Homework time can be a real hassle for your child. Figuring out confusing math problems, getting assigned reading done and working on class projects can suck up time in the evening, strain relationships and lead to tears. In particular, hyperactive children struggle to concentrate. They may feel stressed or may struggle to sit still. Whether your child has special needs or is just a busy child who loves to move, these simple strategies may work wonders in your household.
Let Children Wiggle
Many children, even those without sensory problems, find it difficult to sit still for long. They need to wiggle, and these movements may help them concentrate. Let your child sit on an exercise ball or a wiggle cushion. Try giving him a stress ball or a fidget spinner while he reads, or let him pull on an exercise band during study time.
Try a Lap Pad
Lap pads are smaller versions of weighted blankets, and they work particularly well for hyperactive children as well as for those who deal with anxiety. This sensory item provides Deep Touch Pressure, or DTP, on wiggly legs to help a child become calmer. The benefits of this pad include increased time sitting in a chair, improved posture in a chair and increased time focusing on homework.
Set a Timer
Some children love to rise to a challenge and may work well under the slight pressure of a timer. When you challenge your child to see how much he can accomplish in 30 minutes, he may just surprise you. You may also want to give your child a small reward if he can finish his homework in the allotted time.
Take Short Breaks
Most children thrive on short breaks that let them get out of their chairs, move around and get their minds off their homework. Let your child run around the house a couple of times, do some jumping jacks together or eat a high-protein, brain-boosting snack for five minutes before getting back to work.
Create the Ideal Space
Setting up a homework space in a busy section of your home can lead to increased distractions and meltdowns. In general, the space should be plain, noise-free and technology-free whenever possible.