As the end of the year approaches, it often gets difficult for students (of all ages), and even teachers and parents, to remain focused on homework and projects. I am sure we can all say we have felt this in one way or another. Rather than fight a battle each night, below are some suggestions that you may find helpful in pushing through the “end-of-the-year-itis” that often hits as the close of the school year nears.
4 Crazy Simple End-Of-Year Homework Tips
1. Talk! First things first: acknowledge it, own it, and discuss it! Let your child know that you understand what they are feeling and be honest about how you’re feeling, too. Don’t be afraid to admit you are ready for summer. However, at the same time make sure to gently remind them that they still have expectations to meet, both at school and at home. Sometimes simply acknowledging the feelings will help your child feel better because they know you understand.
2. Adjust Routines – With the end of the year, in many locations, the weather is getting much nicer outside. While this is great, it surely does not increase your child’s motivation to complete homework! Along the same lines, while routines and consistency are key to helping most kids succeed, this is a perfect time to revisit both routines and schedules to see if making some changes will help. If your child is typically a “work first then play” type of child, maybe you need to switch it up. Maybe they need to play outside first (with a predetermined time limit), then work and finally head back outside. There’s nothing wrong with trying to switch routines and see if that helps!
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3. Work Outside – Outside may not seem like an ideal place to do homework. However quite the opposite is often true. The end of the year is the perfect time to find a fun homework spot outside (if your child actually gets work done of course)! Get clipboards, a blanket and sit in the yard, or find an outdoor restaurant, grab an after-school snack and work at the tables. You can even grab all of the neighborhood classmates/friends and have an outdoor homework group. Take turns “hosting” this group at your house or driving to the local coffee shop. Yes, there may be distractions, but the “reward” of doing homework somewhere new can spice things up a bit and increase motivation! Set a timer and have students “earn” this reward again by showing you they can work hard the entire time you are there. (Make it more about effort and less about work completion so they don’t feel stressed by the timer!)
4. Friday Fun Days – Now might be a time where children need a little extra motivation to get their work done. Create a chart and for each night homework is done, mark it down. On Friday, if your child has earned the number of stars (or ice cream cones or stickers etc), have a fun night and go to an outdoor movie, get take-out from your child’s favorite restaurant, let them have friends over or go to a special activity they have been asking about. Increasing motivation by providing a long term (but not too long term!) reward, paired with a visual so children can track progress, might be enough to help with the final push.
Finding a fun and enjoyable way to get through the final push will make everyone feel better!