As soon as school is back and hockey season starts the focus for your child may turn to hockey, over their schooling. My guess is they enjoy school, at least playing, while they are at school, and the focus on conversation, even in their friends group is about hockey. Hockey is far more fun than school.
Of course it is, and that creates a problem when you need them to be focused on their school work. Getting that education is important. They may not realize that yet though.
Here are five tips to try to get them to focus on doing their homework.
Make it a challenge
You have no doubt seen your child be competitive, especially when they are on the ice, or on their bike racing their friends. Most children have some small innate competitiveness in them, even if its not visible, so make up a challenge around homework.
What do they LOVE to do, that would be a big win for them, if they could do that? Might it be to go out for dinner after hockey practice? Or, to go to a game they want to go to, to watch their favorite NHL player? And it maybe they just want more time on the PlayStation. Whatever it is, think through some challenges and set them the challenge of completing their homework, to a set standard of course, to win that prize.
Or, depending on the subject, you might want to set a challenge that relates to their research abilities. For example, if they are studying a history subject, how many different things can they find out about their topic? Make it fun.
Let them have some sort of reward. They will see the benefit when they are praised by not only you, but also their teacher for completing their homework in a timely fashion.
Shift the focus to hockey
For younger ones who have maths homework, get them doing their maths problems using a hockey team. There are 20 skaters in total for an NHL game – 18 skaters and 2 goalies. 5 players and 1 goalie are on the ice at any one game. Use these numbers for addition and subtraction equations. That way they will have fun, while learning their maths.
If they have a story to write, get them to write it about something to do with hockey, if that’s allowed of course. They could learn about a team, a player, some aspect of the game and write about it. Using hockey, something they love as the focus may make it more fun for them.
Get them to broaden their focus – to the hockey world
If you child has a history assignment to complete, or even for that matter a science project, let them broaden their thinking from general topics and focus their research and what they develop be on something hockey focused.
In Colorado, the Avalanche players visit STEM schools and talk to the students about force and topics related to speed, in order to show the students how hockey has these aspects as a part of it.
How fast does the hockey puck travel when it is hit from inside the blue line, till the time it hits the back of the net?
How does the height and weight of a hockey player impact how fast they can skate?
These are examples of things that can be used to answer questions your students might have as homework questions, yet the focus is turned to hockey in order to answer it.
Not only does this spark their interest, it also allows them to learn some more aspects of the game they love to play.
Do it with them, on road trips
You may have one or two our trips to and from the rink for practices and games. Use this travel time to help them with their homework. We all know that Moms have the ability to multi task (at least most do), so get engaged with your child and help them with their homework.
Use your phone and record information or discussions you have with them about homework topics, so that whilst they may not spend the time writing out homework answers while in the car, you can support them with providing the information you discussed on that trip, later when they get home.
This could not only have them feel more supported, but also make the task of completing homework, easier.
Try all or one of these ideas and let us know if any of them work for you? What else have you tried that works?
Karen Cherrett, is a Mindset Coach helping people understand the impact their mindset has on their life, good and bad. She helps with anxiety, stress, overwhelm, depression and in developing coping skills for daily life.