Using homework as an opportunity for quality family time

Homework can be a chore. It can be isolating for the child and frustrating for the parents w watching them put it off. So at the Johnson house we've been experimenting to see how awesome we can make homework time.

Case 1: the castle project

My youngest son had a project on castles, so we actually went to a castle.

We took photos of things he found interesting. He dictated captions for the photos and I noted them down. He choose a medieval coin from the gift shop. Then we went home and put the whole thing into a Google doc together.

Why it worked

Case 2. Maths in a restaurant.

Possibly inspired by this, my wife had a brilliant idea: I would take my eldest son to chess club, then afterwards take him out to a restaurant and do his maths homework with him.

We ended up at Café Rouge. I got us a big table so we could sit side by side and lay out his homework. He had a minute steak with chips. He got to use a proper steak knife and have a glass of Orangina, which he loves. It was exactly the sort of thing that he likes, and something that we hardly ever do because my littlest girl can't sit nicely in a restaurant yet.

Between courses we looked at his homework: powers of 10, and a few equations.

Once we were done we used the rest of the paper to draw pictures of radio telescopes. It was a pretty successful evening. We went home happy, having bonded over shared experiences. Plus the homework was out of the way and my son had leveled up his maths.

Why it worked

Do you have any tips for homework time?