Are you a working mum who is struggling to make homework fun for your children, and keep them motivated? Do you feel like your child takes two, three and even four times longer than their peers?

Here are three key issues and what busy working mums can do about it:

1. Low attention span
Attention can be major problem, both in class and while doing homework for many children, but it isn’t always just a simple as your child not being disciplined enough to sit down for long periods of time.

Low attention span can often come from vision issues – eyes are either not working together, skipping words or lines when reading, or your child could be having difficulty with learning when it isn’t on the whiteboard at school.

When children become tense when doing homework, they can often lose their attention span all together.

When a student has trouble paying attention in class, they often need to be re-taught the information at home, making homework stretch from 45 minutes to an hour and a half or even two hours because they cannot stay focused.

2. How to tell if your child has vision problems
If you suspect that your child has problems with their vision, here are some things to look out for:

  • Your child has trouble copying from the board correctly during class and complain about this to the teacher, and to you.
  • Your child skips words or lines when reading.
  • When your child does maths struggle to align their work correctly, miss minus and division signs and make careless mistakes because of this.

3. Tense and upset about homework
Does your child often get tense when doing homework and end up having battles with you abut it.

What often happens is:

  • your child can become too intimidated to ask questions in class and they simply get stuck. You can spot this because they may start seeing a lack of confidence in their ability to answer questions, and they are too scared to ask you questions at home.
  • you find your child getting into unnecessary arguments with you about their work, which often escalates into a battle every time you start doing a particular subject (e.g. Numeracy), or with homework altogether.

What can you do to solve the problem?

It’s great to spot the issues, but how do solve them so you and your child can move forward from the battles? Here are some tips:

  • Stay clam when doing homework with your child – you can’t have an argument with someone who refuses to argue with you, so lead by example.
  • If your child gets stressed, give them a one or three-minute break and then start again.
    Hydrate them before doing homework and while doing homework – a glass of water can go a long way.
  • When reading, encourage your child to use their finger to keep them on the right line. This helps them stay accurate and will build confidence.
  • If the attention is a significant issue, consider getting an ADHD diagnosis – if they have a learning disability or attention issues significantly impact their academic performance, the correct diagnosis could mean your child gets given the individual education plan they need to help them catch up.
  • This could mean that your child:

– gets copies of notes
– is seated by the teacher to improve their attention
– has their work checked by their teacher or a teaching assistant to make sure they have written the assignment correctly

The most important step is recognising that there is an issue and taking steps to improve and rectify the problem.

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