Where can a student learn to remember tricks
Homework without stress - learn better at home
“School could be so beautiful - if it weren't for the tiresome subject of homework!” Many people find themselves in this sigh: students, parents - and even some teachers. Because homework is often associated with considerable stress. However, a significant amount of this stress can be avoided.
There are tricks to take away the horror potential of homework. Because often there are many small causes that, taken together, take away the child's motivation and vigor. Above all, parents who are regularly faced with a real battle for school work should keep calm. An optimal learning environment, serenity and consistency help to make home learning as “normal and everyday” as brushing your teeth in the evening.
10 tips for doing homework with fun:
- Communicate a positive attitude towards learning
- Homework is the child's job!
- Choosing the right time to study
- Create a good learning atmosphere
- Learn to organize yourself - little tricks help
- Find the beginning to get to your goal faster
- Find the parental role
- Parental interest is important, but the standards are set by the teachers
- When homework takes forever: find time wasters
- Take strong homework and study problems seriously
1. Convey a positive attitude towards learning: Learning is fun
When they start school, all children look forward to school and learning. After a few years of school, however, the percentage of happy learners then unfortunately decreases. It is all the more important that parents convey a positive attitude towards learning to their children right from the start. Do not take a negative view of the topic: Instead of saying “You still have to do homework”, it is better to formulate “When do you want to do your schoolwork?”.
Incidentally, all too often, unnoticed, adults also take a negative view of the topic of “work”: “Unfortunately I have to go to the office”, “Unfortunately I have to work there”, “Dad / mom still has to work”. Try to show more often that it feels good to work on something: “I need longer today because I want to finish something” or “I am really proud of what I have achieved in the last few days”.
Make it clear to the child that homework is not detective work, but rather provides help for students and teachers. The point is that school children learn to organize themselves. They offer the student the chance to check for themselves how well they have mastered the material taught or where any gaps in understanding need to be closed before they can become a stumbling block for further learning. For the teachers, the solutions created by the students themselves also offer important clues about the level of development of the individual student as well as the level of learning of the entire class.
2. Homework is the child's job!
Parents often feel very responsible for ensuring that their children do their homework on time and perfectly. The result is often that they “get stuck behind it”, reminding or admonishing the children to do their homework, to learn and to completely supervise or control the completion. In the eyes of the students, homework becomes a matter for the parents. The result is that children do not feel their own responsibility for this “parenting thing”.
So make it very clear: homework is a student's responsibility and is not a parent's responsibility. The motto has to be: "I like to support you, but it's your job!"
3. Pick the right time to study
School days are pretty exhausting! Many schoolchildren need a certain amount of time to “come down” after the hustle and bustle at school. Starting homework right after you get home is often a bad idea. Let the child “arrive” first. By telling about the school day, they can sort through what they experienced in school and put aside their excitement. Make sure they eat something as well - very important! - drink enough. Because many students do not drink enough at school, the result is increased tiredness, low mood and irritability.
Let your child decide when they want to do their homework and, if possible, find a fixed time in the afternoon in which to do the homework. This means that homework is included in the daily routine. Also remember to use positive formulations instead of “You have to do it beforehand”, for example “If you do it beforehand, you no longer need to constantly squint at the clock afterwards”.
4. Create a good learning atmosphere
Between Lego bricks and the bookshelf, lying on the carpet or at the kitchen table next to the sibling painting - no schoolchild can learn to concentrate this way. Anyone who is supposed to achieve something needs a good learning atmosphere. Televisions, CD players and game computers should be packed out of reach. The own, sensibly furnished work area helps children to consolidate the homework routine and supports the schoolchild in developing their own rhythm and learning methods.
Invest in ergonomic and well thought-out furniture for the study area: Those who sit uncomfortably and tense cannot think carefree because the spine is under considerable strain. In our video Homework without stress we explain what a suitable learning place looks like.
