A timer or clock can help students that lose track of time to pace their work and to take breaks at reasonable intervals. Some students will work for 10 minutes and lose track of time thinking they have worked much longer, and expect a break. Also some students will plan on a short break and lose track of time. A 5-minute break becomes a 30-minute break! This is the same psychology used by casinos to get people to gamble. Casinos hope the gamblers will lose track of time by not having any clocks on the walls. Use the timer to plan out how long they should work before taking a break, how long their break will be, and how long until the next break. Keep this process going until all homework is completed.
Texts, emails and phone calls can not only make homework time become longer, but may lower the quality and thoroughness of the work. In fact these distractions could cause 45 min of homework to be stretched out to 2 hours. Many kids (and adults) are addicted to checking social media and texts. As parents, it is up to you to help them remain focused on their work.
One way to do this is to allow them a 5-minute break after finishing an assignment to check their emails/texts/social media. Then have them go back to work on the next assignment. Allow them another 5-minute social media break and follow this pattern until all assignments are completed. Another take off on this idea would be instead of alternating breaks between assignments; you could have them work 20 minutes and then 5 minutes off. Follow the time pattern until all assignments are done. This will allow students to focus on schoolwork and satisfy the urges most people have to attend to their social media or texting.
Some call it “Winter Break”, others call it “Winter Recess”, and others call it “Christmas Vacation”. Hopefully your kids will call it relaxing. Winter break is a great time to keep kids learning in a fun way without it seeming like classwork. Over the next several days we will present you with some of the many ways to keep your child learning while having fun during this long winter vacation. These suggestions may also foster family bonding as well. It all starts tomorrow. Stay tuned!