What happens when you mix the coolest thing in the world – math – with the uncoolest thing in the world – homework? Did you answer, “Fun!!” I though not! Of course if your child doesn’t think math is the coolest thing in the world then math + homework = sulking + tantrum + there goes the evening
1 . Don’t do that boring math
Hello Caroline from www.mathsinsider.com and again and I’m going to answer questions from a Math Insider reader which was “How can I get my child to do their boring math homework?”
Okay, so my first piece of advice is don’t, don’t make them do that boring math homework. If the teacher’s giving them boring homework don’t make them do it, you can be that parent. So I can give you an example, I do have one of my Thinkster Math (formerly Tabtor) parents and she’s actually told her child’s school that her child is not going to do the math homework because the work that her child is doing at Thinkster Math is far more valuable in helping them, much more than the school homework. So yes she’s radical, that’s pretty cool. So you could follow that example and look for a different resource, look for something that is much more fun, so games or Thinkster Math or some computer games or some online games or an app that practices that specific skill in a more interesting way and tell the teacher they haven’t done their homework, so that’s the first option.
Actually I have done that, I do that with my six year old’s spelling words, so usually we do them on a board, on a white board with a board pen or I write them on the shower stall or he writes them on the shower stall or on the window, and so his actual spelling book doesn’t have the words and the sentences because he’s written them on the shower stall, so the first time I did this, I actually took a picture of the work on the shower stall with the spellings so that the teacher could see what I was doing, but I haven’t had any comeback from the teacher, so I think I’m getting away with that. So you can follow my example and my Thinkster Math parents example and just say nope, I’m not doing that.
2. Make math homework a game
The next tip is to actually challenge your child to do their homework and say hey, I reckon you could do this homework in five minutes, but I tell you what, if you do it in 7 minutes, I will give you X, or I bet you can’t do it in seven minutes or bet you can’t do it in 3 minutes. See if that works for your child, it works for some children, or you could say okay you tell me the answers and I’ll write it down. So just make it into a bit of a fun game and into a challenge.
3. Don’t engage in the math homework battle
And number three is to let your child suffer the natural consequences of not doing their homework, so bounce it back to the teacher, don’t get them to do the homework and see if they get detention, they get told off. Hopefully they are not going to fall behind, because hopefully you’re supporting your child on their math topics in other ways. So let them suffer the natural consequences or you know write a letter to the teacher and explain your philosophy.
So, Number 1 is, just don’t do the homework find some way cooler way to practice that skill. Number 2, is to challenge them to do their homework and Number 3 is to let your child suffer the natural consequences of not doing their math homework.