There are two kinds of kids when it comes to homework: those who do not mind it and get it done without any drama and those who will do anything not to do homework.
Let’s face it, parents don’t like homework assignments either.
Parents should not be doing the homework but should be involved.
Research has shown that parental involvement in homework positively influences student achievement. But, most importantly, parents must be willing to help their children overcome obstacles to homework completion.
According to Peg Dawson’s, The Homework Guide for Parents, parents should provide children with three key messages about homework:
First and foremost, you need to understand teachers’ expectations about homework.
While a teacher may not give an assignment every day, they may expect a child to read for a specific amount of time, review their work that day, practice spelling words, or practice times tables.
You must prove and adapt a homework routine for each child if necessary.
Below are four tips I suggest for both parents and students.
Every day you should ask your child, “What do you have to do, and when will you do it? “
Consider after-school activities and what works best for your child. For example, kids like doing homework right after school, while others want to take a break and complete it later.
Homework time should be free of screens other than those used to complete an assignment. Since a computer has built-in distractions, you need to check its usage.
Find a location where the homework will be completed and ensure you have all the necessary materials, including pencils and paper. Locations and environments may differ for children. For example, some may need a quiet place with no distractions, and others may need to play music to stay focused.
Ensure your child understands assignments and what they need to do, and have them estimate how long it will take to complete the work.
You may need to supervise but not help your child complete their work.
If your child is easily frustrated, breaking the assignment into smaller parts may help.
I know it is tempting to help, especially when your child is frustrated. But instead, you should be offering strategies to help them complete the work.
Look for suggestions on how to help your child by talking to other parents or searching the internet, which has plenty of advice.
Remember, strategies work until they do not.
Over the years, I used hundreds of different strategies, including bribery.
One of my most effective strategies was allowing them to gain screen time.
If homework was completed by a specific time, they could have more time on their screens; whether that was the phone or gaming, it was up to them. This strategy is effective because parents keep their child’s cell phones until a specific time.
Please share your homework strategies with us.
Parents and educators need to stick together.
Watch this space for more tips.
Mrs. Michele Hewitt-Webster, January 2023