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5 Tips For An Awesome School Year!

School is back in session and your kids are coming home with homework. You're looking at the work and asking your child "what did the teacher tell you to do”? You pray they were listening to the directions and will say “Oh mom I heard everything my teacher said I know exactly what to do, I just absolutely love homework”. Instead you hear “ I don’t know”, "I don’t want to do homework”, “Why do I have to do this work!" Or in my case I get the blank stare and the look of despair as my child mentally calculates how fast she can do her work in order to play with her friends.

Don't you just wish homework can take a trip to The Great Land of Oz and live there happily ever after?! I'm sure our kids would agree! They dislike homework as much as you do. You know why? Homework lacks one major thing…..FUN!

Most kids want to hurry through the grueling task of homework so they can move on to the FUN. So I can hear you saying why are we talking about homework? Do you know something I don’t know? Maybe so! Allow me a moment to share.

Homework can be FUN! Yes I said it homework can be FUN!

As you all know a child’s first teacher is their parent. When your kid starts school , their teachers really just switched shifts with you. So instead of working the 1st shift you are now working the 2nd and sometimes 3rd shift and your co-worker aka the teacher needs you. So when she or he clocks back in in the am they are not backed up on the production line.

As mom, you are the one who determines what type of worker, I mean teacher. you will be. Will you be a team player and during your shift will you create the fun atmosphere so your shift is absolutely enjoyable? As you may know most kids learn through fun. If homework can't be fun it becomes a daunting task that both the child and you mom, begin to resent. Now here's the good stuff, let's chat about ways we can make homework fun.

ALWAYS pray for and with your child. We know that God’s word does not come back to Him void so take every opportunity to speak the word over your child and their education. Proverbs 4:1 says Hold on to instruction do not let it go guard it well, for it is your life. Teach your child that every lesson that is taught should be placed in their minds and spirits.

Because being instructed is so awesome that even God himself said to never let it go. As parents once we instill this value into our kids it is now our turn to keep a hold of instruction and allow God to use us so that we can be the teachers He's called us to be. Parenting is so multifaceted and yes teaching is one of the many hats we are called to wear. So let’s see how we can wear this hat with style and pizzazz!

1. Turn homework into a game:

You can accomplish this in many ways such as logging into websites designed to make learning fun,,,, ( are just a few ). You can also create your own games such as memory word match. You can take your child's spelling words, sight words, vocabulary words etc. and write 2 sets of the words on index cards. Spread the words out face down on a sturdy surface and play memory. Anytime your child gets a match they must spell the word and say it correctly and of course the most matches wins. You can also try making up a jingle to help remember certain things such as in my case when my daughter was in preschool and kept writing the letter b and d wrong. I came up with the jingle ‘ the d goes to the left and b goes to the right to the left to the right’ this will teach your child two lessons in one. How to determine their right from their left and learn the correct way to write the 2 letters.

2. Give your child choices:

So say your child has three homework assignments due on Thursday and today is Monday. Your kid thinks 'this gives me tons of time to get it finished" No ma’am, no sir! As mom, pose options such as being allowed to do the work over the course of 3 days (work on one assignment each day until Wednesday) or doing the 3 assignments in 2 days or they can do it all in one day. Come up with incentives such as giving them free time during their scheduled homework time if they finished their assignments in advance.

3. Give brain breaks:

If your child is working hard give him or her 5 mins to stretch, dance, sing or act silly (etc). Don’t let the brain break last longer than 5 mins. Your child’s fun meter is slowly depleting while doing homework so they must refill the fun. Make sure you are being the fun teacher by allowing time to refill. And if you get stumped on what to do for a brain break pull up YouTube and search brain breaks. They have a huge selection to choose from.

4. Work together:

We talked about praying together now let’s work together. I can hear you saying I thought that is what we were doing. Yes this so true but I am talking about actually sitting down and working together. You can bring the laptop or tablet with you to the work space and while sitting close enough to answer questions you can also work on your own work projects. Tell your child that you guys are handling business together because homework is just like working your own business. Add incentive that once both of you finish you can have some fun together.

5. Let them pick their own workspaces: (this is actually 6 because prayer is number 1). Instead of the boring sit at the desk or table allow your child to pick their own work space. It could be the floor, the table, on the couch etc. Allow them to choose and switch it up either daily, weekly, monthly or depending on your child, hourly. This works hand in hand with making choices and also works great if you are considering shared work space. Just make sure mommas when you get down on the floor your baby is stronger enough to help you get back up. LOL

These are just a few of tips that you can use to turn that boring homework into fun homework time. Moms also always remember if you don’t know the answer Google works wonders with learning something new. And just think, researching with Mommy will be some serious fun since now you are learning together.

Be blessed and “you better rock being ONE D.O.P.E Woman.”

Donna Hatcher is an educator, mentor, youth leader, advocator, entrepreneur, and in her eyes, the best title God could have given her, a mom. She is an avid advocate for summer learning loss where she spends time educating parents on the importance of making sure children are still working and learning during the summer. She has established and revamped many youth ministries in various churches using her God given talent to teach and reach the youth as well as women; specifically single moms.

Donna has been working with kids for over 25 years both professionally and on a volunteer basis. She is affectionately known as either Aunty or TT Donna to the many youth she has reached. She currently is the owner and operator of Aunty Donna’s House which provides afterschool and summer programs as well as a Remediation Teacher for the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System.

Donna attended Manchester Community College when she resided in Hartford, CT. She is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Education degree program at Central Piedmont Community College. She has already earned her NCECC and NCECAC credentials. She has been awarded with numerous awards including Parent of the Year & Volunteer of the Year.

Donna currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her beautiful daughter Angel.

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