Who Wins in the Homework Battle?

Posted by Big Universe on Sep 29, 2013 8:00:34 PM


Gone are the lazy days of summer, and everything pumpkin is here. Children are back-to-school and up-to-speed with their new routines. And if you have a child like mine, the homework battles have begun. In the past when I have shared the angst of homework, my son’s teachers have said “don’t make homework a battleground” and avoid the tears. Now that homework expectations has increased, responsibility and accountability has also. So how do you know if the homework battle is typical or points to a larger issue?

In “Stop Homework Struggles,” Scholastic.com notes that “homework hassles are often discipline problems in disguise,” noting that there are categories of students who avoid homework – The Perfectionist, The Procrastinator, The Disorganized Child, The Underachiever – and scholastic.com offers solutions. The National Association of Special Education Teachers, which includes Parent Teacher Conference Handouts, also provides great tips from how to set up a homework schedule to how parents can monitor their own behaviors during homework time, a lot of them, news-to-me:

  • Set up a homework schedule
  • Rank order assignments
  • Do not sit next to your child while he/she does homework
  • Check correct problems first
  • Never let homework drag on all night
  • Discuss homework questions before your child reads the chapter
  • Check small groups of problems at a time
  • Place textbook chapters on tape
  • Be aware of negative non-verbal messages during homework
  • Avoid finishing assignments for your child
  • Beware of possible signs of more serious problems
  • Check homework assignment sat the end of the night

Trying these already, and both child and parent are still struggling? Scholastic suggests working with the school teacher and even the school psychologist to assess why there are issues. Together, you may be able to figure out if the the battle is a typical issue – or is caused by “anxiety over problems at home” or “perhaps the work is below his level and he needs more challenging assignments.”

If there is a learning issue, National Association of Special Education Teachers suggests possible signs of a learning disability are “constant avoidance of homework, forgetting to bring home assignments, taking hours to do homework, procrastination of class work, low frustration tolerance, labored writing, poor spelling. Scared of reaching out to the school and finding that your child may have a learning issue? If that label enables him or her to be more successful in school by receiving adequate supports, you are empowering your child to learn and succeed. No one wins in the homework battle, especially your child.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Topics: Special Education

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