At the beginning of the school year, my then 5-year-old, Anastasia, struggled to find all her school supplies and get started on homework. We made a "homework box" by filling a plastic pencil case with all the basics -- pencils, erasers, crayons, scissors, and glue -- and having her decorate it. Now, when it's time for homework, she has everything she needs in one place, and cleanup is simple, too.
"My kindergartner practiced her assigned reading by video-chatting with grandparents, aunts, and uncles. It also helped her confidence to grow!"
When it was homework time in our house, we'd clear the table and all sit together. I'd pay bills or do other projects while the kids did their homework. It worked well because I was right there if the kids had questions, and they didn't feel they were missing anything because it was work time for everyone.
FamilyFun Managing Editor
I wanted to find a way to give my 11-year-old son, Cole, who has special needs, a long-term incentive for doing his homework (immediate rewards are not as effective with him). So I made a punch card by drawing small circles around the outside of an index card. When Cole successfully completes his homework, we punch one circle. When all the circles are punched, he gets a special treat, like a trip to the movies. It really works for him!
To make schoolwork more fun for my 8-year-old, we started practicing her spelling words in dry-erase marker on our sliding glass doors, and she loved it. Then one day we decided to take it further. I traced her body and her sister's on the door, and the real fun and learning began. They measured their height, labeled body parts in English and Spanish, and added fun accessories. Now they even write each other messages, such as "Good luck on your math test!" When the girls are finished or make a mistake, the markers wipe off easily with a paper towel.
Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Panama City, FL
Originally published in the October 2013 issue of FamilyFun magazine