Homework Help: An Educational Specialist Answers Questions That Will Improve Your Afternoons
Am I the only parent who dreads homework time almost as much as my child does? Most definitely not. For many families, homework time is challenging, especially for a child who has a learning disability or problem sustaining attention. After your child has worked very hard for several hours at school, the last thing they want to do is come home to do more work. However, it is important to remember homework does serve a purpose. Therefore, do what is possible to make this time pleasant and relaxing for your child to help relieve their stress.
So, what is the point to homework? The point is to ensure your child has learned what was taught at school that day. It‚Äôs one thing to sit in class and listen; it‚Äôs an entirely different thing to sit independently and process the information.
Is it acceptable to help my child with homework? Of course! Just make sure you‚Äôre not doing their homework. Set the stage for why your child should be completing the assignment. Without a purpose, it‚Äôs hard for anyone to actually want to do something (especially something they don‚Äôt like doing).
How should I help with homework? Help with planning out assignments for the day, then the week, and then the month. As your child gets older, worksheets turn into essays, which eventually turn into year-long senior exit projects. On top of that, sports and social life begin to play much more of a role in your child‚Äôs life. Having a routine and effective system for planning and completing assignments will ensure that everything gets finished on time.
Is there anything else I can do to help? Organize the environment provide the necessary materials (i.e., calculator, highlighters, paper, etc.). Develop a back-up system. Gather contact information (phone, email) from student friends who are in the same classes and use them to confirm tasks and deadlines. Lastly, motivate. Celebrate the successes that happen. For example, ‚ÄúWow! You already answered five math problems? It‚Äôs only been 15 minutes!‚Äù Or it may even have to be as small as, ‚ÄúYou remembered to put your name on the paper!‚Äù Regardless, look for the good during that time and help your child to do the same.
To sum it all up, homework time is difficult for many children and families. Be a positive role model for your child and ultimately you will be instilling and promoting that attitude in them.
Marie Pacini, MAT, NBCT Educational Specialist
704-541-9090 ext. 218