The excitement of new Year’s resolutions is the chance to set in motion a goal to make things better. I know at my own house, I start the school year off with all the best intentions to have the homework area all organized, a set schedule to provide routine, set systems in place to keep papers from cluttering our lives, and my two kids NEVER uttering a complaint about homework. Then long about the third week of school – just when I think all is aligned in my universe, all the real homework starts and my idyllic dream is shattered. My husband and I are rock –papers- scissoring over each assignment to help with. My children… have high tailed it out of sight finding new and improved stalling tactics. Remember… this is my chosen profession…and so a new year brings a chance to revamp.
New school supplies make great stocking stuffers… fancy pencils, sparkling notebooks, crisp homework folder, new smelly markers, all these can revive the senses just enough to get a spark.
I tend to re-evaluate our work area and change up our use of space. My son does better reading outloud standing (and wiggling) on the side of my bed rather than falling asleep lying down. My daughter practices her math facts faster when she uses uses a white board and her favorite color marker. My older niece needs to read her history text for information at the table rather than in her cozy bed like it’s her favorite novel.
Timer is parents best friend
Everybody in the family benefits from a timer. Setting the kitchen timer (or ipad) or 15 minutes does wonders. You would be amazed what can be accomplished in 15-20 FOCUSED minutes with purpose. Not only does it give an end time, but it minimizes whining. It adjusts attitudes quite quickly in our family as soon as it becomes equated with coveted screen time.
Out with the old habits and in with the new and improved.
Who knows maybe something will last until Valentine’s.
By Sarah S. Hill, M.Ed. & M.O.M.