Homework is a part of a child’s school life and setting up a regular routine and a place in which to do it comfortably will help them become focused and achieve more in less time. By using your child’s dominant sense, this can be achieved with minimal fuss and great results.
Tactile children do best with a homework station and a family area. They like to feel a part of things, especially when other children are also doing their homework. Expect them to fidget and move about. They are not being naughty, they just need to do things in order to assimilate information or recall details.
This need for movement is important, especially when things need to be memorized. For example, when learning their alphabet or multiplication tables, try throwing a ball back and forth as you say them, you will find they will retain the information much better and will actually have fun doing so.
Auditory children will need a quiet place to study, however this doesn’t mean they will not want to play music or listen to their iPods. This dichotomy is just about their need to control the sound, and often, music helps them focus. Auditory children need to be in control of their surrounding sounds in order to have a stable working environment where they can shine. Auditory children learn through sound. Have them take notes, then read those notes onto a recording and listen to it back.
How a visual child’s work space looks is very important. Allowing them to have it look the way they want will allow a visual child to concentrate. When learning things by heart, flashcards and picture reminders work wonders, and making charts that are colorful and visually exciting creates memory associations that help them retain the information more easily. Expect them to be fussy about how their homework looks, and do not be surprised when they are redoing their math. This process is just how the visual child retains information they are learning.
Taste and smell children will prefer to have a desk in their bedroom, surrounded by all the things they feel are important. They will need to sit down and connect with you before they will be able to concentrate on school work as they need to feel a part of the family before they can focus on other things.
To make learning more relevant to them, try to explain things in a way that is associated to family and friends. Be careful not to compare taste and smell children, as they are very sensitive to competition and may give up all together if they think they are not good at something.
Priscilla Dunstan, creator of the Dunstan Baby Language, is a child and parenting behavior expert and consultant and the author of “Child Sense.” Learn more about Dunstan and her parenting discoveries at www.childsense.com.