I remember the school years as a real torture, not only because the classes were more boring than a session in Congress, but because when the exit bell finally rang and we all went out like wild bulls towards home, I still stayed at home an hour of homework, and that's not counting what he had to study.
And it is that sometimes the tasks of the school are not only an ordeal for the children, but the homework is torture for the whole family.
The language teacher gave us homework (according to him few), the math teacher gave us a few others, and the social teacher sent us a summary ... well, he came home with a fatter portfolio than that of the Minister of Finance, and my spirits were on the ground for the long afternoon that awaited me.
Now that I am a mother of 7-year-old twins, I see how one of them follows in my footsteps like a lapdog, and I live with horror as every afternoon the smile fades from his mouth when I ask him about his homework.
He cried just thinking that he could not play, he dropped the pencil half a dozen times in a minute, he despaired before reading the questions and he looked at me with the eyes of a beaten dog. I assure you, it was breaking my heart, but within half an hour I had run out of all the patience and good intentions that I carried with her.
I would sit next to her and repeat the same phrases my mother used to tell me, knowing the little effect they had on her mood, and to top it all, every afternoon I would become the worst of witches, with a broom included, cursing, screaming and made fuss.
There wasn't a day that I didn't wonder what the point of this had, since I realized that the one with the most homework doesn't know any more, since the other has a teacher who puts less homework. At first glance you can see that the education system is obsolete; It is not a good system that in order to cover what is requested in the curriculum of the year it is necessary to do it at home.
Putting children under too much pressure demotivates them, makes them insecure, and therefore causes further school failure.
I decided to try not to repeat the same mistakes as my mother and to avoid that homework was torture for the whole family. I began to put into practice everything that was in my power to encourage and motivate her. With a lot of effort from the whole family, I can assure you that there are tricks that have worked for me:
- The first thing we did was establish a work routine after having a snack. You must never forget it, because if you relax for a single day, you lose the effort you have made until then.
- We put one study table where she could be comfortable, we went to buy the flexo together and a cork so that he could put his notes.
- We set ourselves a goal every day: What is there to do today? Do you want me to teach you how to do this so that tomorrow you can surprise the teacher? Do you think you will be able to finish it in half an hour? If so, do you think we can spend a while later together playing something or cooking something you like? The award with time and dedication exclusively, never with money or material things.
- On its cork we hang a calendar where we put smiley facess every time you overcome the challenge of the day, and we do not put anything if you have not overcome it. We started small, with three smiling faces, we watched a children's movie as a family on Friday night; then we went up to 4 faces and we left one side because we can all have a bad day.
- But, I have realized, that the essential key to everything is, always, always, always, give psupportive praise and tell her what you trust her, who is capable of doing anything he sets his mind to, and never, ever, become the ogre in the story, scold her, tell her that she is lazy, or phrases like: but haven't you finished yet? With how easy it is! ...; and, when we are overwhelmed by the situation, we rest for five minutes, and we return with renewed energy.
It will be hard for a while, but little by little I have seen her gain confidence in herself, and at the end of the day she feels proud of herself, and I drool.
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