5. Learn to organize yourself - little tricks can help
One of the most important learning goals of homework is that students learn to organize themselves and develop individual learning techniques. Therefore, make sure that your desk and materials are tidy. Color coding helps to keep track of the documents in the various subjects. Many schools even specify a color code for this. When books and notebooks are wrapped in a uniform color, the materials will be organized almost by themselves. Pens and other writing implements can be marked with colored “washi tapes”: utensils marked in this way are immediately noticeable in the household when they are lying around and thus find their way back into the pencil case immediately.
In order to keep track of their homework, even first graders can start to keep an exercise book. As long as you cannot write yet, simply paint in the color of the compartment in which something was posted! A little later, the page number can be "added". Schoolchildren get used to writing down their tasks centrally from the start.
Older students often receive weekly plans from the school with a total workload for the whole week. But it can also be useful to create your own homework schedule. This is particularly useful if work orders are often given over several days and if not every afternoon is available to complete them, for example because of club or other appointments. Then your own weekly plan helps you to keep track of all subjects and the individual due dates. Tasks that have already been completed are ticked off in the plan. This gives a sense of achievement, and by the way, no task is forgotten.
6. Find the beginning in order to get to the goal faster
Schoolchildren and authors know the problem: how to start? If the head was still in the middle of the game or thinking about important problems, such as "Where did Louis go today during the break with Lena?", It should now turn around at the push of a button and conjugate Latin verbs. First of all, helplessness often arises.
The usual start routines also help against the blockage in front of the "empty paper": while the work material is laid out and a glass of water is provided, the head has time to say goodbye to the game situation or to "Louis & Lena" and get away to adjust to learning. A look at the (personal) task plan also helps to sort out the thoughts. When the booklet is open or the worksheet is ready, the first thing to do is to note the date and the task number or name, etc. You don't have to ponder too much and it is easier to get “into writing”.
7. Find the parental role
In general, students should do their homework alone. And this already applies to the "I-Dötzchen". But the little ones in particular often call for help and have a wealth of tricks up their sleeves to get their parents “involved” in their homework. Often this ends with parents explaining the subject matter at hand as a kind of auxiliary teacher or even providing solutions.
Therefore, be careful not to fall into this trap: if the child asks for advice, let them explain the problem themselves - and also explain their ideas and possible solutions. Often the mental "knot" bursts all by itself when telling the story. If this does not work, try to guide your child by asking questions so that they find their own approaches to solutions instead of “telling them” possible solutions or even results. Because everyone learns differently. And only if a student finds his own access to the subject matter can he keep what he has learned really well and later transfer the solutions found to other problems - an important skill for life!
8. Show parental interest and praise
Anyone who has completed a task can also be proud of what they have achieved! How disappointing it is when the parents show no interest at all. Then the child can easily get the feeling that the homework was done “only for the teachers”. So show an interest in what your child has produced. Parental praise also motivates when doing homework.
Be careful not to tinker with what you have worked out: Especially with schoolchildren in the lowest grades, the expectations of the parents are often much higher than those of the school and teachers. Therefore, do not judge what you have achieved according to your own standards, because expectations that are too high are enormously demotivating for your child. If you are in doubt as to whether your performance is sufficient, ask the school. In the case of school beginners, the spelling is often deliberately ignored until the second grade. Again, you shouldn't start making corrections on your own initiative and thereby frustrating your child. Instead, encourage them to compare their own writing with the templates and to work as a "spelling detective" to track down errors. This ability to find and use opportunities for self-control is ultimately expected of students later in high school.
9. If homework takes forever: find time wasters
If a child regularly needs too long to do their homework despite their own place to study and a good learning atmosphere, then it can make sense to go looking for the "time wasters" together. A checklist such as the one offered by the student aid in its brochure will help1 and asks the possible causes of concentration difficulties: Are there too many disturbances from curious (small) siblings? This can be remedied by a targeted employment of the "troublemakers" by the parents in order to keep them away from the schoolchildren. Does the child get bogged down in too many tasks? Then self-organization should be improved and task planning should be structured more clearly. Are radio or cell phones, TV or play equipment too distracting? If a clear agreement about switching off the devices does not help, they should be banned from the room for the time of homework. And a visual separation of the learning area from the play area in the children's room - for example with indoor plants, ensures that the desk is sealed off, which promotes concentration.
