By Carol Tuttle, author of The Child Whisperer When it comes to your child’s homework, do you beg, plead, or bribe? Do you threaten consequences? You can make homework easier for both you and your children with some simple tips that honour their natural energy. Every child has a dominant Energy Type that determines the way they move through life. It affects everything they do—playing, talking, eating, sleeping. And yes, it even shows up in the way they do homework! Ready to take the struggle out of homework? Here are homework tips for the 4 Types of children: Homework Tips for the Fun-loving Type 1 Child. These bright-minded children think quickly and like to move. Their thought process works like snapshots of ideas, so engaging in a linear experience can be challenging for them.
- Pre-homework playtime. If your child attends a traditional school, they need time to do something light and free before jumping into homework. Let them come up with ideas of what they’ll do—that will give them something to look forward to during the structured experience of school.
- Homework jumping. Allow them to jump from one activity to another. That’s how their brain works anyway. Extra movement of things going on in the background is actually helpful for them because it allows them to disconnect from their homework and then connect again.
- Planned routine (one that they plan). These children do best when they have a plan that they have made themselves. Which steps will they follow to get things done? You can ask this very young (5 or 6 years old) as Type 2 children are already thinking this way.
- Invitation to connect. Type 2 children often want their parents to recognize the work they’re doing without knowing how to ask for it. Take a second to connect with them while they’re working and invite them to share with you.
- Help them see the point of it. These children will do homework when they see the point. If they don’t see it, they’ll try to get around it somehow. They’ll pick the grade they want and do as much as they have to do to get it done. Help them see the practical purpose.
- Make homework part of the extracurricular fund. Money is a great motivator in the Type 3 world. If you plan to pay for extracurricular activities, you could attach a monetary value to finishing homework and that money goes to a sport or lesson they really want. You’ll be spending the money anyway and they’ll enjoy the feeling of accomplishment as they work toward an activity they really want.
- The respectful phrase. These children feel offended when you tell them what to do because they’re aware of their responsibilities. Try this phrase: “Looks like you’re doing great. Let me know if you need help.” Let them come to you, which they will if they think they need help.
- Ownership of a space. Set aside one consistent place that they can take ownership of at the same time every day to do their homework—not the kitchen table. If possible, get them their own desk or a place that’s separate from where everyone is moving around.