My boy has started at a new kindergarten for N1 and he has weekly homework plus reading tests. Just share what we have done to show some positive results.
I was so worried when the school told us that there’s homework cos I was worried that he’ll resist doing homework that we had a ‘plan’. It was tough cos we wanted him to love homework and did not want him to feel forced.
First homework came on Wednesday. It was a writing practice on the number ‘1’. Then came the 2nd piece of homework, a writing practice on small letter ‘a’. And there were flashcards for him to practice reading (both English & Chinese).
My hb, maid and I figured out a ‘plan’:
Get a nice comfortable table for him (new one). Told him it’s his table for doing written work (allowed him to take rough paper to scribble and colour using the table before school started)
When he gets home, get him to empty his bag & when he takes out the homework, make the homework sound exciting (‘Wow! You’ve got some writing to do! It’s going to be fun! Mummy/Daddy/Auntie will do it with you after lunch ok?’ or ‘Clever boy is going to show Mummy/Daddy/Auntie how clever he is when he writes nicely!’)
When it’s time, get him to help set up the table (take his pencil case with his pencils and colour materials)
Allow him to do some coloring (either on the worksheet if there are pictures to be coloured or on another colouring sheet), then once he’s enjoying it, ask him to write ‘1’ to show us.
Allow him to do as many as he like (there were around 15 boxes of ‘1’ he had to trace), he stopped after around 8 of them. I just let him take a break and told him to drink some water, have a biscuit (of cos wash his hands first) and continue after nap. Wake up from nap, he watched some TV, had his milk and snack and continued with his writing. Finished his homework on the same day.
As he did his work, my maid & I were praising him on his nice handwriting. Sometimes he did not trace properly, I’ll just ask him if that looks nice and he replied ‘it’s not perfect!’. He took the eraser and attempted to erase (I say attempted because he did the action of rubbing the paper but the pencil mark was still there cos he does not know how to erase properly). Then he made sure all were perfect and we got him to put it back neatly into the folder and keep it into his bag immediately.
The next day we actually got him started on the next piece of homework: writing ‘a’. The start of the worksheet has some colouring activity (colour all the apples). So he started colouring (he chose the colour and colours out of line but we just let him be).
Got him to start tracing and he finished everything at one go. He was so pleased with himself! He got stickers as reward from me. After that, he actually went to his bookshelf, pulled out the book which I bought for him (tracing lines and small letters) and requested to do it too!
We started allowing him to have the freedom to draw, colour and scribble in his book (I bought many exercise books for him) or on rough paper (I have a stack of recycled paper for him). Inspired by TAMARIND‘s girl He liked drawing/writing exercises and this made the transition to ‘HOMEWORK’ much easier. Plus he sees students at my place doing their work quietly at the study table, and it helps me to explain to him that everyone has to do homework so they’ll be clever. You can create this by ‘doing work’ yourself! It could be just simple a word search or word puzzle or Sudoku! It’s good to exercise our minds too.
If your kids are still young, do try to make it fun for them. Make them LOVE HOMEWORK. I keep telling my boy that he’s so smart and clever because he managed to finish his homework. I think all kids want to hear that, whether their homework was well done or not. It’s a good start cos they’ll learn to take pride in their work.
If your kids are already school going children, do make the effort to praise them and reward them for doing their homework. It may not be very well done but you can still praise them for completing their work on time and tell them to try harder the next time so that they will feel proud of their work and themselves.
If we, parents, give a positive vibe about homework, I’m sure the kids will start to love it too! Let’s start creating a love for homework in our kids!
P/S: I hated homework when I was in Primary school. But when I was in Sec school & my mum allowed me to redecorate my room & allowed me to choose my own study table, I started to love doing homework. It gave me a sense of pride to be sitting at MY TABLE – the table I CHOSE and LOVE – doing homework.