Ugh homework – who’s kid rolls their eyes or gets frustrated if you say the dreaded ‘h’ word. We get it, homework can be boring. However, in relation to therapy – its super important. As your child makes progress in therapy, it is important to continue to build on that success with practice at home. This is promoting generalisation (carryover) to a natural environment (Bowen & Cupples, 2004). This will maximise your child’s potential and emphasize care and dedication to a child’s education and therapy success.
Speech therapy and Occupational Therapy can take time. Children are learning a new skill and the more practice they do, the quicker they will progress. Think about when you learnt how to ride a bike or to play a musical instrument or to read; all these took time and a lot of practice. It’s the same with your goals in your therapy sessions. We will work with you to find the best ways to incorporate the practice into your daily life.
Here are some tips when doing your therapy homework:
- Use movement! You don’t have to sit and do your homework, make it fun and interactive for your child. E.g., practice your speech sound words whilst jumping on the trampoline.
- Make it part of your daily routine; e.g., practise writing your letters in shaving cream on the wall when in the bath or shower, practise your words just before you brush your teeth (stick words up on the mirror).
- Pick a regular time of the day – only needs to be 5-10 mins and quickly practice then.
- Use your child’s interests. E.g., they like trains and their goal is turn taking; take turns pushing the train through the tunnel.
If it is still not working for you – talk to your therapist, they will troubleshoot and problem solve with you. We are on this journey with you. Consistent attendance along with home practice is the best ingredient for success (Watts, Pappas et al, 2008). Without this, progress will slow and children are more likely to regress. Your therapist must then spend the next sessions re-teaching previously learnt skills instead of moving forward. This will result in needing therapy for a longer amount of time. We love seeing your child succeed in therapy and in life so please show us how they are practising their learnt skills!