What’s the point of it?

      Homework is assigned as independent practice, so the student can apply their learning to facilitate learning in the long term.  Therefore, I try to be fair about the amount of homework given.  I strongly feel that children need time to be kids after school and that too much HW can interfere with precious family time.  Often, HW will take the form of a hands-on activity, game or "Grab Your Bag and Go" activity.  Lastly, children need to learn a very valuable life lesson as well, "to walk away from what is pleasurable to do what is responsible". This can be practiced when fun needs to wait until the HW is completed.  Learning this lesson young will help your child become a successful learner and employee in the future!

    How can parents help their kids?

    1. Provide a quiet work environment for your child and furnish them with school supplies that they will regularly need, so that they are not “up and down” getting things.

    2. If your child is not usually at home after school, place a HW “kit” in his/her book bag with needed HW supplies.

    3. Set-up a regular time where homework should be started and try to stick to a predictable schedule.  Most kids respond well to routine.

    4. Have your child check his/her HW pad every day to make sure that you are aware of all of the assignments and check to see that each one has been completed.  Remind your child to put a check in the completed box, on the HW pad, after each job is done.       

    5. Practice helps you learn…so practicing the WRONG thing may “help” you learn it incorrectly.  Let your child work independently but try to “catch” incorrect practice, so that your child doesn’t unknowingly reinforce mistakes.

    6. Help your child plan out how much of a report or project needs to be done each day, so that it will be completed by the due date – with time to spare.  Learning not to leave work at the “last minute” is a skill that must be practiced.  If your child has a week to do an assignment, don’t stay up until 12pm the night before it is due trying to complete it.  Instead, get a calendar and plan out what part of the assignment would need to be done each day, in order to have completed it on time.

    7. Let your child unpack and pack-up his/her own homework so that this skill can be applied in the classroom.  Students that have parents doing most of their organization at home frequently cannot get organized in class. Set-up a system that works for your family. 

    I used to keep two baskets out for my 3 kids.  One was for school notices and papers that they must give to me.  The second basket is where they put their finished HW and HW pads so that I can look them over after completion.  Then, I would place their papers back in the same baskets and each child would take their papers and pack them up.  Corrected/returned papers were stored in a small cart, so that we could choose what to re-practice or search through to find a “missing” paper that the teacher might be looking for. I didn’t throw anything away until at least 2 weeks passed, just in case. You might have something better that works for your family.  Make sure your child follows your routine as independently as possible. Whatever your system is, routines and organization are the keys for success. 

            8. Does your child appear tired and cranky while doing his/her HW?  It might be because they are truly tired after a long day of school.  Make sure that your child is sleeping long enough at night and goes to bed at a regular time each night.  A child that gets the required 10 to 12 hours of sleep usually wakes up by themselves in the morning, happily without a struggle.  If you have difficulty getting your child out of bed in the morning, it may be that they require more sleep than they get. 
            9. Finally, if you and your child are having difficulty with HW assignments in any way, contact me so that we can brainstorm ways to help you.  Also, children should not be left to struggle with HW assignments for more than 20 minutes.  Just write a note at the top of your child's paper saying "stopped by mom", or something similar and your child will receive credit for doing his/her HW.  When it comes home again, you can save the rest for future practice.