10. Take severe learning problems seriously
Parents should take this seriously if a child continues to have major problems doing their homework, seems particularly blocked, or loses composure or refuses to be mentioned. Is there any real overwhelming behind this? If the child is under-challenged, it can be demotivating and frustrating to the same extent. In the long run, both of these can have fatal effects on the self-esteem of the school child and lead to real "school frustration" or even fear of school. Problems on the social level, for example if a pupil does not feel comfortable in a class, can lead to the fact that he or she reacts to everything connected with the subject of school with negative feelings.
Sometimes behind a big childish drama about schoolwork is simply a desire for parental attention. Because when the mother or father becomes an assistant teacher, the child receives a lot of undivided attention. If the “struggle” over the tasks is just a means of spending more time with the parents, make an appointment: “If you now do your tasks independently, I can use this time to finish my things. So we have time together afterwards for ...! "Make targeted attractive offers for the time you have gained, especially those with a" cuddle factor "such as reading aloud on the sofa or something similar ).
Homework at your own study station
In many families, homework is done at the kitchen table or in the living room, even if there is a separate desk in the children's room. Even if this seems pragmatic at first glance - especially young schoolchildren are looking for parenting contact and the parents want to see what the child is doing - this is often the core of the stress problem. Because there is too much distraction at the kitchen table that prevents the child from concentrating on themselves and their work. In addition to the perception of what the parents are doing at the same time, the siblings often add further unrest. The result: A child's housework puts a strain on the everyday life and mood of an entire family.
Homework without stress is only possible at your own study place
Learning to be fun only works in a relaxed situation. This includes rest and the opportunity to find your own rhythm. Students should therefore get used to doing their homework at their own children's desk right from the start. And not only that: They should also be done as independently as possible. If parental support is required, adults should only come specifically to give help, but should never sit next to the child all the time.
Because the constant presence of mother or father often makes children restless inside. The (unconsciously perceived) expectations of adults prevent the child from being able to concentrate fully on their own thoughts and approaches. The result is tension that not only disrupts concentration, but can also spread to the whole body.
Optimal light, tranquility and ergonomic furniture ensure a relaxed learning atmosphere
Disturbing tension can also arise from an uncomfortable or impractical place to study: If the eyes have to strain due to insufficient lighting, if the feet dangle in the air or the back has to be bent, then this means a lot of stress for a growing body.
That is why investing in ergonomic furniture is doubly worthwhile: it grows with the child and is part of the child’s entire school years - many years in which they not only help to reduce the stress of everyday homework, but also optimally protect the child’s body from postural damage.
Because sitting is generally one of the most unfavorable postures for the back. When sitting with a round back, the vertebral bodies are heavily loaded on one side, which can lead to malformations in the spine, especially during the growth phase. In fact, in a study by the Robert Koch Institute, 18% of all 11 to 13-year-olds and even 44% of 14 to 17-year-olds stated that they had back pain more often.1 No wonder, since ten-year-old students already spend during the week Today, sitting up to 10 hours a day2, a large part of which in school on mostly uncomfortable and poorly fitting seating.
For an ergonomic workplace, the chair and children's desk form a unit. This does not always have to mean that both come from the same product range. More important than a uniform brand for desks and children's desk chairs is that the two go perfectly with each other - and with the schoolchildren. This means that both elements are height-adjustable and can therefore also be adapted to the changing size of the child. With the swivel chair, not only the seat height but also the seat depth should be adjustable, the backrest is flexible and therefore lies against the back in every sitting position. So that children can "unconsciously" live out their urge to move while working, the seat should also be movable, if possible.Movement while studying and doing homework helps the child to concentrate, while a forced, rigid sitting posture tends to make people "fidgety" and restless.
