This Journey Our Life

A Simple Solution

Cami, Education, Family, Homework ideas, Special NeedsRachel

Recently we have been having some struggles in the area of Cami’s homework.  It has been requiring a lot of extra time and energy to try to keep her focused on the task at hand (whether that be reading her Braille, doing math problems with an abacus, or writing assignments on her Braillewriter).
DSCN1309                                                                         {Cami’s Braillewriter}

DSCN1313                                                                           {Cami’s Abacus}

All too often my announcement of “Time for homework!” —which I attempt to say as cheerfully as possible—is met with whining or even wailing! While Cami does work extremely hard each evening to complete each assignment the best she can, there has usually been many tears shed throughout the entire process (and I’ll be honest in sharing—even some of my own!).

In an effort to make her homework time more enjoyable, I have recently tried using several different approaches. I’m constantly trying to rack my brain for any idea which will not only keep her focused on each homework assignment but also help her avoid any feelings of dread over this necessary task!

Here are some examples of ideas we have tried in these last several weeks in addition to others we are currently implementing:

1) Wearing a special “princess homework dress” (a flower-girl/Easter dress) with a “thinking cap tiara”.  Work%20Pics%20Pink%20Sugar%20Tiara
Although she thoroughly enjoyed this idea, it became quite apparent that it was more of a distraction rather than a motivation!

2) Taking a break before getting started with homework by eating a snack and/or watching a short cartoon.  This didn’t work too well, because once she took that break it was even harder to get her focused enough to want to do homework at all!

3) Having her complete her homework first and then rewarding her with the snack of her choice after the work is completedThis actually has been working fairly well, and sometimes I even let her have the snack between two homework assignments to give her a little break along the way.  I usually try to do this only after she has completed the most difficult homework assignment for that day.  {Because she loves Jell-O or yogurt these are often what she picks. This is highly motivating for her!} =)

4) Sitting in the special “princess homework throne” (one of our recliners). DSCN1474Due to limited space in our home Cami usually does homework at the kitchen table.  While I’m sure other families do homework around their kitchen table as well, this presents a unique dilemma for her: the height of the table, along with her petite size, significantly affects her ability to maintain the proper hand position needed for tracking Braille. We’ve used a booster seat and even phonebooks, but it still ends up being rather uncomfortable for her. Though the recliner chair is quite comfy for her to sit in, we still run into hand position problems.

5) We’ve also tried stickers (with and without charts), singing funny songs to remember facts, sitting feet to feet (I had read this idea somewhere) to try to keep her engaged in the task at hand (usually for subjects such as Social Studies or Science where there is a lot of information to remember for tests), setting a timer to see if she can beat it, and the list could go on and on and on and on and on and on….

Our newest solution is actually quite simple and one that I happened to stumble upon in a recent trip to our local Michael’s store.

But…I am going to wait to share exactly what that is and how effective it has turned out to be…in another post!

{When I first began drafting this post I had every intention of it being only one; however, I had no idea that our newest attempt to motivate Cami was going to be such a success. In an effort to  accurately portray the results to each one of my dear readers—all while trying to do my best to spare you from having to read one reeaaallllllyy long post—I thought it made more sense to split it up into two parts!}

In the meantime….What are some ideas that you have used in creating the best homework environment for your special needs child? What are some ideas you have used to keep your non-special needs child motivated?

I’d love to hear what solutions you have implemented into your children’s homework routines and what you have found to work best for your family!