After reading Peter Gorman's article in The Charlotte Observer about the crisis that Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is facing, it is clear that more than ever before, our children's education is largely our responsibility. And, like he said, what happens now directly affects our children far beyond 2011. So, how do we make the most of our homework time?
Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is that the child has to be at an optimal state of arousal to sit down and do homework. This means he can't be too excitable or full of energy, nor too tired. As well, kids need to move! So, before beginning homework, spend 10-15 minutes doing a large muscle activity such as push-ups, animal crawls, yoga poses, etc. Allow him to chew bubble gum and take frequent movement breaks throughout homework, as well. To foster learning and retention, incorporate movement into the lesson. For instance, if he is learning to write numbers, have him draw them out on the sidewalk with chalk or form them in the air. Then, have him write them on the homework page. If your child is learning basic math facts, have him say them out loud while soldier marching or performing jumping jacks.
The other factor is that we cannot fill our children's schedules too full. While having well-rounded children is important, we have to leave time for good old fashioned play and homework completion.
And,as always, limit screen time!
Michelle Yoder, OTR/L