Disturbing tension can also arise from an uncomfortable or impractical place to study: If the eyes have to strain due to insufficient lighting, if the feet dangle in the air or the back has to be bent, then this means a lot of stress for a growing body. This is why investing in ergonomic furniture is doubly worthwhile: it grows with the child and is part of the children's entire school years - many years in which they not only help to reduce the stress of everyday school work, but also optimally protect the child's body from postural damage.
The desk matches the chair, not the other way around
In the second step, the table height is adjusted to the correct seat height - and not the other way around. Because the child has to be able to sit upright and the feet have to reach the floor. Nothing is more uncomfortable than dangling legs! Desks with a tiltable top are ideal: The inclined position of the table top allows you to sit upright during all activities. For example, an incline of 15 ° is recommended for writing, a 30 ° incline for reading and for using the computer, the table surface can be set “straight”. On some children's desks, the worktop is also divided: even when the table is inclined, there is a part that is horizontal and on which the pens and the glass of water can be placed in a "fall-proof" place.
When it comes to lighting, you can't beat daylight. Whenever possible, the desk should therefore be placed next to the window. A light wall color supports the learning atmosphere. If a window seat is not possible or there is not enough daylight in winter or in the evening, a sliding clip lamp on the desk provides good, bright light that can always be aimed directly at the work area. Attention should also be paid to the light source: bluish light promotes concentration, but some energy-saving lamps give off yellowish, "sparkling" light, halogen lamps are bright, but often get so hot that there is a risk of burns!
A sensible separation from the play area turns the desk into a learning space
No child is focused all the time, and when thinking, the gaze wanders around. A sensible separation of the learning area from the rest of the children's room ensures that in such moments there is not too much distraction from toys, cuddly toys and the like. Indoor plants are a good solution here: They catch your eye without distracting you - on the contrary, the green and the organic, loosened shape of the leaves even help you concentrate! In addition, plants have a sound-absorbing effect and ensure a healthy room atmosphere by positively regulating the humidity.
Of course, the desk itself should also be kept free of distracting toys. Incidentally, inclined desk tops also have an advantage here, because significantly fewer things accumulate on them than on flat surfaces. However: The necessary materials for homework and presentations should be available as completely as possible or stowed within easy reach. Because a child who has to get up in the middle of work to look for a missing pen or other material often finds it difficult to get back into their work flow.
Homework: add personal responsibility, get false expectations out
The ideal place to learn where the schoolchild feels comfortable is the basis for ergonomic and concentrated work. It is also a retreat area so that the child can learn independently.
Many parents think they are responsible for “doing homework as expected”. And they unconsciously signal this to the child by frequently asking questions or reminding them, by sitting next to them and “taking part” or by meticulously checking their homework. In doing so, however, they make schoolwork a “matter for the adults” and prevent the child from taking responsibility. The lack of initiative on the part of the child in turn reinforces the parents' feeling that they have to take care of them - a vicious circle develops.
This is often driven by the fact that many parents overestimate the expectations teachers have of the children's work performance. Sometimes the parents subconsciously put more pressure on the children than the school itself.
As a rule of thumb, first graders should work a maximum of 30 minutes and second graders around 30 minutes. Homework can take one hour for third and fourth graders, one and a half hours in fifth and sixth grades and two hours from grade 7 onwards. It can happen, especially with primary school children, that despite working sensibly, the time is up before all tasks are solved. For many teachers, however, this is not a problem, it is perfectly fine, because they use this to measure the children's level of learning based on the percentage of missed tasks. A targeted consultation with the teachers helps to straighten out false expectations and to find a procedure that does not frustrate the child and undermine self-confidence, but rather helps to keep learning fun!
Because all the experts agree on one thing: Learning without having fun is not possible! The sensibly furnished, ergonomic learning area creates the basis for relaxed learning. And this in turn makes for more relaxed family afternoons.
Everything for an ideal learning place
Pictures of colored pencils: © Markus Mainka - Fotolia.com
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