Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Homework = Fun!

Did you know that homework can be fun? It certainly never was when I was a kid. Now that I’m a parent and having to suffer work through homework a second time, I’m determined to make it fun. Here’s some of the things you can find Liam and I doing most evening between 5:00 and 6:00. If you are ever near by around that time stop by and join us!

Water fun - When the temperature hit 40C nobody wanted to move, let alone do homework. So we got inventive and added a water component.

Water Gun Reading - Write out 20 words on individual pieces of paper and scatter them around the back yard.. Use them as target practice as you read them. Mama had to participate in this so that we were both getting caught in each other’s cross fire.

Water Bomb Math - similar to water gun reading, write out math questions and spread them around. Then set a bucket of water and the water bombs in the middle of the yard. Run to a question, answer it, run to the bucket and be the first to throw a bomb at the other person. Keep playing long after the math questions are all answered.

Scavenger hunts - These can be used for all sorts of home work ideas. We recently did an eye spy/scavenger hunt for reading homework on a walk that ended up at the park. I carried a notepad and pen with me and would write down words of things as we saw them. Liam had to stop and read the word and then find the item before we could move on.  Since he knew we were going to the park, he was motivated to keep moving.

Sidewalk Chalk - Everything is more fun when it's done outside!  Write out the list of reading words or math questions in a hopscotch board and answer/read them as you play.  This week I wrote math questions up and down our sidewalk, driveway and even our street with a right and wrong answer to pick from.  Based on which one you picked you followed the arrow to the next question.  If you got them all right it led you to a surprise at the end.  But if you got one wrong you got the booby prize and had to start over to figure out which one led you astray!

Online Games - What better then an asteroid shooting game for fun? A game where you shoot words by spelling them out! There are a ton of reading and math websites out there to help make homework fun. Even Club Penguin can be used for reading. Just visit the library above the coffee shop and do one of their paint by letter books.

Reading is Reading is Reading -When Liam can’t choose which book to read or is just in a reading funk, we’ll breakout all sorts of things to read - comic books, the back of a Wii game carton, cereal boxes. Our most recent one was Dixie cups with riddles printed on them. It all counts!

Board Games - I pull these out when I’m out of other ideas. It can cover 1) Reading - the instructions, the game cards, the board. 2) Math - Monopoly and the Game of Life are great for money concepts, or any game with dice is good for simple addition. 3) Strategic thinking and planning - nothing like a good game of chess to get in some thinking and planning.

The down side to all of this fun is that it can up the ante of what Liam wants to do for homework.  I have to plan ahead and be prepared.  We don't do something super fun every night, sometimes we read boring old books or do work sheets.  But mixing it up keeps us both interested!

And please share any fun homework ideas that you have!


Banana Bottoms Cloth Diapers said...

These are great ideas, Andy!

We use chocolate chips (or subs. any favourite candy) for practice counting by 2s and 5s... count them correctly and you get to eat them!

Leigh said...

WOW that's impressive! And for a lot of them you're learning AND exercising AND getting fresh air.

Personally, I always loved school and didn't mind schoolwork so I'm excited for when Ellie reaches that stage....we'll see if I'm saying the same thing when she's stuck on calculus homework!!!