Make Homework Battles Go Away
Designers say that redecorating your child’s study area will make things better. Stationary stores will tell you it is the fancy binders and the brand new, funky supplies that will make the difference. We’re here to tell you what will really work.
As tempting as it is to think that buying something pretty or redecorating will be the quick fix for our kids, it might be making it even worse. There is no quick fix. Homework is REAL LIFE.
In addition to providing children with the opportunity to practice and improve academic skills, homework teaches responsibility, self-discipline, independence, perseverance and time management. These skills have a large impact on an individual’s success in life.
Parenting is about teaching our children to teach themselves. By supporting them in achieving their scholastic goals and requirements, we help them to feel capable. This happens by clearly communicating expectations and following through. Here are 5 tips to help parents and children make the most of doing homework.
Keep the Balance
Whose homework is it? As parents we’ve already done many years of homework. Too much parental involvement results in a system out of balance. A parent’s role is that of a facilitator, supporting and promoting the homework process. Rather than expecting perfection, allow the teacher to see where a child has difficulty. This can help the teacher know what the student still needs to learn.
Reestablish family routines, including expectations for homework. Discuss ground rules for homework and allow your children to be active participants in this discussion (example: Math first, then Reading). Involvement allows the child to feel in control over the situation. Plan a productive time when homework fits into the daily schedule. This may vary with extra-curricular commitments.
A Place for Homework
Establish a consistent homework location (it doesn’t have to be magazine-worthy). This will support the routine. Allowing the homework to occupy center stage in your home may result in too much parental participation. Some children work better with music in the background, others don’t. Find out what works well for your child.
Children spend a lot of time not doing homework while looking for a missing ruler or eraser. Create a box of supplies that are kept at the homework location sot that the pursuit of the ruler does not land them in front of the television.
What You Should Expect
We all know that old habits are hard to break, so don’t expect a quick fix. Change can be fragile, particularly in the early stages and relapses can occur. Try not to slip back into taking more responsibility than your role should have. Talk with your child’s teacher if homework is taking longer than you expect. With open communication between teacher, student and parent, everyone can gain from this process.
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