Friday, September 14, 2012

Tips for Helping With Homework

Back-to-school for many families means one thing – back-to-homework battles. After a summer off from the nightly grind of math worksheets and book reports, you and your child may be bracing for another year of tearful fits or late-night cramming. Read these great tips found in L.A. Parent by Janine DeFao.

If you believe that your child is receiving more homework than he can reasonably handle, talk to his teacher.

But before you complain that he’s spending three hours a night on homework, make sure that it’s time “on task,” and not spent texting, chatting on the phone or surfing the Internet.

If your child is consistently struggling and you find yourself locked in nightly homework battles, her teacher may be willing to make accommodations, from setting time limits for at-home assignments to reducing the workload.

But if the problems seem widespread among your child’s classmates, Alfie Kohn, a longtime critic of homework, competition and rewards for kids, advises researching your school’s homework policy – if there is one – and organizing with other parents to speak with the principal or district officials about what changes can be made.

Meantime, Challenge Success, a project of the Stanford University School of Education that researches and advocates for positive change in the education system, offers these tips to parents trying to guide their kids through nightly homework assignments:

• Act as cheerleaders, not homework police. Provide necessary supplies and express interest in the content, but let the teacher intervene if the child regularly fails to finish homework or do it correctly.

• When scheduling after-school activities, keep in mind your child’s homework load. Work with your child to determine a healthy schedule of activities that allows for homework, studying, adequate sleep and play.

• Recognize that children learn in different ways and have different work styles. Some kids can get it done all at once; others need breaks. Some like quiet spaces while others prefer music. Discuss with your child what works best for her.

• Advocate for healthier homework policies at your school. Start by communicating with your own child’s teacher.

• Let children make mistakes and experience “successful failures.” Help your kids organize and prioritize, but regularly rescuing them may hinder their resilience.

We hope that you have found this useful - maybe you have some of your own ideas that you would like to share with us. For older children our My Credit Chart is a useful tool to use and is available from our website at Go to our Facebook page at to get your 15% discount code - good on all our products. 

1 comment:

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