5 Tips for Homework With Fewer Battles. Zoie Hoffman, the founder of the Hoffman Tutoring Group, gives 5 tips for a more productive homework hour, less meltdowns, and fewer battles.
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Transcript for 5 Tips for Homework With Fewer Battles:
Kristina: Welcome impactful parent. Today, we will be talking about five tips for getting your child to do their homework with fewer battles. Today I have a special guest, Zoie Hoffman. Zoie is the founder of Hoffman Tutoring Group. This online tutoring company serves children kindergarten through eighth grade for their extra tutoring needs. I’m excited to have her on today and hear about these five tips. Thank you for being here, Zoie.
Zoie: Thanks for having me. I’m excited.
Kristina: Homework is a battle for many parents. Let’s get started with your tips because I am excited to hear them.
Zoie: Yeah. Tip 1 for homework with fewer battles is: You need to find the best time within your after-school routine for homework. I know that this is different for everybody depending on after-school activities, how busy you are, what time school lets out, and what time you get home from work, but making sure your child knows when homework will get done each day will help reduce that battle.
So if you’re at home, that might mean that you are doing homework simultaneously during your after-school routine every day. If you’re on the go, that might mean on different days, your child does homework at different times depending on what they have going on in their schedule. They might not even be at home during homework time. But knowing that is the time on which they need to do the homework will help reduce those battles and make sure they actually get their homework done.
Kristina: I’m all about routine. Routine is important for children. It creates stability. It helps them understand the expectations. It creates security. In the end, kids perform better when they have a routine.
Another thing that you said that I want to highlight is, it’s okay not to do homework at home. Sometimes we have to be flexible and do homework on the go. Parents need to be prepared for that and communicate expectations to the kids. Homework on the go can still be a part of the routine. Kids are so flexible. They can accommodate those kinds of schedules and still turn in good work.
Zoie: Tip 2 for homework with fewer battles is: Make sure all their physical needs are met. When your kid comes through the door, make sure that they are fed, have water, go to the bathroom, and maybe even meet some of their emotional needs before they start homework. Some kids may need 30 minutes to an hour to decompress after a long day at school before they start their homework. Other kids need to ride the momentum from the school day into their homework time. Either way, make sure they have what they need to succeed.
Kristina: Parents should also remember that these needs can differ for every child and even within family members. What other tips do you have for us today?
Zoie: Tip 3 for homework with fewer battles is: Make sure that you have all the materials needed to do homework for your child. You don’t want your child getting up and asking you for a pencil and scissors and glue and have to hunt down all these materials. This is not only distracting for them, but it’s annoying for you. I often suggest getting a shower caddy from Target or a diaper caddy. Put paper and scissors and all the things your child needs for homework into that caddy. It makes supplies easy to carry, and you can shove them in the closet when you’re not using them. You can also get a smaller version in your car if you are doing homework on the go.
Kristina: The shower caddy is a great tip.
Zoie: Tip 4 for homework with fewer battles is: Take brain breaks to help your child refocus. Kids can focus for about plus or minus one minute of their age. It is crazy! That’s not very long! By taking brain breaks, your child will focus better and actually get homework done faster! Use a visual timer for the length of time your child can focus. When the timer goes off, let them take a break. On their brain break, encourage your child to go outside or move their body. Let them color or do something that they enjoy just for a few minutes. Then, kids can sit back down and refocus on their homework for another set of minutes. This may seem like it’s gonna make things take a lot longer. Still, you might be surprised at how quickly your child can get things done when they’re getting those bursts of focus instead of trying to drag their focus out for a long time.
Kristina: I am a huge fan of visual timers. The visual timer is more effective and helpful for students versus a timer on your phone that beeps. There is something special about visually seeing the time go by that helps younger children or kids with ADHD. It’s a great tool.
Zoie: And my final tip, tip number 5 for homework with fewer battles, is: Know when to quit. I know that this is easier said than done, but sometimes homework fractures your relationship with your child. They’re freaking out. They’re super stressed. Maybe your child has an anxiety attack. Sometimes, homework can cut into their sleeping time. These are all signs that it is PAST the time to stop. Email the teacher that the homework did not get done. Tell them the reason why within limits. Don’t tell them the gory details of what happened, but tell them you know your child is having trouble and ask for the next steps. Then help your child calm down. Tackle the homework later when everybody’s a little bit more fresh. Doing this will reduce your child’s anxiety around homework. Your child will know that you’re not going to let it get to that point. It’s important to protect your child’s mental health.
Kristina: I have been there! Preventing the homework meltdown is sometimes challenging. Parents should watch their kids and visually see when they’re starting to come to a breaking point. Then, approach your child and start the conversation. Say, it seems like you’re having difficulty today. I can tell you’re not concentrating like you normally can. What can I do to help? Be an advocate for your child when they can’t be it for themselves because they are caught up in the “must-do” mentality. Sometimes kids need parents to intervene and help them regulate or see the bigger picture. It isn’t easy, though.
Tell me more about your company, The Hoffman Tutoring Group.
Zoie: we provide online tutoring for students in K-8 grade with reading, writing, and math. We bring in tutors that are educators. They have degrees and certifications. Our tutors have experience in the classroom and experience working with kids one on one. When you come into our tutoring group, you get on the phone with me, and I help match you with the tutor that will best meet your child and your family’s needs. It’s a personalized experience. If you want to find out more about our tutoring services, you can find us at www.hoffmantutoringgroup.com
Kristina: All your tutoring is online?
Zoie: Correct. We’ve been providing online tutoring for several years. We tutor over zoom.
Kristina: I heard that you have a freebie for my audience.
Zoie: Yes! I wrote a very comprehensive ebook about homework. It has all of the tips of today a lot more. If you’re looking to avoid Homework battles and help your child learn better and smarter, be sure to check it out.
Kristina: To get your freebie, go to theimpactfulparent.com/tutoring
Until next time parents, you got this. We’re just here to help.
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