Homework with your child can = serious fun!
Some of it isn’t much fun of course but during a successful homework time together there can be wonderful shared moments of laughter, chat, triumph and pleasure. Here are some of my favourite ideas.
Keep things light. When you and your child become too serious, irritated, bored or worried about what has to be completed, you as the parent-coach are responsible to lighten the atmosphere again. I use my own attitudes and emotions as ‘the canary in the mine’ to monitor the density of the coaching atmosphere.
Notice when you and your child become too serious, irritated, bored or worried about what has to be completed, so
you can lighten the atmosphere again. I use my own attitudes and emotions as ‘the canary in the mine’ to monitor the density of the coaching atmosphere. Remember how miners used to take a canary in a cage with them down into the mine? the canary was an early warning sign something was wrong with the air and if it died, the miners moved out of that tunnel very quickly. When we as coaches find a coaching session hard work, or boring, or irritating or frustrating to name a few negative emotions, so does our child. When you worry, your child worries to so notice the early warning signs of boredom, irritation, or worry, and take action.
Action is quite simple – do something quite different. Some ideas are:
- Change the topic you are studying,
- Negotiate to only do a few more (state the number),
- Have a brief break and talk about something else,
- Make a game or competition out of the learning, and have a laugh.
Don’t worry – change your negative thinking! When you’re worried or unsure how to teach a skill, relax and realise that you don’t have to be an expert in everything. Smile and make a note about what you have to learn (actually write it down). I assure you that you will think of solutions to that difficulty soon. After all these years of working with children, I still don’t know every aspect of the subjects and skills I coach. However, learning long-side you, where you can both learn together, is an excellent way for your child to learn. I still tell my students at times that I have to figure out a skill or topic, and that we will work on learning it together. Here are some more ideas.
Don’t worry – be very interested instead. When I was worried or dismayed about a students’ lack of basic skills in a subject I’d remark, “How interesting,” and then could make myself
stop worrying about their lack of skills and feel very interested that they didn’t know something I took for granted they would know. When you feel very interested in something or someone, they know it immediately. We have all experienced how much nicer it is to feel someone’s interest than their worry. As well, realise that you have just made an important discovery that they don’t have a particular skill or understanding which might be holding them back from progressing in that subject. You might be the first one to have discovered this lack too, so such finds are definitely very interesting, and in fact very exciting.
Check this post for more ideas on making working with your child more fun. Buy my book which is a practical guide on ‘how-to’ work with your child at home so that it is fun and rewarding for both of you.
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