If your child shouts "Done!" a few minutes after he has started his homework or other task, he might be rushing too much. Poor quality work and focusing on merely getting through work can evolve into a bad habit. Reel your youngster in and teach him to be more diligent in his work by taking the time to make an effort.
Discuss the quality of work you expect from your child. Let him know it is not acceptable to hand in rushed, sloppy homework. Encourage him to try his best to show what he can do. Emphasize the importance of reviewing and editing work after he has finished.
Teach your child to take pride in his work by praising his effort on homework, assignments, artwork, projects and chores. Show him how to spend time to evaluate his work with questions such as, "How can I improve on this?" and "Am I proud to show this work to someone or hand it in to my teacher?"
Review your child's finished chores after he says he is done. Show him where he has missed dusting or tossed things into a closet. Check under the bed and in the drawers and tell him that he must take the time to tidy these areas too.
Establish dedicated homework time for your child. Set a block of time for homework, studying and reviewing classroom work, every day. Explain that your child must read or work on something regardless of how quickly he finishes his homework. Encourage him to use some of the time to check over work.
Prevent your child from rushing when he washes his hands by explaining the importance of good hygiene. MayoClinic.com recommends getting him into the habit of washing his hands for as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice. Post reminders at eye-level above the sink to remind him to do this.
Ensure that your child spends enough time brushing his teeth by showing him how to do it correctly. Teach him to make his brush strokes like the motion of train wheels, with circular, massaging movements. Encourage your child to brush his teeth long enough to make toothpaste bubbles.
- Education expert Ann K. Dolin advises that kids should spend 10 minutes per grade level on homework, every day. This means that your third grade child should spend at least 30 minutes, while fourth graders should spend 40 minutes sitting down to do homework or study.
- If your child has a chronic inability to focus or if you think he might have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, seek the opinion of your child's pediatrician to get an accurate diagnosis.
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