Homework Battles

Scott Wardell

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Most parents agree that some homework is necessary and appropriate for their child to do in order to succeed academically. Many parents, however, struggle with this one question:

“Homework- What is the parent’s role?”

To answer this question, this article was written to help you explore and develop a parenting homework philosophy. Without a parenting homework philosophy or a developed belief system in regards to this topic, you may find yourself floating at sea with no predictable hope of reaching a destination.

Tough Homework Help Questions

Is Homework Important?

Yes! Many educators will share with you that homework is important because it helps the student practice what they have learned in class that particular day. They will also share with you that homework, done properly, will allow the student to have a better chance to score well on a test or successfully complete an assigned project. These are the obvious answers to our first question. Here are some other thoughts to consider regarding the value of homework:

  • Homework teaches time management. Children who are assigned homework are often given a specific time to start and end a task. This helps children to learn how to meet deadlines and plan ahead.

  • Homework teaches responsibility. Children who are held accountable at an early age to complete age appropriate task learn to become comfortable with responsibility.

  • Homework teaches determination. Children who become determined and self-motivated are more likely to stay and complete a task. This often leads a child to character traits.

    Homework builds character. Allowing your child to take responsibility for doing chores, setting goals, sharing feelings, asking question and yes, doing his or her own homework, builds and shapes character and personality. Homework provides your child with a chance to succeed and fail. Personal character is built by having an opportunity to succeed and/or fail. By the way, failure is not bad. Failure gives us another opportunity to SUCCEED! Once a child succeeds, he or she develops become encouraged. This encouragement leads to the development of your child’s positive self-esteem.

    Who’s Responsible For The Homework?

    Ultimately, the child is responsible for his or her homework. When parents assume ownership of homework, children will most often allow, and then become dependent, on the parent to do most of their assigned work. This same dependency may develop with chores, time management, activities and other areas that are important in a child’s overall development.

    What Are My Parenting Responsibilities?

    Depending on the age, grade and learning ability level of your child, homework parenting responsibilities will vary. Most teachers, at every grade level, are willing to help parents answer this question.

    Before school begins, hold a discussion with your child and come up with a homework plan. Unless you child has special education needs, your child should be able to do the following:

    1. Communicate with you on a daily basis regarding what they learned, enjoyed or experience in school that day. Tell your child that you are going to ask specific questions: “I see that you were doing division in math today. (As a parent you know this because you checked the Website or the weekly course list. ) Can you show me an example of what you learned?”

    2. Share with your child that you are not going interfere with homework unless he or she asks for help.

    3. Help your child to set up a study place or area. Let the child decorate, put together supplies etc.

    4. Let your child know that his or her teachers do not support the playing of TV’s, Ipods, phones or other distractions in school while doing school work and “we want to have the same study atmosphere in our home. ”

    5. Let your child know that you will be communicating with his or her teachers, or visiting the teachers’ websites every now and then.

    Parents should also consider the information below to assist their child with homework

  • Parents should attend their child’s school open house at the beginning of the school year. Teachers and other staff members often make recommendation for parent involvement with their child’s homework assignments. At this meeting, teachers often share e-mail addresses, phone and voice mail numbers and other communication methods for parents to utilize to assist their child.

  • Parents should be aware of daily and weekly homework assignments. Assignments may be in your child’s planner, posted on a teacher’s webpage or available via e-mail. MOST TEACHERS DO NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE CALLING YOU OR PERSONALLY SENDING YOU DAILY HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS UNLESS YOUR CHILD HAS SPECIAL NEEDS AND ON AN INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN (I. E. P. ).

  • Communication with teachers via e-mail, school website, voicemail and conferences are important for parents to gain access to your child’s current grades and academic performance. BFORE YOU COMMUNICATE WITH THE TEACHER, IT’S IMPORTANT THAT YOU COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CHILD.

  • Be patient! School and learning is a process not an event. Part of all learning is learning how to cope with the struggle. Know when to call it quits for homework. If you and the child are continually frustrated, contact your child’s teacher.

    What Type Of Homework Parent Am I?

    Permissive Parent

  • Permissive parents seldom discuss school with their children.

  • The permissive parent lets the child regulate most homework and school assignments on his or her own.

  • This parent does not usually get involved in school conferences, communicating with teachers or attending school functions with their child.

  • This parent assumes the teachers or school will help the child become academically successful.

    Autocratic Parent

  • The parent is in control of school and homework.

  • The parent hovers over the child, checks scores daily and does not trust the child.

  • The parent constantly makes negative comments toward the child regarding his or her academic progress.

  • Autocratic parents may actually do some of his or her child’s homework

  • Children are not allowed to make homework decisions without parent input.

  • The autocratic parent often uses threats to motivate the student to complete homework assignments.

    Authoritative Parent

  • The authoritative parent allows and expects the child to team with the parent and share ideas in setting up a homework plan.

  • This parent has clear set expectations for the child and shares these expectations.

  • The authoritative parent does not want the child to fail, but realizes that failure is an important part of education.

  • This parent uses discipline (natural consequences such as no TV until homework is done, or a friend can sleep over when I see your school report that all missing work is turned in) , rather than punishment (mean to cause pain, hurt), to help the child who does not do homework.

  • The authoritative parent is aware of how the school operates, is comfortable speaking with teachers and provides input when necessary.

    Other Helpful Hints

  • Establish a routine. Set a specific time every day for your child to do homework. Let your child set the time with you. Throughout the week, check in with your child about their assignments. When the check-in becomes routine, it's less stressful for the student and parent to discuss their homework or assignments. This also helps you and the child avoid last-minute frenzies.

  • Take Note of trouble areas. When you sit down with your child, ask them to show you the types of assignments they're presently working on and to describe areas where they might be having difficulty. Once you identify problems, you can work together to find the resources they need to create work they can be proud of.

  • Create a positive environment. It's no secret that when faced with a choice between homework, TV or Ipod, most kids will dump their homework every time. That's why it's important to provide your child with a good work environment—turn off electronic devices and help them learn to study in a quiet, focused space. Designate a specific area of your house for studying: Try to choose a well-lit space, and keep this area free from clutter so there is plenty of room for books and papers.

  • Set up a study group. Children are social being, and a peer group can become a powerful incentive for studying. Consider starting a biweekly study group for your child with his or her friends. You can also provide engaging source materials, such as instructional videos, guest speakers, field trips(library, science museum, zoo etc. ) and more, to help expand on subjects.

    Scott Wardell is a school counselor and created http://www.ScottCounseling.com to provide parents with hundreds of free parenting articles and online counseling to assist parents with their parenting skills.

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