Red Crown

Raising Daughters Of The King

Princesses that bring Honor to their Royal Father

Giving practical tips and encouragement to mommies of girls
Click here for a special website dedicated to the book!

Ideas to speed up homework (especially math)
and reduce a little school stress

A Mason Jar and Marbles   more…

Every time your child succeeds at a given goal, drop a stone in the jar. When the jar is full, give them a special reward like a day at the park or something that is worth shooting for. If they know what the goal is before they start, this is even more effective. Anytime they do a task without complaining, give them a stone. Anytime they clean up an area without being asked, give them a stone, etc.

I don’t know about taking stones out… once they’ve earned something, technically we are not to remove the reward. But, if you are trying to teach consequences for not doing something, maybe you should consider doing that. Or sticker charts (if that works for your child) — once they fill a chart, they get a reward of some kind. It is your job to catch them being good! ☺

The jar can also be used for developing habits. If you are trying to stop a bad habit, say sucking on fingers, set a timer for every 5 or 10 min. Each time the timer goes off and the child is not sucking her finger, she gets a stone. If you are trying to get a child to stay on task with homework or reading, etc., then set a timer. Every time it goes off and the student is on task, he gets a marble.

Using a Timer   more…

Using a timer takes some of the pressure off of Mom. It makes the timer the “bad guy” instead of Mom. When my girls would ask for extra time to play at our home school “recess,” I could say, “Sorry, honey, but the timer went off.” The timer became one of my best friends for everything from reminding me to pick up a child; [yes, I actually forgot a child once at piano lessons]; to giving the kids a 2 min. warning that dinner was almost ready or recess was almost over or it was almost bedtime, so they needed to finish their game and wash hands or time to get ready for bed…etc. Truly, it became one of my biggest helps.

Math   more…

Each day do some flash cards to speed up the process of the math facts — we kept flash cards in a special place in the car so on the way to school or on the way home or to church, they could get that finished and not “waste” our time at home. I always tried to emphasize using time in the car meant more time to play with toys at home. I imagine you are already doing this — try rewarding them when they do them quickly, or without complaining, or time them and if they beat yesterday’s time, give them a reward (or drop a stone in the jar.) Or cut up strips of math facts sheets — time them on completing the strip. If you are working on training a child that it is okay to skip the hard ones in order to accomplish a timed task, then give them a reward for skipped problems. Of course, if your child is one who skips hard things because they prefer not to put forth the effort, then reward them for NOT skipping and for attempting hard problems.

Math Homework Overload   more…

If your child has, let’s say, 20 math problems to do and should be done in about 40 minutes total, that’s about 2 min. per problem. Break the assignment down into smaller chunks. At age 10, ten straight minutes of work should be achievable. So set the time for 10 min. If your child has finished 5 problems when the timer goes off, put a marble in the jar and give them a 5 min. break. I would also put an extra stone for every extra problem they have finished in that 10 min. (If they start rushing carelessly, then make the goal 5 correct problems.) Reward their diligence and let the timer be the judge — not mom.

If you are working on training them that they can skip a hard problem (for success on timed tests), then you mark 5 random problems for them to do so they get a little more accustomed to going out of order. Also, if they choose to skip a problem in order to make the goal of 5 in 10 minutes, then reward that behavior with an extra stone. Eventually, you should be able to have them work for longer periods of time, but right now, just get them working without talking or distraction for a short period — make it a reachable goal so they can succeed.

The Chore Card   more…

Another huge help for me, was a chore card. Rather than trying to remember everything to tell each one to do, I would write it down on a 3” x 5” card. Then I’d say, “Do your card.” (Each child had their own card — like : wash your face and brush your teeth, make your bed, practice your piano, study for Bible drill, flash cards, etc.) That helped un–clutter my memory and again took pressure off of me to remember everything I needed to tell them — and they got lots accomplished! If you do this, make sure they have a designated place to put the card every time — or you will be frustrated looking for the cards!

Prepare the Night Before   more…

I’m sure you do this as well, but it was a life-saver for me. Make sure that everything is ready the night before — their back pack ready, shoes and socks and clothes laid out, lunches packed (I wrote little notes to put in their lunches — or I bought little verses and put those in their lunches. They’d bring them home and I’d reuse them. It helped them get through some rough days to see those notes.)

Nightly Prayers   more…

I helped them add to their prayers. So if something seemed to be huge for them we’d pray about it. Then after praying for that outcome or that change to take place, we’d start adding things like: if that thing still happens, then please help the kids not notice; and then: and please help me not feel so bad or so embarrassed about it, etc. I think that helps them realize that God is not only in control of the circumstances — but also can help us with friends’ attitudes as well as our own even if circumstances do not change.

Finding God   more…

I found one of the most tangible ways that God showed Himself to my young children was when we couldn’t find something, we’d pray about it and try to trust; and then invariably, we would find it. It was crazy how many things we found that way! God is so faithful to these little kids that belong to Him.

A Special Bracelet   more…

One particular item that helped some children when under emotional stress was that we would give our girls a bracelet with a special bead on it that was to remind them that we loved them — or that they were special to Jesus. When stress got bad at school, they could feel the bracelet and remember. (If you do something like this, be sure to have a second bracelet in case this one breaks or gets lost. It can be devastating to an already stressed child. Also, it needs a place to be stored each night or it will be stressful finding it in the morning! LOL)