3 Ways to Survive Homework Time
Friday, February 3rd, 2012
Homework is a dreaded time of day in most homes. By the time homework rolls around, you and your child have already had a long, tiring day. For a child with sensory challenges, coming home after an exhausting day and facing homework is especially difficult. Whether your child is overly active or completely wiped after the school day, using sensory strategies to your advantage will make the afternoon and evening hours go much more smoothly in your home.
- Some children are so worn out by the effort of sitting in class and keeping their behavior in check all day that they are bouncing off the walls when they come off the bus. If your child fits that description, incorporate resistive activities (“heavy work”) that are calming and organizing into your after-school routine. Spend 15-20 minutes engaged in these activities to ease the transition to homework. Assign specific chores to your child as great way to integrate these activities into the day seamlessly. An added benefit is that having your child perform these chores will lessen your work load!
- Raking leaves
- Shoveling the snow
- Pushing a loaded shopping cart around the supermarket
- Unloading groceries at home
- Many children are exhausted when they come home from school. They need up-regulating activities in order to shake off their sluggishness. Strong movement (vestibular) activities will help your child stay alert and focused for homework.
- Jumping jacks
- Jumping rope
- Once you have employed one of the above-mentioned sensory strategies to help your child achieve a calm, alert state for homework, use rhythm to keep him/her on task for longer. A heavy rhythm is very grounding and organizing, making it a highly effective tool for homework time. A few simple ways of incorporating rhythm into the day are listed below:
- Having your child chew a large piece of (sugar free) gum before beginning his/her school work.
- Listen to music that has a strong beat. Consider playing the music over headphones if the workspace is shared and could be a distraction to other family members.
- Keep a sports-top water bottle at your child’s work station and encourage him/her to take sips regularly.
Blog by Dr. Chaye Lamm Warburg, DPS, OTR 1/30/12