Every parent knows the super-fun weekday ritual/hell of dragging your kid inside, or off an electronic device, to get them to do homework. Except maybe the parents who are successful at implementing the “homework before play” rule, in which case, those parents are as amazing as they are rare.
For us normal parents, who prefer to spend time issuing empty-threats until there’s tears/homework is done (which ever comes first), I’ve found a hack you’re going to love. And it starts with the Holy Grail of parenting: not fighting with your child to turn off a screen.
Because the screen stays on.
Because the screen – whether it’s a phone, tablet or laptop, has useful functions other than just being a carrier of wi-fi-connected activities. Who knew?
A device can record video. More to the point, your child can record themselves – doing their homework.
The idea came to me when I watched my ten-year-old recording himself for his YouTube Channel – which he’s allowed to do, because he doesn’t use his name and has just one follower: me. (The poor love.)
My kid was narrating the outing we were on, and I noticed that he spoke so eloquently, so naturally – he was so comfortable navigating the screen and being on it. I realised I could use this to my advantage. So last week when he came home and insisted on his thirty minutes of screen-time to “veg out” before homework, I had a plan. When the thirty minutes was up, I didn’t take away his tablet. I didn’t start a fight about it.
I told him to record himself doing his homework. To keep using his device. He was in heaven – homework heaven.
He took a photo of his spelling words to do the “look, cover, write, check” system. He recorded himself sounding out the words, and reading. And doing violin practice. Then he watched himself doing it all.