Category Archives: Learning

Homework motivation

Thank you to everyone that replied to my post Back to school homework help One of the common problems that parents/carers have is to motivate their child to do their homework after school. Many found that their children complained of being too tired or just simply refused to do any at all. I know in our house, their is often evenings where my son decides that no matter what I do, he is certainly not doing his homework at all! I am going to try out some different ideas with him to get him more motivated. It is not guaranteed that all of them will work but as long as I find one or two that do, then I’ll be happy. As with a lot of things, I have discovered over the years that often an idea works but only for a limited amount of time. Changing tact ever so often is not a problem.

This week, we are going to try the ‘Points win prizes,’ idea. Basically, if my son does his homework for an evening, he wins a star to be written up on the chalk board. Alternatively, you could put stickers on a chart or piece of paper. To start with we will tolerate the odd bit of fuss as long as he does as much homework as I’ve asked him to during the evening for him to gain a star. As time goes on, we will gradually allow less and less disruption for him to gain a star. We have discussed which prizes he wants to win. We have split it up into three categories of prizes: five stars, ten stars and fifteen stars. He can collect after, for example, five stars if he likes but then his total will go back down to zero stars for him to build them up again.

Five stars: A trip to the park, a bag of sweets, £1 or a toy from the pound shop;
Ten stars: A swimming session, a trip to the local petting farm, £2 or a new book worth £2;
Fifteen stars: A full day out to the soft play area, a trip to the cinema, £4 or a day at the arcades.

We wrote each on separate pieces of coloured paper, red for five stars, blue for ten stars and yellow for fifteen stars and put them into a pot. My son also asked me to put a few ‘surprises’ in there, to make it more fun.

We are going to start slowly, with encouraging him to do the homework he enjoys the most, reading. We will give him lots of praise and put the star up where all can see it. If he earns a star, it stays there. If he misbehaves another day, we will not remove a star as punishment as I believe this will be undermining the whole idea and will de-motivate him. Once he has earned a star, it is there for him to be proud of.

We are going to try not to nag him. Ideally, we would like homework to be seen as a positive aspect and not a chore. My six year old is often exhausted after a full day at school, especially by the end of the week, so we will try to start the, ‘Points win prizes,’ star collecting at the beginning of the week. We will also remember that, after all, he is only six and he is meant to be gaining a love of learning that will last him for the rest of his life. We do not want to force him to do his homework but we do need to be supportive as well as talking to him about the importance of it all.

We will see how it all goes! I hope he gains a star tonight with his reading. If he doesn’t, we will persevere with this method by trying it again another day. It is sometimes more difficult for him to get back into the routine of doing homework after the holidays or if he’s been ill for a few days. We will try though. I’ll let you know what happens!

If you have tried this with your child/children, did you have any success with it? How could it be improved? What other methods have you tried to motivate your child/children to do their homework? I’d love to hear from you!


Learning about blogging and social media

Although I’ve been blogging for over three months now, I am still very new to it all. I am learning a great amount everyday. Three months ago, I had not got a clue how to use Twitter, what as ‘linky’ is, what a ‘blog hop’ is and how to link social media buttons to my blog using code was unthinkable! Now,I feel much more confident and I have been able to use these all on my blog. Above all, it has been great to be able to write about the people and the things that I love. So far, I have enjoyed chatting to fellow bloggers about these topics, as well as to understand how different parents approach the same problems in ways I had not previously thought of. Everybody I have met/chatted to have all been extremely supportive and have offered me so much helpful advice on blogging as well as parenting. Thank you very much to all the support you’ve all given me so far in this new blogging journey that I am on.
Next stops: understanding how to get (and write!) Sponsored Posts, whether to go self hosted and get my own domain name and to widen my audience. I know there is so much more to learn and do. I also know that I’ll probably come across even more words that I don’t know or fully understand yet. SEO? Follow and no follow links? Pricing? I have a lot of reading to do!
Do you have any advice for me, as a new blogger? Is there anything that I should be doing that I am not at the moment? Is there anything I should avoid? Any tips?

Back to school homework help

The final couple of days of the Christmas holiday from school are upon us. It’s time to sort out the uniform, PE kit and book bag ready for Tuesday. We have really enjoyed our Christmas break but now it is time to start getting back into the school routine again. My son has only had reading homework over the holidays. I must admit that he has not done it though. He has been reading a lot, annuals, new story book as well as his books of facts and the occasional joke book but no school books have been read. We will hope to look at it on Monday. Possibly.

Soon we will be getting ready to start with the book reviews, spellings and times tables homework too. What type of homework do your children come home with? Do you find it difficult to get your children to actually do their homework? What homework help would be most useful to motivating your child to complete their tasks? I aim to write some future blog posts on ideas to help with homework so it would be great to write posts that would be most useful to my readers. I look forward to hearing from you!

New Years Resolutions

It’s not often that I make resolutions at New Year, they either get forgotten after a month, are unrealistic or I know I should stick to them but… Oh well! My brother always manages to stay focused on his, depriving himself of chocolate, cake, crisps and beer for a whole year. I think his success in keeping going with it was down to his rule that he was allowed ten nights ‘off’ during the year, plus his sheer determination! He has inspired me to make a resolution this year. I am not stopping myself from doing something though. My resolution is to spend more time reading and learning about things I am interested in. I spend the majority if my time with my children and even though I love doing that, I think spending a bit of time by myself learning, as well as doing, the things I am intrigued by, will help me to feel more like ‘me’ again, rather than just being ‘a Mum.’ I just hope that I am able to find time, maybe an hour here or there every week, to achieve my aim.

What are your resolutions for 2014? How will you stick to them? Any tips on how I can stick to mine? Do you sometimes feel like you are ‘just a Mum/Dad’. It would be great to hear from you!

Love of Learning

During the past few years, I have (quite rightly, in my opinion), concentrated every ounce of my thoughts and efforts into creating a loving as well as a creative atmosphere for my children to grow up in.  I have spent very little time doing anything for myself.  My life revolves around my children.  Some would say that this is not how it should be but this is how my life is and this is how I have chosen to live it.

However, recently, I have re-discovered my love of learning as well as the thirst for knowledge that goes with it.  Due to finding Nursery costs too expensive to even contemplate at the moment, I have decided to enroll on an online course about Web Design.  The beauty of this is that I can do this course on my own computer, in my own home, during my daughter’s daytime naps.  I must say that I am enjoying the course immensely!  Learning something completely new to me has motivated me to read around the subject in the evenings too.

Both my children get so excited about seeing and learning new things.  Their enthusiasm for it was catching, which is what spurred me on to start learning again.  I really hope that I can continue to learn more about the world, just as my children are doing.  I feel like I am making a good start already.  At this point in my life, this is what I need.  This is something for me.

It would be great to hear if other Parents and Carers are continuing their learning.  Which courses ar you doing at the moment?  I’d love to hear from you and it would be great to think about what new things I can learn in the future from your ideas!