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Q

How do I incorporate movement and sensory activities in my child’s homework sessions?

Let’s face it: our poor kids have to sit all day at a desk in school and have no interest in sitting for another round of boring information.

A

Answered by

Tziporah Klein, MSEd Encore Special Educator on EncoreSupport.org

Making homework slightly more exciting can go a long way in achieving a productive and happy session-and child! Our kids need movement especially as they do not get a chance to let out their energy on a typical school day.  Kinesthetic learning is a type of learning that involves actual activity, as opposed to listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations. This method is ideal and works for almost all children. However, most of our schools teach in the typical fashion of teaching information and the students (hopefully) absorbing them. Drilling information is hard at the cost of patience on both your and your child’s end.

Instead of just sitting and drilling multiplication or sight words for example, lay them out on the floor and have them jump over a card and pick it up while giving the correct answer.

You can do this with the game Twister too-it’s provides great coordination and loads of giggles! If there are no cards but only information, have them move using a beat such as “concentration” and sing such as: Short e, makes “eh”, long e makes “ee”… Songs and chants goes a very long way in helping remember facts and information-don’t underestimate it! Ask many adults and they’ll remember the song with the capitals of the world. You don’t need to be very creative-just use a tune that’s easy and put the words to it. Acronyms and mnemonics is another way to get kids to remember and dancing with the beat will enable then to remember it while having fun too. Ex:  MVEMJSUNP My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas (mnemonic for the order of the nine planets)

If you have a kriah worksheet, drop a penny game is a cute and fun way to get them to read the word. It would be great if you have those small beanbags, or small bouncy balls. Use a pencil to check off the ones that you did already. Obviously, food is always a motivator and you can put M&Ms on the word and they can remove it if they know the answer. That way you can remember which ones were completed already. But food should really be a last resort. If you can, use a long stick to point to the words and have them tap it along with the beat.

Have them alternate motions for different categories or letters. For example, if they come across a word that has an “S”, or if they come across the sight word “and”, clap. Or, if they’re reviewing multiplication, all information in the 4 times table can be practiced using the jumping motion, 5 times table snapping, and so on.

Using a simple ball can be done in a variety of ways. Beginning sounds, spelling, history information can all be reviewed by throwing the ball to each other if answered correctly. Also, any game can be used while practicing something, even a silly chutes and ladders. Your turn: how do u spell “racket”?

If your child is younger, play doh or paint goes a long way in shaping letters and nekudos. Using silly putty or incorporating it when baking is also fantastic. Remember to make “mistakes” so that you’re kid can correct you. Let them be the teacher and you’ll be surprised how motivated they’ll become.

Hopefully, using songs, movement, acronyms, ball, games and sensory materials will get your kid running and doing homework in no time!

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  • Hebrew Reading Skill (Kriah) Training

  • Hands-On Music Therapy

  • Neuropsychological, Nutritional & Behavioral Evaluations

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    Each week, Ami Magazine features a “Let's Talk” post, with a question or inquiry commonly posed by Encore parents.

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