You may be all too familiar with this scene. You coax and cajole your child to start working on homework, and the whining begins. It’s too hard, or too long, or too boring. The 10 to 30 minutes of homework stretches out over one or two hours. By bedtime, you are both exhausted!
While we do serious brain training at Brain Works to help children’s brains focus and learn more easily, we have some brain tips for homework that might help your child. Try our suggestions, and see if that schoolwork gets completed a little bit faster and with less frustration.
• Prior to studying, have your child stand, pick up the right foot and place the left hand on the right knee. Then ask your child to pick up the left foot and place the right hand on the left knee. Doing this Cross Crawl 5 to 10 times will help the left and right sides of the brain work together to improve learning. (Brain Gym by Dennison & Dennison)
• Help your child with brain organization by making checklists for homework prior to studying and crossing off items as they are accomplished.
• Prior to reading, have your child draw a page-sized “8”, turn the paper sideways, and trace this Lazy 8 three times with the right hand, three times with the left and three times with both hands for eye tracking, pronouncing words and reading comprehension. (Brain Gym by Dennison & Dennison)
• Offer water prior to and/or during study time to hydrate the brain and wake it up.
• Turn on classical or baroque music at a low volume during study time to help with focus, memory, relaxation and thinking ability.
• Allow your child to chew gum or squeeze a soft, hand-sized ball to relax the body and increase attention span.
• Allow your child to get up and move around every 10 to 20 minutes. Movement stimulates attention and thinking.
• When there is frustration or lack of focus, switch to a different subject and return to the first one later.
• If fidgeting is a problem, try using an exercise ball as a chair to allow movement, which helps with alertness and thinking.
• Use a clock or timer for a game of “beat the clock” to improve focus and processing speed. Your child can see how much work can be done in 2 or more minutes.
• For math word problems, have your child draw pictures of what is described for better understanding.
• For reading comprehension, your child can draw a picture or act out what is happening in the reading material.
• Auditory learners learn best by talking and listening. These kids can put facts they are learning to a favorite song.
• Visual learners learn best through reading or observation. It helps them to write or draw ideas on paper and to use flash cards to study.
• Tactile learners learn best by touching something or moving their body. Let them use play dough and other objects to illustrate ideas they must learn. Going through the motions of what is being learned can help, too.
We hope you find our brain tips help your child move through homework time more successfully. If you find that your child is still experiencing difficulties, give us a call at Brain Works. We’ll be happy to help you find a solution for your child’s needs.