This post was sponsored by Philips Hue. The opinions expressed herein are mine and are not indicative of the opinions of Philips Hue.
It’s back-to-school time which only means one thing around here: more fighting and yelling. Sad but true facts. Why? One word: Homework. As much as I try, homework has always equaled out to be a really horrible experience for my entire family. As K enters 3rd grade I vowed this year would be different. We’re a few weeks into school and I can happily report we’ve had some great weeks! There hasn’t been any crying, fighting, or yelling and she’s been getting great grades at school too. Here’s how we’ve worked to make homework time easier.
How To Make Homework Time Easier
Use a Timer:
As I sit to menu plan for the week or clip coupons I have a timer going. I say “Let’s see how much you can get done in 20 minutes!” and we go from there. It’s become a game if she can get more done than the day before. I do stress that it’s more important to get them right than get more done. She may not finish the entire page and that’s fine but at least there’s a goal and she knows at some point that timer will go off. At that point, I move onto trick #2
Take Short Breaks:
First off, we don’t start homework as soon as we walk in the door. I feel like kids have already had 8 hours of school, why cram more in there when they’re exhausted?
Let your child unwind for a short time after school. Giving a snack with protein, healthy fats, and/or complex carbs will help support brain power and keep blood sugar steady. After that, start on homework. Maybe work in 10-minute slots, take a 5-minute potty break. I know this doesn’t work in every family so adjust it to your needs but a break is always good no matter what.
Totally not above bribery! *Raises hand* For kids who are unmotivated, give immediate rewards as often as possible. For example: “I’ll play a board game with you once you’re finished.” Definitely don’t use sweets, tablet, or video games as a reward, since they have an adverse effect academically, and can affect concentration, sleep, and time management.
Create a Productive Space.
This year we have split up the kid’s homework times. I use to have both girls doing their homework at the time but that left B in the cold. He was excited to see his sisters after a long day and all he wanted to do was play with them. Plus it was hard for me because I had to try to split my time and energy into two different kids and two vastly different homework assignments. This year, I have K do homework while M and B play, then when she’s done, K and B play while M does her homework. It’s been so great for us. It also keeps the noise down whereas before B would be running around loudly or distracting the girls. Now the noise is purposely kept away for the one doing homework which is ideal. You want the space to be quiet but this isn’t jail so no plain white walls here.
Change Their Lighting
Study after study has proven that light can greatly affect our mood, productivity, and concentration. During school hours there is a lot of natural light shining through those large windows but at night, not so much. That’s why I like to use Philips Hue Smart Lighting to create an environment perfect for learning. Philips Hue is a smart lighting system that allows you to have full control over every aspect of your home lighting, yes, even at homework time!
When it’s time for homework I either open the Hue app on my phone or we can ask Alexa to turn on a specific color or “scene”. There are 16 million colors to choose from or easily choose from pre-set scenes. You can also add your own custom scenes and with your voice or a touch of a button, you have your favorite color every single time. We turn on the pre-set “Concentrate” scene for homework. It’s a crisp, white light that can help your kids focus on their homework and that’s been helping us get through those 45-60 minutes stress and tear-free.
Your overall feeling of health and well-being can change with just the flick of a switch so it’s important to recognize that. Other ways light can have a significant impact is on your mood, energy, alertness, and productivity. Light can help you think, create, and collaborate in so many ways you didn’t even realize before. It’s important to realize the impact of light and how it can and does affect our kids during homework, when it’s time to wake up, and time to go to sleep.
After homework time is over the Philips Hue app allows me to change her lights to a relaxing orange tone which can help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm. That’s your body’s master clock and it helps determine when people feel sleepy or awake. She’ll play in her room or read a book just before bedtime with our custom “K Bedtime” scene for at least 30 minutes. I definitely feel like this switch has helped her fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
On a less serious note, Phillips Hue is so much fun to play around with. You can create routines and schedules to help your day run smoother and hey, I’m all for extra help. I created a routine so in the morning my husband won’t come downstairs to a completely dark space. The lights will automatically turn on to 40% at 5:40 am and he doesn’t even have to turn them off because at 6 am, they’ll turn off! I created a similar routine for my girl’s schedule during the week. At 6:30 their lights will begin to slowly turn on little by little. By 6:45 they lights are at 100%. By letting their eyes adjust they can wake up smoother and all around happier instead of a bright light blinding them first thing in the morning.
Many of us give light little thought beyond flipping our switch on or off when we need light or don’t. With Philips Hue, you can do so much more with light, including helping your family transition into the school year. Nobody understands the power of good lighting quite like Philips Hue. Click here to see how Philips Hue can transform your ordinary spaces into extraordinary places at any given time.