5 Tips to Help Kids Get Their Homework Done

Getting the kids to do their homework is often one of the most difficult things parents deal with. It has been shown that kids are more successful in school when their parents take an interest in their homework, but this doesn’t mean you should have to spend hours sitting at a desk in an attempt to convince them to get their work done. Instead, adopt homework can be a fun attitude. Creating a comfortable, individual, and fun environment will not only encourage the kids to dive into their homework as soon as they get home but help them look forward to doing it.

Create A Comfortable Study Area

Although the kitchen table may be more convenient, it can also be an uncomfortable place to sit for long periods while trying to study. Instead, find an area of the house designated just for homework. This can be anywhere that a small desk will fit. Make sure the area is well-lit and keep plenty of supplies on hand, including paper, pencils, scissors, glue, etc. Choose a desk and chair that is a comfortable height for the child.

Schedule Study Time

Schedule a regular study time and feed them a snack beforehand. Keep in mind that some kids work best in the afternoon, while others may work better after dinner. Figure out which time is the best and designate this as study time only, no television or computer (unless it is needed for the homework).

Minimize Distractions

Make sure the kids are doing their work, you can make suggestions or help with distractions, but hovering will only be a distraction. There should be no loud music, television, or phone calls during homework time.

Make A Plan

On days when the homework is heavy or they have a large, difficult assignment, encourage them to break the assignment up into smaller, more manageable chunks. Creating a schedule that includes a short break every hour will also help them focus on the task at hand. A written homework plan that includes goals and timelines will often allow them to visualize what needs to be done and the amount of time in which they have to do it.


Praise And Reward

It is important to praise and reward them for a job well done. For example, display art projects or tests with high scores on the refrigerator and mention their achievements to other family members. Create a reward system that offers them more fun. The system should work for your family and your budget. A great way to build motivation is to use a progressive reward system. For example, each time the homework is done and on time, give your child a “ticket”. The more tickets earned the greater the reward, such as extra television time, a night at the movies with friends, or a special toy they have been hinting for.

If you continue to have problems with them doing their homework, talk about it with their teacher. Many children have trouble seeing the chalkboard and may need glasses or they may need an evaluation to rule out a learning problem. The goal is to get involved, find ways that will encourage them to want to their homework, and recognize when they have done a good job.

Keeping Toddlers Quiet In Church

While there are a growing number of churches that have “children’s church”, where the kids are separated from the adults during worship, many traditional churches still require that your children join you in the pews during worship service. While it is a great experience for them to learn more about their spirituality, young children are notorious for not wanting to sit still for 10 minutes, much less an hour (or more!) through worship service on a hard church pew. It all starts with firm understanding by you (not your children!) about what acceptable behavior at church entails.

Getting Ready

Children who are obedient overall are much more likely to be successful in this very quiet setting, so practicing this obedience at home makes it that much more likely that you’ll get it when you’re out in the world. Try having family devotion time at home and emphasize the type of behavior that you expect from your child during their church service. Take everyone to the bathroom before you walk in, as that is guaranteed to be the first thing they want to do! Ask them the question of how they feel they should behave in church, and offer positive encouragement when they respond with “Shhh” or “quiet”.

Where To Sit

While some advocate that sitting in the front might put slightly older children right into the middle of the action, so the pastor seems as though he’s speaking right to them, this doesn’t seem like the most prudent course of action. Finding an area of a pew that is towards the back helps if you need to bounce your toddler on your knee or keep them moving around a little bit to keep them (relatively) silent. Sitting near the end of a pew is a no-brainer – you ARE going to need to slide out to take them to the bathroom, and nothing is worse than having to climb over people with a wriggly toddler. Finding a spot by the door is also a good idea, as it gives you a way to slip out quickly and quietly when you need to discipline your toddler, change a diaper, or anything else.

What To Bring

A children’s Bible is a great option for bringing to church, or some simple paper and pencils or crayons so your children can be encouraged to listen to the message (at least a little bit!) and draw out their idea of the lesson is for the day. If you can bring something small to snack on like Cheerios and apple juice, that may help keep down the whining and “Is it over yet?” in the theatrical stage whisper that the pastor can hear from the back row. Don’t bring anything that will be messy or sticky like fruit or suckers, or anything that is going to be noisy.

If all else fails, you can always encourage your toddler to nap on your shoulder (or better yet on Daddy’s shoulder!) during the service, just to keep the havoc to a minimum.

Tips for Surviving Your First Year with Twins

The first year of parenting is overwhelming. While every baby is different, twins present a whole other range of challenges. One of the first things new twin parents realize is that most parenting blogs and articles assume you have one infant. The tips and tricks they offer often simply do not apply when you have two newborns. The good news is, there are parents out there who do understand and we’ve compiled the top tips and tricks for surviving your first year as a parent of twins.

  1. Accept every offer of help
    Yes, even the co-worker who you think is probably just offering to be nice. People usually mean it when they say, “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.” The problem is, they also usually have no idea how what you need. When they offer, if you can’t think of anything you need, ask for food. It’s not that hard to make a little something extra while cooking dinner – provided you don’t have two newborns that need you to hold, feed, burp, change, and snuggle them. Let people help you.
  1. Find a local twins or multiples group
    Unless you have friends who have already had twins, you will quickly realize that it feels like no one quite understands. Twins are more common now than even just ten years ago. Chances are there is a club, group, or organization for parents of twins in your local area. Multiples of America has at least one chapter in every state, most states have more than one. The thing about twin moms is, they get it. They quite literally have been there. There is no need to go it alone.
  1. Stick to a schedule
    Newborns eat 10-12 times per day. That’s roughly every two hours. A single feeding session can take 15-30 minutes. This means that by the time you have fed both twins, you may have barely an hour left to change diapers, feed yourself, go to the bathroom, shower (if you’re feeling ambitious), or nap (if you’re really lucky). If you are pumping, that can take another 30 minutes, leaving you thirty minutes before the next feeding time. Tandem feeding (bottle or breast) can save time. But the truth is if you don’t set a schedule, it’s really easy to do nothing but feed babies all day. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that you still need to eat. Your babies will begin to develop sleeping and eating patterns fairly quickly. As these patterns emerge, slowly codify them into a schedule.
  1. Do what works
    One of the benefits of twins is realizing immediately that different things work for different babies. One child may soothe instantly with a pacifier while the other spits it out immediately. You may have one twin who loves the swing and another who prefers a bouncy chair. The only right way to parent your twins is to do what works for you and your family. This may change on a daily or weekly basis, especially in the beginning. Ignore any advice that doesn’t work. Breast, bottle, or both? Do what works. Co-sleeping, cribs in the same room, cribs in separate rooms? Do what works.

Twins are amazing. Parenting twins is a gift and a challenge. Let go of the kind of parent you imagined you would be and become the kind of parent your twins need.