Children aren’t the only ones who might need help with their homework. Here’s some homework help for parents, too. If you have a child in elementary school, chances are you have spelling practice every night of the week for the big test on Friday. After a month of spelling practice, you and your child may be bored and tired of this nightly drill. You can use interactive games to study spelling and spice up this nightly memorization.
- Earn Points for Weekend Rewards: For each word your child spells correctly during your nightly practice, he earns a point. These points are tallied at the end of the week and can be used by your child for privileges on the weekend. This will work for any child–good speller or not–because you set the “cost” of weekend fun. For example, if your child has 5 points, this could earn him a trip to the park or a game of Monopoly with you. If you have an advanced speller, it might take 25 points for these same rewards. Give your child plenty of choices on how to spend his points. Make this fun but a bit challenging. (This game will work for math homework, multiplication memorization, studying for a science test, and so on.)
- Clap and Dance Your Words: Put some movement into spelling practice (or multiplication table practice) with movement. If your child’s word is “geography,” make up a rhythm and a dance to go with the word. So, practicing “geography” might look and sound like: “g-e-o” (Clap! Clap!) “g-r-a” (Growl like a tiger with hands like claws) “p-h-y” (Snap! Snap! Turn around.) Be creative with interactive games to study spelling and math.
- Turn Your Child Into the Teacher: My stepson loves to ask me spelling words too even though he’s pretty sure I already know how to spell them. (He also loves to quiz me with his addition and subtraction flash cards.) It gives him a break and lets him be the teacher/parent for a while. Sometimes, we take turns–I ask a word, he asks a word, and so on.
Study games turn spelling (or math) practice into fun!
Study for a Test with Musical Chairs
A friend of mine plays a variation of this interactive game to study for tests with her daughter in middle school when she has a science or social studies test. So, it really does work!
- On index cards, write questions that will help your child study for a test. Your child should be involved in writing the review questions on the index cards.
- Place the cards in four piles around a table. Have a radio or CD player near by.
- Turn on the music, and your child walks or dances around the table. Stop the music, and your child goes to the closest pile of cards.
- She picks a card, reads it, and answers it. (Put a textbook on the table in case she needs to look up any answers.)
- If she gets it correct without looking, put the card in the middle of the table. If she has to look up the answer, put the card at the bottom of that pile.
- Now it’s your turn (if she wants to switch roles.) When she stops the music, you pick up the top card on the closest pile and read it. But she has to answer it!
With a little homework help for parents and fun interactive games to study spelling, you can make this time more enjoyable for your child!