Homework, Children and Parents – Strategies to Help Not Hassle

Monday, April 23, 2012 16:44
Posted in category Parenting Help
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‘Have you carried out your homework?’

‘In a minute. I’ll do it in a minute.’

How several times and in how many homes does the refrain ring out each night?

Getting a child to do homework – with out nagging – is one of the main issues of parents with school aged children For many parents, it is a nightly balancing act between helping and supporting their child – and standing over them.

How Can Parents Assist?

* Set a regular time for homework. This right away eliminates the most widespread homework hassle. You and your child might determine it will be after school and a snack, or just before school when they are fresher. Once that homework time comes around, cling to your cannons and send them off to do it.

* Help them stick to it. A couple of subtle reminders such as ‘Do you want help with the African project now?’ are greater than the more blunt ‘Time for homework now.’

* Provide an region for study. Some kids can concentrate in the busy family room, – just don’t turn on the TV or all eyes go to the flickering screen and the brain swiftly follows. Other children like the seclusion of their bedroom, generally with the radio blaring. (Take solace from recent findings – IQ is raised higher by listening to rock music than to classical music.)

* Brainstorm Ideas. Make it a family game. If the project is to design a toy with wheels, it could be a billy cart. Or, with a few zany ideas from you it could be a Ferris wheel, a merry go round, a wheel of fortune…

* Support them locate data. Show them the library is not the only location with data about Cairns. The travel agent, Uncle Pete who lives there, the neighbours who holidayed there are all fantastic sources of facts and enjoyable.

* Talk about problems. Two brains are usually better than 1. Four or five brains all firing at once are great.

* Teach time management skills. Show children how to break up a key assignment into smaller chunks of work. Make a list of things to be carried out, suggest deadlines and usually enable extra for the trivial finishing touches that take up so much time.

* Never really do the work yourself. It could be tough to see the headings crooked and the lines smudged, but grit your teeth and let it go. Homework is about learning, not perfection.

And if They Still Don’t Do Homework?

‘That’s the school’s problem, not the family’s,’ says Rhonda Fitch, a psychologist with several years dealing with school kids and their families.

‘Fights about homework can be very detrimental to family relationships. If the homework isn’t completed, let the youngsters go to school with out it – and experience the logical consequences of their actions.’

For long term problems, she suggests talking with the teacher. Perhaps the homework is too hard. Or too straightforward. Maybe not enough feedback is given.

Frequent, friendly talks can offer valuable details about how the child is working and forge strong links between youngsters, parents and teachers. But in the end ‘it is far more essential to be a parent to your child than a substitute teacher,’ says Rhonda.

Am I Doing it Correct?

Research has shown that 1 of the most critical issues to come out of homework is the high quality of time parents and children invest together – not the actual work.

You were your child’s first teacher. They learnt to walk and talk didn’t they? They learnt to negotiate and share, they recognize the significance of helping others, of telling the truth, of loving and giving. After that, helping them with long division ought to be a cinch.

Besides, you don’t have to know all the answers. If you’re a bit hazy about why the Wall of China was built, there’s nothing wrong with saying ‘I’m not sure. Let’s see if we can come across out.’

That way homework becomes a journey of discovery, a search for understanding together.

SIDEBAR: The School’s Role

It is up to individual schools to set homework guidelines and amounts. The majority of parental complaints to schools are about not sufficient homework set. Nonetheless recent study casts doubts on the assumption that homework increases a child’s learning performance.

Schools’ guidelines ought to consist of the following:-

* If youngsters are to value homework, it must be valuable. ‘Busy work’ will soon be recognised – and just as soon not completed.

* Homework ought to be linked to classroom activities. If ‘Animals’ are studied in class, a grammar sheet on England is not particularly appropriate.

* Homework should often be assessed and meaningful feedback given. Written comments tell a child much more than a mark out of ten.

* There really should be a reasonable time period set for completion. Homework due in ‘tomorrow’ does not enable for other events in a child’s life.

* Schools should remember that learning takes place in many distinct environments. After school activities such as chess, tennis, woodwork and music lessons, all extend kids in a broad and healthy way.

(c) Jen McVeity, National Literacy Champion.

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