and responsibility.
  4. Constructive criticism – Homework is a great opportunity to fill up those learning gaps and smooth those rough learning edges. So, as I watch her do her homework, I offer her my 2 bits on what is going well and what she can do better. Where she needs to pull up her socks and where she needs to continue maintaining the same momentum of excellence!
  5. Play – This is super important. Many times, our idea or play is very different from that of our child. This is one area where I don´t impose my rules on her. Whatever makes her happy makes me happy. So, she is the boss here and I let her play, however she interprets it. So, alongside homework, she gets enough time to unwind, her style.

At the end of the day, Homework is great for helping your child stay focussed on her academics. It´s upto us to see that they view it in the positive light as it teaches them not just facts and figures but also finer life skills like responsibility, commitment and character. Also, be appreciative of their efforts and sensitive to them. 

I am writing this post for #Mondaymommymoments  #MMM 

MondayMommyMoments

‘I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter and #MyFriendAlexa’ #TheTinaEdit

11 comments

  1. Nice take on the prompt Tina. How old is your girl? Mine is 9 – the younger one.
    I totally get your thoughts on the rigorous curriculum in India. It kills your creativity as it propagates rote learning. My friends tell me I was not made for this country. Not sure about that but yes, I find a lot of stuff regressive in India though we are progressing so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Natasha! My child is 8.5 years…She will be 9 next year in April. A fiery Arien. Exactly! On the upside, the basics are strong. Basic skills like good cursive writing and the basic foundations remain strong life-long. About the creativity part, I have to totally agree considering the skills that are required for the coming workforce is entirely different from what is being taught. 🙂 I know what you mean..but the country needs more women like you again. About things regressing, that´s one thing I feel the same about too..the more things change, the more they remain the same. Unfortunately, with all the education and girl empowerment talk, tradition trumps all. 🙂

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  2. Tina …true that the education system is killing but yes they are improvising especially in the lower classes. There is no burden or compulsion of homework. Kids are allowed to choose activities that they find interest in. Unlike us, where we had a 30 minute period for Games and nothing better than kho kho to play …So yes things are changing for the better…keeping fingers crossed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anubhuti! Firstly, a warm welcome to my blog. My daughter studies in a traditional educational system. So, in many ways, the system is the same. There is some progress and change of course. But, what I noticed is that even parents who want a change are in the minority. Like in this post, I mentioned how the school was rethinking about daily homework but the parents wanted it…So..Yes, lets keep our fingers crossed. 🙂 Keep stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Love and Cheers!

      Like

    • Hi Dr.Amrita! Glad you liked my post. Yes! I agree with you that the system is stressful on students ….Learning, on the whole, has become a highly stressful and competitive. As parents, we need to balance it out by making it enjoyable as well. Education is very very important for kids and they should view it positively. 🙂

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  3. The education system here still does have many flaws but often, even if the schools want to change, parents who are used to the older ways oppose them without even giving it a shot. Loved your simple tips that will help the kiddos enjoy their homework and learning process

    Liked by 1 person

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